Walking onto the path what struck me immediately was how the space felt more natural than Johnson Woods. This was apparent immediately as my boots sank into the soft ground. It was easy to tell that this area had been waterlogged from all the rain and melting snow. It was interesting to hear about how this wet environment was harming the ecosystem, because the dampness indicated that it was in a lower area. This lower area meant that run off from local farms was bringing pesticides, thus harming the chemistry the poison sumac was thriving as the chemicals were ones that helped nurious them, thus letting them grow rampant throughout the bog. But I digress from my main point. 

The mud underneath my feet was darker than I expected. Traditionally I am used to seeing the substance a slippery light brown color; however, this time what is stuck to my boots was dark brown almost black. Yet I knew that it was more than just having the feel of mud underneath my feet. Looking forward I realized what it was. At Johnson Woods the boardwalk looked so permanent as benches were fitted onto specific areas and seemed to anchor the boardwalk to the space. It also was how perfect it seemed, like people had spent many months planning and changing what the final boardwalk was going to look like. This board walk seemed like a group of volunteers that had maybe spent a weekend planning and building these boards. By having this man made objects feel impermanent it made the space feel more natural to me, thus these woods felt more natural than Johnson Woods.

Coming Back Into Society (The Village)

Though Thoreau speaks to his connection to nature and makes it clear that he prefers the solitude of the woods to the busy village, in this section of Walden Thoreau also touches on this idea of the need to go back into society for specific things. At the beginning of the section he speaks about coming back into the village to both hear and stir the gossip happening in the city. To me this speaks to the idea of how I like to enter into nature for an afternoon, maybe a few weeks, but not for much longer. I have not had the opportunity to go for longer; however, I feel that even though I love nature I would feel so disconnected with my various communities if I left to go into nature for much longer. Even if someone does not like society I feel that it is still human nature to want to enter back into society at some moments, even if it is just to hear some simple gossip. 

Later on in the section Thoreau also talks about his more physical needs, as he mentions needing to go back into town to pick up shoes from a cobbler. He later gets arrested, and speaks to not liking the village again; however, the village still provides him with something. Thoreau could not make shoes in the woods, and this need drives him out of the woods towards the village. No matter how self-sufficient someone wants to be in nature the needs that society has instilled within us have made it.

A Walk Through the Johnson Woods

The sky appears to be engulfed in darkness as the starlings swirl around. One moment it is beautiful as the birds weave a pattern across the sky; however, just moments later that same delicate pattern disappears, replaced by a wall of pure, suffocating black. This was the balancing act that seemed to be constantly occurring in Johnson Woods as often nature would not always be what it seemed and permanency was just an illusion. The starlings themselves showed this as even though they are birds found in nature, they are not supposed to be in this area. This means that they are an invasive species. 

Like the starlings changing patterns in the sky the woods would also transform, not as fast, but at just a wide scale. Today we saw Johnson woods in winter. The trees like skeletons as we walked through the woods enabled us to truly see everything that was happening, even the distant cars. The reminder of humans was strange, but walking along the boardwalk was just another reminder. The boardwalk may have destroyed any chance of plant growth in that area; however, it is important to note how it protects both the vegetation that is growing and will grow. The path forces a specific route for people to take, which enables the wild life beyond to keep thriving. As I walked along that path I was happy to be able to take a walk through the woods. As without the path some of the wet areas would have been impossible to go through in my Vans.