Last year I wrote a post about Forest Bathing? Yes, this is actually a thing! Without realising it we partake in this activity pretty much every weekend. Forest Bathing, or Shinrin-yoko, as the Japanese call it, simply means to "take in the atmosphere of the forest." It is even prescribed by doctors as a therapy to help health and well-being.
Sunday was sunny and I decided to take the kids to the woods. Last September we found loads of Fly Agaric (we are now mycology geek) these are the good old fashioned red spotted toadstools, straight outta fairy land, but very poisonous and have hallucinogenic properties!
This is McSkully, we found him last year too. The kids were so fascinated that we brought him home. It's a baby deer's skull.
On our walk we found a lot of bolete mushrooms, aka the penny bun, cep, porcino or porcini - but all were very damp and rotten.
We have eaten foraged mushrooms before including the bolete, parasol mushrooms, field mushrooms and chicken of the wood (below).
This is a parasol mushroom we have found some huge ones and they are very tasty.
The sunlight through the trees looked magical, so my daughter tells me - the bright dotted light we could see were the fairies coming out to paint the wings of the butterflies.
We also managed to pick a huge bowlful of blackberries and some windfall apples so we made a yummy crumble too.
We would totally prescribe a bit of "Forest Bathing" to anybody - it's refreshing and relaxing, and if we could we would totally live in a log cabin in the woods! Who knows - you may even spot a Totoro?
There is plenty of free food throughout the year including wild garlic (April/May), wood sorrel, nettles, ground ivy, sloes, elderberries, hawthorn berries, larch needles and rowan berries.