Yew 2 (Jan 2023)

I've not been to see the tree for six months, possibly longer (record of first visit). Quite shocked to see that a fairly large branch had been felled.

The point at which it had been cut had an odd, but very clear, blood red tinge, darker towards the centre. I felt a little wounded.

Why would someone do that? Could not work it out. Seems to have been mechanically cut or axed. But then the felled branch has been left?

Or perhaps a section has been removed? To make something? I know Yews were used extensively in the 15th and 16th centuries to make bows, as the wood is tough but flexible. So maybe a bow?

Despite this excision, the tree itself is still magic. The same features as before, but with subtle differences. Interesting to look for features I found before and see how they've changed.

I saw something new, a headless corpse, reaching out, as though trying to escape the confines of earth. I photographed it, but wished I had my pen and notebook (which I've stopped carrying as a matter of course).

What I was attracted to on my initial visit is all still there, such a strange mix of colours, textures, growths.

I did a little low-level forest bathing, closed my eyes, listened, looked up at the swaying branches, listened to the birds and squirrels, picked up some mulch to smell.

Thought about how all I've done is take from this tree.

And I was going to take some more. I saw a piece of wood on the ground. You could see the axe mark on it. That faint sight of actual blood.

Even more interesting when I picked it up. Small dots of fungus arranged around it's bare skin.

I thought I'd take it to draw and paint. But decided against removing something.

The woods themselves are still so unique. As per usual, I saw no-one else there.

I wasn't going to use the swing. But then I thought about the phytoncides and wondered if moving quickly through the air in a forest was good for your health. And the dog likes to have a play with the swing.

Even now, after so many visits, I still get lost, and see new things.

I used some discarded plastic sheeting as a navigational aid. Blue plastic bottles of cider littered the floor, like large leaves.

The odd incongruous object, like this (golf?) shoe.

Weird how I've moved to a more countryside area. But these woods are still more remote. Way more inaccessible, in a peculiar way.

As far as i know, there are still only three routes in: through trespassing across a golf course, where I was warned off last year.

There's a horse field which is a really simple way in, and it used to have an unlocked gate. But it's now locked.

So I access via a very busy rat-run road, with no pavement, requiring a steep uphill climb to reach the tree. No wonder there's no-one here.

I felt very energised and renewed after visiting the woods.