This was going to be a post about a family trip to the Enchanted Forest, the light show in the FCS forests at Fascally near Pitlochry. However I didn’t anticipate the demand for tickets and, by the time I got around to booking, there were none left.
Our enthusiasm for an evening in the woods was undiminished by missing out on tickets so we decided to hold our own Enchanted Forest experience in the woods near Blair Athol. It may not have had the 600w floodlights, the artists, the lighting designers, and Creative Scotland funding, but I am sure it was a close approximation.
We entered the woodlands fringing the Tilt through a gap in the wall and wandered down an avenue of beech trees. Everything seemed changed in the light of our three small torches. We shone our lights onto tree bark and lichen, lit the small tumbling waterfalls of the tilt and looked up at the canopy of beech leaves. All looked different, strange, especially when the children started making hand shadow wolves and giant emus on the canopy above.
Motes of dust and the odd falling leaf shone white in the beam of our torches and, surprisingly for a chill October night, mosquito-like insects and the odd moth fluttered around. We tried to attract a moth in by shining our lights onto a patch of bright, reflective lichen on a tree trunk.
We sat on a bench, switched off the torches and watched as a lone car passing along the nearby country lane sent shadows skidding through the woodland. The 11year-old made us listen in the dark to the woodland’s sounds.
Heading for home a giant Gruffalo shadow rose out of the path ahead. The 9 year-old’s woolly moose hat was caught in the beams of our torches. Inspired, we played with creating scary shadows for a bit and then retreated back to base for cake and hot drinks.
We’ll keep Enchanted Forest on the to-do list for another year, but I can’t imagine that it could be any better than this. Could it?