We moved to this house just over two years ago.  I think this location has given us more surprises than any other that we’ve lived in…

  1. Leaves. I mean, this should be an obvious one. If you have ancient trees next to and in your garden, you’re going to get plenty of leaves dropping on your lawn.  I wonder if that is why this house didn’t 7 things they didn’t tell me about living next to the woodssell in the autumn?

It’s not that much of a problem.  We now know that we have to start collecting as soon as we have a covering, as otherwise we will have run out of green bin collection days.  I wasn’t impressed last year, though, when we’d spent pretty much a whole weekend doing this thankless task to find the wind direction had changed on Monday morning, and every last one of our neighbour’s leaves were on our drive.  Hmmm.

  1. Invasions. It started last autumn. We seemed to have a lot of ladybirds nesting on our windowsills.  It 7 things they didn’t tell me about living next to the woodswasn’t until we opened the top windows we realized the full volume of the tiny creatures that were residing in our property.  When we open the window, they all drop in and start flying around.  This isn’t TOO much of a problem, except now that our children are scared of them…
  2. Wasps. You can read about that one here. All I will say is that the neighbours believed it was our turn to get the exterminators out last year.  And I was less than impressed to have a live wasp fall out of my sock as I put it on yesterday morning.
  3. Changing seasons. I mentioned last year that I find autumn challenging. It is amazing, though, to be able to lie in bed and see the seasons change before my eyes.  The trees are such an indicator of the passing of time, and even when the weather seems to be telling one story, the trees know when to go into leaf and when to change colour. 7 things they didn’t tell me about living next to the woods
  4. Light. I didn’t realise that in the winter you can see right through through Knavesmire woods. A full moon was rising over the racecourse, and it took me a while to work out what was going on.  It wasn’t a searchlight – no, it really was an enormous, bright moon!  And in the cold winter mornings, when I really don’t feel like going on the school run, seeing the sun shining through gaps in the trees cheers up my day.
  5. Wildlife. Squirrels, rabbits, foxes, mallards, many different birds – we see them all. The elderly fox likes to keep a low profile, but I have seen him when coming home on my bike in the dark.
  6. Constant change. Every time I go into the woods, they are different. The Woodland Trust cut down trees fairly regularly as it is such a dense wood, but it is more than that.  The features of the wood seem to be ever-changing.  That spot where I found the unusual fungi – can’t find it the next time.  Tiny little wildflowers grow and hide amongst the trees and bushes.  One week an area seems almost bare, the next it is overgrown and covered in ivy.  At least, that’s what it seems like to me.

Some things about living next to the woods have their frustrations, but I am so thankful to have this opportunity.  It is like a little haven within the ring road.  I am blessed to be able to share in God’s creation in this way.

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