Woodland on the cusp of spring – watching the seasons with children

Just on the horizon in the picture below, you can see the shadowy arch of our local woodland.  It takes around 20 minutes for us to walk there from our doorstep, across the fields.  We always try and spot the continuous changes in the landscape – which can be different every day.  We thought we’d share how everything looks now, just before spring, when everything suddenly bursts into life – and invite you to watch the seasons pass alongside us this year.

The hedge to the right will be full of blackberries at the end of the summer, when we collect them in colanders for jams and cakes.

Today’s lovely surprise was that the wild primroses are out and lining the forest paths.

Halfway through the woodland is an old bench – it signals picnic time.

Just beyond the bench we spotted these beautiful wood anemones …. and also a portly and gloriously scarlet pheasant, in full plumage, crossed the path in front of us (but at the sight of four really excited children, it scarpered before I could snap a photo).

This scene might look a little empty now, but in a few weeks, it will be a vivid carpet of bluebells.

The stream bed beneath this tiny bridge is dry at the moment, but at rainy times quickly fills up.  It leads to a little pond, criss-crossed by fallen trees, right in the centre of the wood.  Our seven year old is convinced he saw a Gruffalo there once.  You can just make out the clumps of green bluebell leaves, not long to wait now …

We returned with a small bag of fallen twigs, that we are going to use as support canes for our French Beans and baby sunflower plants.  That’s today’s task 🙂

36 Comments

  1. How delightful 😊 I too have woods and open space a short walk from where I live and bluebells will soon be appearing too. How lucky we are to live in this wonderful countryside.
    Lovely captures😊

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  2. We used to have about 40 acres of Australian native forest- woodland. It was beautiful. We were self sufficient in fire wood. I miss that a lot but we now have a lovely small river at the back of us along which we take a walk almost daily with our Jack Russell terrier who loves to chase the ducks.

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    1. Oh wow – that sounds idyllic. One of our childrens’ favourite things in winter, when the ground is too water-logged for us to be in the fields, is river walking in the forest. To have your own forest must have been amazing.

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    1. Thank you 🙂 I loved your baby blanket post – all of our little ones had one of those when they were born. We’d all take it in turns to put it under our pillows in the weeks leading up to the birth, so that when our newborn was wrapped in it for the first time, it smelt of family x

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  3. What a beautiful playground for your children! My husband always speaks fondly of the woods that used to grow behind his house when he was a child, and I’ve always been envious – I grew up in the suburbs, so the woods had to be in my imagination. (And I love the photo of the muddy boots! 🙂 )

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    1. Thank you! 🙂 The outtakes from that muddy boots photos are very funny (four little children munching carrot cake, crumbs and icing everywhere!) I love the forests but the one thing we don’t have here are mountains – and I love mountains, so we do have to travel a few hours north or west for that 🙂

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  4. I love a walk in the woods too. Just as you say, it changes every day and I mentioned this to my friend only today! We were walking the woods and I was excited to see the wild garlic getting taller and thicker with the scent in the air too. I seen small white flowers, similar to your wood anemones I think. I don’t know all the flower names yet. I can’t wait for the bluebells too. I look forward to seeing your woodlands change. What a wonderful adventure for your children :).

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    1. You’ll have to let me know when the wild garlic is out in Scotland- because then we’ll know it’s time to travel to Ilam in Derbyshire, where it grows along the riverbeds – I’ll try and dig a photo out… you’re right about the scent, you’d think that much garlic would be a bad thing, but it’s actually really pleasant – probably because to me it means that summer is on the way 🙂

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      1. No problem. I’ll be posting photos on my Instagram when it’s out in full bloom so I’ll tag you in the photo :). I love the smell too. Then when the bluebells arrive the air is really perfumed with both! Definitely no vampires in these woodlands lol 🙂

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  5. Such a lovely woodland. I like the way you can see beyond the present to when it will all be in bloom. There is nothing quite as wonderful as seeing through the eyes of children and sharing their wonder.

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    1. Thank you Robyn – I’ve loved looking through your blog at ideas for small gardens – which is perfect for us. We also moved from a much larger plot (in order to move further away from busy roads and closer to the fields forests.) The children have much keener eyes than me for spotting the tiniest of details that change, it’s lovely to walk in nature with them 🙂

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      1. Thank you for your kind words. Your life near that beautiful woodland sounds ideal for young children. As a grandmother I’m enjoying sharing a child’s perspective again. I think I appreciate it even more this time around. I’m looking forward to reading about it in your future blogs.

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  6. I like the look of your woodland life. I have just returned from walking our dog in the local woodland, on a lovely sunny afternoon.
    Thanks for following my blog, it is much appreciated.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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