Author Topic: Eureka!  (Read 231 times)

nuduke

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Eureka!
« on: April 17, 2019, 11:04:41 PM »

Further to my note in 'How was your month...' today (Weds) started rather cloudy but then blossomed into a sunny day.  So off I went to see if I could enter the small patch of woodland I found late last year (or was it early this) and see if it was a suitable FRN location where I could get naked in nature.
Well, friends, I am delighted to say it was.  So here's a report:
The patch of wood, or copse is only about 1 mile from my home, in the middle of 2 or 3 fields with our village and the next village on either side but some distance away.  I set out at about 12.45pm on a good lope along the main road between the 2 villages then through a gate and along a field path to the copse which is very small, only about 1/10 mile at the longest (630ft) and 290 feet wide.  Compare this with the woods I used to walk in before we moved which was almost a mile in diameter.  On the way I spotted a deer in the field next to the wood.  Oh dear, deer.  That means dung to look out for and of course, if they live in the wood, that there may be deer ticks and danger of Lyme disease.  Blast!


So my initial expectations were that it was probably too sparse and anyone passing could see right into the middle.  I crossed the little bridge and entered the edge of the wood.  You may recall that on my earlier recce which was in the cold and wet winter, I was able to enter the edge of the wood - maybe 50-100ft in, but was soon prevented from going any further by a deep ditch with water at the bottom.  I approached this with some trepidation but as I had anticipated in my previous mail the ditch was now reasonably drained and scrambling down and leaping across was easy (and, I thought, if easy for me, then easy for anyone so beware - others may use this location).  So I was in!
I walked around and the wood was in fact lovely.  Mature trees with thick ivy trunks snaking up them and dense enough for cover.  The birds sang and the squirrels scattered. 


After only about a minute or two's walk I was at the other edge and looking out onto the field at the back.  The next habitation could be seen but it was too far away for anyone to see into the trees.  I was in the centre of 3 large fields about 700ft from the road and 2000+ ft from the nearest buildings (houses).  The area was about 230 acres or 95 hectares.  More than enough either for me to see people (or tractors) coming and also to make me fairly invisible in the middle of the patch although one could see out through gaps almost everywhere in the centre. All was quiet and still in the lovely late morning sunshine.
But there were plenty of signs of people.  Several fertiliser bags, the odd drinks can, a strange bucket affair (illustrated) and this blue chemical drum which contained grain, oats I think, some of which was scattered on the ground round the drum.  I figured this would be deer food supplement - so they do live there.  I need to be cautious about picking up a tick.  There was little Deer dung around, happily (although there were patches of bird guano which I suspect was from) pigeons).  Also there was a considerable ground cover of nettles.  This IS a problem in that as the year progresses they may take over the ground altogether making it impossible to pass into the wood at all.  As it was I got stung on my shin and it still hurts a bit as I write some 9 hours later.


 
But....it was clear that this indeed was a place for secret, solitary, contemplative naturism.  Hurrah!  a regular haunt at last.  But as yet I was still clothed.  This did not last long.  I was out of my clothes rapidly.  A problem was the ground.  When I get naked, I want to be naked and I don't feel completely FRN with my walking boots on.  But the ground was very uncomfortable with hard pebbly soil and lots of sticks, stones and pea to grape sized pebbles and dried mud clots.  So I had to wear my boots.  Next time I must bring some flip flops.  They will allow me enough cushion to walk around completely naked enough.  In this little space I could do yoga and maybe eat lunch :) .  What I need is a seat.  There are several fallen trunks but they were impossible to sit on due to the considerable overgrowth if ivy and many protruding twigs.  Again, next time I'll bring some secateurs and make me a seat.  Or bring a chair and store it there - like Dave Balead used to do.  I think a natural seat would be better!
So, naked, I walked around a bit and meditated quietly, listening to the music of the birds and luxuriating in the lovely sunshine falling between the tree boles.
I took these photos
 
After about 20 minutes, I dressed and walked out of the opposite side of the wood to recce the space beyond.  The view was entirely clear and it immediately occurred to me that on a future occasion I might sunbathe on the field margin or even walk along the perimeter of the wood and take the sun.  I am delighted that I have found an easily accessible FRN spot, hopefully, to call my own when I go there and experience the air on my skin and the forest enchantment across the seasons.  Watch this space, I guess! :)
John




Bob Knows

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Re: Eureka!
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2019, 02:23:10 AM »
Looks like a lovely spot.  I hope your feet can adapt.
Human bodies are natural, comfortable, and green.
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MartinM

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Re: Eureka!
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2019, 07:35:57 AM »
The blue drum is a pheasant feeder.

