Thursday, October 05, 2006

A walk in the woods

It was such a nice day yesterday that we decided to go for a walk in the woods, to see the wildlife and mushrooms. We walked down our drive and turned left up the track pictured above.
When we got part way up the hill the track opens out into the chestnut forest, picyure above, where there are loads of different sorts of mushrooms growing. This part of the Dordogne has many woods and tracks going through it. It is very peaceful and quiet. The track that you see is a public road, but there is never a vehicle on it.

There won't be today as this tree has fallen accress the track. I did consider going back and getting my chainsaw to clear the fallen tree, but that is the job of the local Marie (council) and they will do it as soon as it is reported. If I had bothered then I would have taken the wood for our heating. We only have wood fired heating in our house as it is environmentally freindly, no fossil fuels being burnt in this un-polluted part of the world.
We did find various mushrooms and toadstools, brown white and red. The problem is that despite owning a number of books on mushrooms, we are not sure what we can eat. There are thousands of different ones and although many can be very tasty, loads can also make you ill.
We gathered a bag full of sweet chestnuts, some for Jude to use in the kitchen and some for me to plant on our land. I feel that every tree we burn in the winter needs another planting. Chestnust will, I hope, grow faster than the oak that we burn, but I doubt that they will be large trees in my lifetime.
You may ask if I am doing this due to global warming, well no, I think that the temperature change that the earth is going through is a very natural thing. I do as much as I can not to burn more fossil fuels than I have to, but the world as a whole does not seem to care.
I drive a diesel car for two reasons; it uses less fuel than a petrol, and a diesel can be run on vegatible oil and so does not increase the earths CO2 levels.
I hope to install solar water heating in the next couple of years, and that will help too.

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