What To Do With A Tenner

‘In the woods, there will be much more fungi and even more colour: scarlet elf cup (above), orange witches’ butter, yellow stagshorn, green elf cup, blue roundheads.’ Photograph: fotoco-istock/Getty Images/iStockphoto

This recommendation from Lucy Jones is as good as any we might otherwise recommend:

‘Wet weather makes for particularly juicy moss.’ Water droplets on moss on a wall. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

The winter world may seem gloomy – but look closely, and you’ll see nature casting a spell

For less than a tenner, do as I do: buy a hand lens, head outside and discover fungi and moulds lighting up the darkness

‘You won’t believe how exquisite slime moulds are.’ Photograph: Alastair Hotchkiss/Woodland Trust/PA

The profound therapeutic benefits of connecting with nature and spending time outside are well known. But in winter? When it’s cold, gloomy and everything looks dead? In fact, especially in the winter, when we are susceptible to fatigue, illness and seasonal low mood. And actually there is plenty of life, beauty and wonder right outside our doors, if we look closely.

Come and take a short walk with me in my nearest wild patch – an urban cemetery, a common environment across the British Isles.

It takes a while to persuade my young children into their outdoor paraphernalia, but we are all a bit frazzled, and I know a walk will help, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.

The cemetery is quiet and still. At first glance, it seems life is suspended. I look at the synaptic branches of the brittle trees – beech, yew, maple, larch. A friend told me the bare trees remind her to breathe deeper. Since then, I’ve seen the wintry trees as lungs; I take a deep breath.

Red kites soar high above us and blackbirds rummage around the ivy looking for something to eat. We pause to look at the globular clusters of the fruits. Navy spheres. My eye is caught by the red, orange, yellow of berries that glow in the winter hush…

Read the whole article here.

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