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Silver Travel Book Club - Book of the Month - November 2017

Looks like another interesting read this month. When I was growing up, my family used to go camping for our holidays and most weekends every summer. From the age of about eleven on we used to spend three weeks every year in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. We went to a campsite that was off the beaten track. Literally, it was down an unpaved logging road away from the main campgrounds. It was on the edge of a lake and was a lovely spot with trees in among the campsites and surrounded by woods. I still remember the sound of loons (water fowl) on the lake as I was falling asleep; a haunting echo across the lake. One year the park decided to close its garbage dump and started incinerating its rubbish. This turned out to be a problem for the black bears in the park as they used to forage in the garbage dump for food. With this easy source removed, they started entering picnic sites and campgrounds instead; this lead to an even more interesting trip for us that year. One day we were trapped in the washrooms (okay, holes in the ground as there were four separate cubicles) while a black bear was outside. Another day a young child from another campsite came running down from the outhouse up on the hill – his feet were moving so fast they were hardly hitting the ground. He looked like he belonged in a cartoon. He had come out of the washroom to see a black bear, screamed and started running. Not the thing to do, by the way, running. However, the scream probably had the bear running in the other direction. Earlier that day, as people were cooking their evening meals on their campfires, we walked by one and a man was cooking some meat over his fire and there was a bear behind him. My father told him to slowly put the meat down at his side and walk over to us. His dinner was donated that evening. The park rangers would come by every night with a live trap to capture the bears and take them deep into the woods in the northern end of the park which was undeveloped and about a hundred miles away. Because of the bear issue, we had to keep all the food locked away in the vehicles. Nothing was allowed to be in the tents. I can still see my father stood in the middle of our tent holding the axe over his head as a bear snuffled its way around the outside of our tent one night looking for food. The bit of candy hidden under our pillows wasn’t enough to attract it. Luckily it caught wind of the meat our neighbour had left outside his trailer because he didn’t believe a bear would be able to open the plastic cooler. It was his first night. We and others had told him the bears would get it but he wouldn’t listen. Silly man lost his food for the week. That year was definitely a memorable trip to the woods.

I’m so glad to see this book as it’s the ideal Christmas gift for my brother.He lives in rural Somerset and walks for miles each day with his dogs. He loves nature and this book will be perfect for him.

Thanks @Silvertravellerfan for your wonderful badger watch story in the woods. They are fascinating creatures, aren’t they? We get them in our garden…a blessing to hear them snuffling around at night and – occasionally – to see them, but a curse to discover in the morning what they’ve done to the lawn. Marvellous to see how their pointy snouts have drilled down through the grassy surface, but a little annoying having to try and repair the damage! Only at certain times of the year though, and a small price to pay to feel so close to wildlife.

We have woods near us too. My wife’s young nephew and nieces love going there to make dens, and to see who can find the largest badger sett.

A Year in the Woods is this month’s Book Club selection, and the monthly holiday prize is from Forest Holidays. I have never really known the difference….until now!

Keep those woodland or forestry observations and comments coming…..

Last year my friend and I went on a badger watch deep in our woods as part of a group. Firstly we had a presentation all about the fascinating badger and then we walked deep into the woods in the hopes of seeing the badgers. We probably sat there for a good 90 mins, wrapped up warmly against the cold, before the first badger made its appearance and he was quickly followed by three or four more. It was absolutely fascinating. They darted about on the bank in front of us as they came out to feed. A most amazing evening was had by all. The only downside being that we got bitten to death by the mozzies as we stupidly forgot to put on insect repellent!

spectacular film so i think the book will be also although not read it yet

looks like a wonderful book…one arborebal tale i have is the councit brutally pollarded the one outside my window the other week…can’t lean out and touch its branches anymore :-(

Wakefield, West Yorks.

Welcome to the Silver Travel Book Club book of the month for November.

Colin Elford spends his days alone – alone but for the deer, the squirrels, the rabbits, the birds, and the many other creatures inhabiting the woods.

From the crisp cold of January, through the promise of spring and the heat of summer, and then into damp autumn and the chill winds of winter, we accompany the forest ranger as he goes about his work – stalking in the early morning darkness, putting an injured fallow buck out of its misery, watching stoats kill a hare, observing owls, and simply being a part of the outdoors.

Colin Elford immerses himself in the richly diverse and unique landscapes of Britain, existing in rhythm with natural environments. For fans of Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks, Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk or James Rebanks’ A Shepherd’s Life, Colin’s rare and uplifiting journey will unveil the true nature and beauty of Britain’s countryside

Thanks to Amazon for this summary of the Silver Travel Book Club’s title for November, which has been chosen to sit with this month’s holiday prize from partner Forest Holidays, as comfortably as a boy scout by the roaring camp fire.

We’d love to hear about something interesting you may have seen or experienced yourself in the depths of a forest. Join this Forum thread or communicate with us on social media, and the best two entries from Silver Travellers will win a copy of A Year in the Woods.

Happy reading and happy foraging.


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