Into the Woods


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    Published on Dec 20, 2023
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    Hikes often take you to unexpected places. I was going down a path in the forest when I spotted something deep within. I stopped and peered through the branches. Ah yes! I could see it. Mushrooms on a tree. My foraging instincts kicked in. The fungi were deeper in the woods, where I didn't feel comfortable venturing into for fear of getting bitten by some creature or wrangle with a Sasquatch. I thought I could double back from a fork in the road up ahead, but after scouting that road, I realized it led in another direction. So, I did the only sensible thing: took out my phone, pressed video record, and walked into the woods.

    Even though the area was not far from the path, and beside a noisy highway, the forest enveloped me with its aura as soon as I walked into it. In this region, we don’t have many venomous critters or scratchy kitties (though we have some felines in the surrounding mountains), so I wasn't too concerned. There are other denizens of this forest that could pose a problem for an urban cat who just wants to get some mushroom action. So, I proceeded cautiously.



    The woods are lovely dark and deep, but they can pose challenges if you’re actually moving through them. My senses became alert as I walk along the mossy forest floor, which sank softly under my footsteps with years of old growth carpeting the ground. The deeper I went, the more uneasy I became. Branches cracked under my feet. I looked this way and that. Listened for any sounds, scanned for movements on the periphery. Soon I was surrounded by the trees towering above me, some already past their prime. What a spectacle! The young, the old, and the dead, all wrangled together in a web with its own intricate structure. You would not find a car here, a house, a paved road, a supermarket, or a chocolate bar. Just nature in its raw form, stripped of man-made technologies, pretensions, and rules. If one of those tree branches broke and fatally fell on me, my body would crumble, torn apart by dispassionate natural processes. Returned to a primordial state. Would anything remain once my body had disintegrated? Or would evidence of my existence be just a few words scribbled on a digital page that say, “I was here.”

    All this deep thinking and philosophizing had made me hungry, and as eating is part of my survival, I decided to forage for a snack. So, like I've done in video games many times, I stuck my hand inside a tree hole to see if I could find a something that a racoon or a leprechaun might have stashed away!


    I was right and found some loot! Clearly, nature was subtle and mysterious. I know that a creature probably needed this food item to survive, but I'm a creature too and also need to survive. It's the law of the rainforest.




    Alright, maybe it didn't happen exactly that way, but you have to admit, it's a darn good yarn.

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    nature photography video writing fungi hike travel proofofbrain vyb

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