A winter walk in the woods
January 14, 2014 § 5 Comments
Hands down, one of the best things about where we live in Brussels is the proximity to the elegant Bois de la Cambre and the adjoining Fôret de Soignes, nearly 20 square miles of woodland that stretches from the Brussels capital region into both the French and Flemish regions. While we can walk to both in just a few minutes, yesterday we drove less than ten minutes to reach a different part of the forest and were rewarded with endless walking trails and sunlight streaming through grove after grove of beech trees. As we set out, everything was blanketed in thick frost but the sun was warm on our skin. A perfect day for a walk.
When heading out on my own, I tend to stick to the more manicured bois, as I fret at how easily one could get lost in the wilder fôret, but I hope to get a bit more adventurous on this front. Long ago the forest was a royal hunting ground and was even home to brown bear and wolves, but these days wildlife consists mainly of the more usual suspects: deer, many species of bats, squirrels (I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a red squirrel), and so on. Apparently wild boar have also made a comeback in the past few years. But you are much more likely to encounter multigenerational families walking all manner of dogs, runners, and septuagenarian ladies on bikes zooming down hills with the wind in their hair.