I’ll be in England this week, raising money for two startups and getting the miniature office / pied-à-terre finally established near Cambridge. Before leaving, though, there was an opportunity for an excursion down in the Ardennes on Sunday, hiking the Belgian hills.
It was a fun time, despite the occasional rain and near-winter temperatures. Last week’s spring sun had brought out the leaves, which curiously start budding at the forest floor and work their way upwards over a couple of weeks. The scent of wet new growth permeates the woods; the colours are brilliant when the light comes out.
Only the wildlife was missing. The creek runs red from iron in the soil, preventing fish from taking hold. There are deer hidden away, but no bears to balance the ecology? A fair amount of logging has been going on, so there’s little old growth left. Nonetheless, it seems like there should be more animals beyond the occasional insect.
At the end of the trail, there was a traditional Belgian camp-restaurant, serving good country food and large glasses of beer. We’d also brought along a bit of tobac that was probably older than most of the trees; it was best for finding that none of us had the constitution for smoking any more.