Thursday, November 10, 2011

A moot point...

(Click photos to view larger)

The path around Bissetts Pond
South River, NJ

Lately I’ve been spending some of my free time hiking in a wooded area near home trying to capture some autumn color and just enjoying what so many of us often fail to notice…..mushrooms, beaver activity or a lone deer if you’re lucky, perfect acorns, sunlight filtering through the trees, peace and quiet….you get the picture.

Pine needs of gold and green sparkle in the sun.

After reading the information the ranger provided for hikers, I realized I’ve been referring to the area as the ‘woods’ when, in fact, it’s noted as a ‘forest.’  This realization caused me to start questioning what is a ‘woods’ and what is a ‘forest.’  After looking it up on the Internet (Wow, remember encyclopedias!) I came up with about a half dozen different answers and finally considered it a moot point.  But, is it?

Golden leaves catch a spot of sun through the surrounding tall trees.

 When I think of ‘forest,’ I think of Robin Hood and Maid Marian, Bambi, The Black Forest, and that saying ‘You can’t see the forest for the trees.’  Mention the word ‘woods’ and I immediately have visions of Hansel & Gretel and the old witch, Red Riding Hood and the big bad wolf (the same guy that demolished the pigs’ houses), full moons and bats, and some mother shaking her finger at her child, admonishing him not to go into the ‘woods.’  I must confess, walking through the forest alone, I did have an inkling of these ‘woods’ visions for just a moment.

The back of a dying leaf shows
like a topical roadmap.

So maybe it is a moot point.  After all, whether you walk through the forest or the woods, you can still have the same thoughts, still have the same imaginations and still get the same results – beautiful surroundings and peace and quiet.  And if our paths should cross during your next hike, you’ll know me because I’ll be wearing a red hood and looking for Robin Hood.  Oh, I so hope Maid Marian is not around that day!
Silver grass along the shore of the pond.


  1. Yay this is funny because it is only here in the US that I refer the forest as woods. In the Philippines we learn forest as forest and not woods, wood is the one that we put on fire, lol! Wish I could come with you and we both look for Robin Hood in the woods or forest ^_^ Happy Friday!

  2. I think the area around us is 'woods' but I affectionately call it 'the forest'!


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