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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Getting out of the office

I spent seven successive days in the London studios working on football and felt the need for trees. This was made all the more intense by reading The Oak Papers. It was a strange experience as I felt that I was reading this blog. Things I have said about the calm, the sense of presence. Wondering if there will be any ancient oaks in a few hundred years. Feeling that an aversive force field surrounds humans, causing all creatures to flee. And just his sense of the sacred. His careful observations. His feeling that time stops when a hare catches your eye.

One story in there concerns a woodsman he knows who took people to a particular hollow oak. You climb up and then drop into the tree. Inside the tree! Like... wait... in The Tempest isn't someone trapped in a tree? Ah yes, Ariel. Anyway, everyone who experienced it, once they overcame their fear, felt... renewed... almost reborn. Cleansed. Wow.

I thought of Aulus, but felt the need to see the three copse trees first.

And before I got to them, I made the acquaintance of a stag head oak whom I had passed many times but never stayed with. This is a lovely tree.

I felt so welcome.

It has lost limbs and suffered some huge scarring, but it was vibrant and, well, friendly.

In the scarred part, where the bark was missing, the place where a burr had once been.

By the old oak I saw some intriguing fungi - being munched by a slug.

On the subject of fungus, there was a lot of this... weeping milk cap. Had I realised it was both edible and tasty, I'd have picked it - it was everywhere! It is a mycorrhizal species that likes oak and coniferous forests.

This one, white coral fungus, I knew was edible. It tastes like a slightly bitter normal mushroom. Quite nice.

As for this one, I have no idea what it is. I found it in a few places.

It was tough and rubbery. Can't imagine it tastes good.

Final find: a snail graveyard. I gathered these together from a very small area.

I visited the poplar, who is appreciating the rain, and the juvenile oak. I left the usual suet pellets and, by the oak, I reformed my azoth mandala from the twigs of bamboo still scattered around its trunk.

It's funny. I felt happy. Actual happiness. Walking through the trees and noticing all that weeping milk cap. So simple to be happy.

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Aug 17, 2023

Glad about the happiness. Liked the mysterious snail graveyard. Loved that beautiful photo of the friendly oak's scarring (where a burr used to be).

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