If you regularly walk barefoot and learn to walk more lightly, landing on your forefoot, your soles will toughen up and you will find you can deal with quite rough ground. Having said that, there are always some surfaces that are at least uncomfortable, but very little that isnít manageable.

I carry Sockwas that are very light, flexible with thin sole in case I need a little protection in unknown areas, although I rarely use them.
Tread lightly upon the earth!

jbeegoode

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Re: Eureka!
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2019, 09:35:07 AM »
One mile from home is just a walk! You are in business. Be sure to keep us posted. A spot like this is new to you.
Jbee
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John P

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Re: Eureka!
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2019, 05:16:06 PM »
A place that you find as an explorer is always the best!

Yes, I was thinking maybe pheasants. If you meet any, you should warn them that the food isn't just being given because somebody likes them.

nuduke

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Re: Eureka!
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2019, 07:39:36 PM »

Aha, pheasant food?
I hadn't thought of that.  Thank you martin for your greater knowledge.  So maybe the deer I saw (actually at the edge of the wood not in it) was just a random wanderer like me and would also explain why there was a lack (although not absence) of deer scat in the wood and particularly around the feeder.  Pheasant fodder would not imply deer feeding and therefore less danger of ticks.


A few months ago, I bought some stick-on soles that adhere to the feet.  They are very thin but may just be enough to be virtually barefoot almost anywhere in dry weather.  I haven't tried them yet but when I get round to giving them a test run I'll report.  I have no doubt they would not stand up well to road walking.  70% of my journey to the woods is pavement.


John

jbeegoode

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Re: Eureka!
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2019, 11:49:36 PM »
Huaraches for the walk?

Can you pull the nettles when young, before they become an obstacle? The nettles being young, not you...
...that way the passage will look more natural and less like a trail that leads to something, as the rains quell the disturbance and fill in with other more friendly vegetation. It would also appear less than a man made disturbance to the owner's property, but you could still get on to it and avoid the sting.

Will you be planning several ways to get into the sanctuary, so as not to make a trail? Here, things grow so slow and seasonal and the rains are so sparse that a foot print will remain for a long time. Maybe you only need to be concerned with mud there. Will you use the ol' technique of swishing with a branch to cover your foot prints? 

You may soon have an all over coloring to explain. At least, you'll be ready for the beach. How will you deal with that revelation by Mrs. Nuduke?
Jbee
Barefoot all over, all over.

reubenT

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Re: Eureka!
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2019, 01:23:00 AM »
Nice place.   I'd do the same in the same circumstance.    Nettles are an edible green,  nice mild flavor,  cook with a little seasoning and the stinger hairs vanish.   They are even edible raw,  we've eaten them successfully one leaf at a time by folding the leaf edge inward before consumption. 

Peter S

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Re: Eureka!
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2019, 02:34:04 PM »
Some places here they have nettle eating contests. Turns the mouth black, apparently.
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nuduke

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Re: Eureka!
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2019, 11:20:48 PM »

There are too many nettles to 'garden' them.  In nettle locations I usually swish them out of the way with a stick to pass through a patch.  But it's not always possible - it's fine when they are 6" high but not fine when they are 5ft high and the only vegetation as far as the eye can see!  The area isn't all nettles though so I hope paths across the wood will still be available through the summer nettle season.
Having discovered this little wood (copse?), I've been pining for another visit but the weather has been fairly cold and inclement and the diary has been full of many other things. From about 8th May my diary is rammed so it'll be a few weeks before I get there again if I don't make it this week.  But that's fine - don't want to get bored of the place by over familiarity!
John