The beautiful Speulder Forest in the Veluwe region of Holland is an enchanting
world of dancing beeches and melodious birdsong. So little light passes through the
dense canopy that virtually nothing grows on the forest floor, which is littered with six
inches of spent leaves, spiny beechnut husks and dead and down wood. An
occasional totem pole-like standing dead trunk is festooned with large shelf fungi
which are decomposing the wood. I hiked miles of idyllic trails there in early May,
when the delicate, membraneous bright spring-green leaves are just unfurling.