I went on a hike through the forest with my headphones on and Saku, the farm dog, and the neighbors Labrador following me. After a while of walking right into the forest and still knowing where about the farm was relative to me. Since I had some time before having to be back for dinner I decided to let the dogs lead me and get a little lost. Wherever they went I followed and sometimes they would run off far away playing catch with each other but whenever I called they came right back.
It was a little strange listening to music with my big headphones which block out the surroundings almost completely. Usually when hiking in nature I enjoy the sounds around me but now I just had electronic beats with some chanting intermixed, a new album I hadn’t heard before.
The rhythm of the music didn’t match the calm on goings of the forest critters but I kept on hiking and let my thoughts drift. The incredible beauty of the things around me took my attention. Every little plant and critter seemed to live in a harmonious system forcing me to appreciate life and the mysterious ways in which nature seems to be perfect.
In a way the Swedish spruce forest seems a little boring since it is covered in moss and the human planted spruce does not look so healthy, but it is beautiful in it’s own right. The ground is covered in moss which is very springy to walk on, the pine needles give the water a golden brown color and there are lots of fern everywhere.
At some point we reached the edge of the forest where a clear cut had been made probably around 10 years earlier. It was a very different microclimate. The moss was dried up and not as springy anymore because there where no tall trees to shade it. The ferns where also gone and the whole landscape looked a little sad.
It was very evident to see what we had been learning during the Permaculture Design Course that trees influence every part of the ecosystem around them and that we should be very careful in our actions.