this northern boy

Illustrations for an imaginary age

Tag: forest


Green. I seek out green places more and more as I get older. The combination of peace and the sounds of nature seem to give me an incredible sense of well-being. Advocates of ‘Forest bathing’ have a point. At this time of year, particularly, the colours are incredible. Fresh, vibrant, jewel greens. White and yellow of Cow Parsley and Cowslip. The unexpected violet-blue of a glade of Bluebells. But green, always the green. Dappled sunlight and mossy roots and rocks. There’s a path I’ll always take.

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I’ve just come back from a few days in The Black Forest in southwest Germany. It was my fourth trip, always around New Year, as my wife’s mum is German and the family still have lots of friends over there. We stay at Gästehaus Waidelich in Enzklösterle, a lovely little B&B run by my mother-in-law’s oldest friend.

The Black Forest is a wonderful place, even in winter it’s full of beauty and character. Walking in the woods, or looking out at the forest from the car window, it’s so easy to imagine the stories of the brothers Grimm springing to life. The forest is very dense pine and spruce, dotted with birch, oak and beech. The trees are so close together that the woods get very dark, very quickly. Walking there at night would be a deeply unnerving experience. It’s a place where your imagination can run wild, and I’ve come back brimming with thoughts of ogres, trolls, giant bears and wolves, elves and fairies. I’m looking forward to getting some of these ideas down on paper, either as drawings or as stories.

Here are a few photos I took while I was there…