Animals In The Woods

On Saturday just gone Paul and myself had a day out in the woods. We were exploring some new woods I found not too far away. I’ve been there a couple of times myself trying to get a sense of the layout and bearings, but there was over half of it that I had yet to explore.

So we set about exploring that…er…unexplored half.

It was a windy but mild mid-autumn day. Once we started walking we soon warmed up a bit. It had been raining for several days before and some of the pathways were very muddy. We started out following the paths and then headed off. The woods are typical Forestry Commission – mixtures of sweet chestnut coppice, deciduous, and some impressive pines. Very impressive.

Cutting through the woods we found a stream, which we decided to follow. This was also going to be a day of refreshing navigation skills, using map and compass, and also using land and natural features.

There were lots of chestnuts around so we snacked on them as we did our circuit of the woods before making our way to a spot we had found earlier beside the stream, where we wanted to test a couple of new pieces of kit – Paul had a Grilliput for a birthday present, and I had treated myself to a small penknife by Joker.

Rain clouds kept passing over, so we got tarps up just in case. I put up a chair for myself as Paul got the fire going (eventually). Lunch was going to be sausage sarnies!

Whilst I sat there I saw a large dark object just move into my peripheral vision. I’ll confess to a moment’s brief panic (mainly because recently I’d been reading a book about a man-eating tiger in the Siberian woods), but just a brief panic. And then I saw what this large dark object was – a stag!

Yup. No more than fifteen or twenty feet from us, a wild stag, complete with antlers and beard, came grazing through the woods. Quite stunning is all I can say. The two of us stood stock still, seeing how long the stag would stay there. He stared back at us. The real pain in the backside was that my camera was out of reach, and I knew that the second I moved to get it the stag would run. So close to such an amazing creature and no way of capturing it. Then I remembered the phone in my pocket – it wouldn’t be a good quality picture but it would be better than none. Carefully I took it out and managed to get a couple of pictures before the stag turned and ran. This would easily be the highlight of the day. Experiences like that don’t come along very often.


1 Comment

  1. Warpigs said,

    January 23, 2015 at 11:16 am

    What tarps are you using there?

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