SOLF Presents: How Do You “Do” the Woods?

The latest in a local nature series contributed by the Southborough Open Land Foundation

Above: (photo contributed by SOLF)

[This post is part of a special guest series focused on appreciating nature in Southborough, contributed by the Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF), a non-profit dedicated to preserving and stewarding natural resources here in town.]

How Do You “Do” the Woods?

Do you walk briskly for exercise?
Do you go with a friend for a time to chat?
Do you jog or run?
Walk slowly, stopping often to look at things?
Take a picnic?
Make a little stack of rocks?
Take Pictures or sketch?
Sit and meditate?
All of the above?
None of the above?!

I am a slow walker. I stop often to look at my favorite things: moss, ferns, holes in trees, lichens on boulders, fungi etc. -whatever catches my eye. I take pictures. I use the iNaturalist and Merlin apps so I can learn about what I found. I wonder about things I see and hear: Why is that tree bent part way up? What is that odd thing hanging from a twig? What kind of animal track is that? What bird am I hearing that is unfamiliar? I find that the more I look, the more I begin to see.

It all starts with stopping!

Walking in the woods makes me feel better. When I enter a trail, I feel an immediate sensation of relief. I have escaped the busyness, stress and distraction of a road. I feel genuine comfort of being with trees. After an hour or so I often feel that I want to just stay there.

I apply insect repellant except in winter.

How do you do the woods?

Deborah Costine McAdow
Southborough Open Land Foundation trustee, artist and nature enthusiast

Want to learn more about SOLF, or volunteer or donate? Visit and find us on Facebook.

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