Nature Benefits had its November walk in Avondale Forest Park, Wicklow.
This an amazing park, full of many different species of trees from around the world. It is a wonderful place to be on an autumn day if you love trees. The leaves changing colour and fluttering to the ground aided by a gentle breeze could be seen all around. The morning sun rose low in the sky creating beautiful shining highlights on those wet leaves that were thawing after a frosty dew. We strolled through the forest shuffling the crispy leaves under our feet, just kicking the leaves like a child and I smiling to myself, simple fun!
To our surprise there were still many raspberries to be found, red, ripe and delicious. Also sweet chestnuts were in great supply beneath the trees. We filled our pockets with as much as we could carry to roast later. I had never eaten sweet chestnuts before, they tasted like potatoes, starchy and sweet. It occurred to me that November can be a great month for foraging. It is also an ideal time to get some beautiful photography shots in nature. Nature is so colourful and with the sun low in the sky this time of year one can be very creative for photography in nature and you can capture great moments with the wildlife
Autumn By the River Side
We stopped for a while by the river side to observe, listen, and feel the bliss of being in the outdoors. We ponder as the leaves float by in the clear waters of the Avonmore river, each one reminding me to let go like nature does in autumn. I gazed into the sparkles and movements in the water while listening to the birds singing delightfully. As I take a deep breath in I know how lucky I am to be here and experience this moment, awesome! When I delight in those simple things I want to capture them, so out my camera comes to take a small video clip of the leaves floating by.
As we moved further up the river trail we spotted a tree with many holes, bee nesting we believe. We identified many tree species from eucalyptus, Norway and Sitka spruce, Oaks, Red cedar, Giant sequoia, silver fir, Douglas fir, Scots pine, chestnut varieties, redwoods, larch and beech to name a few.
An Irish Cairn
There is a cairn centred high in the middle of the large green stretch of grassy land which is surrounded by forest, it has a bench beside it and is a lovely location to sit and admire the great views around the vale. This cairn was constructed by the early forestry students with stones they collected from clearing the field boundaries of the estate.
Avondale is a Magnificent forest, rarely visited by many and yet it has so much to offer us. With a great variety of trails, trees, wildlife, colours and solitude you can benefit from just by immersing oneself in it. If its exercise, there are miles of walks, if you need to de-stress there is so much natural calming effect from the stillness in nature here, it automatically sooths and refreshes us. Avondale is a gem and a walk here delights my heart and lifts my spirits. I’m looking forward to returning here over the winter months.