Almanac: Leafy canopies, wild flowers and a woodland glade

A late afternoon in April. It is the hour of long shadows and changing light; the best time to see the hidden glade. A gentle breeze drifts across the farm fields as we make our way towards the woodland.

In comparison to the areas of ancient forest nearby, our local wood is small, only 30 hectares, but still feels big enough to enclose you. I could imagine myself utterly lost here, yet know that ten minutes’ walk towards any compass point will see me safely back to the fields.

The bluebells have blossomed. Amongst them pheasants roost and several times now one has startled and taken flight right beside us in a flap of feathers.

Wood anemones flourish closer to the main pathways, upturned to the sunlight as if they would catch every drop.

From the shadier corners of the woodland’s edge, red campions dazzle.

Never forget to look upwards. I remain fascinated by the silent language of trees, how the canopy allows all to get their share of light. The branches of one tree will strive not to touch those of another. Deciduous trees are companionable, they seem to be working together so that none are crowded out.

To the glade then. Throughout the colder months, the lofty branches shade a shallow mirror pool that reflects the leaves above. When spring comes, and the water drains away, it transforms into a rich glade of tufted grasses and wild flowers. This is my favourite time to visit, as the late afternoon sun shines down like a spotlight.

I concentrate on the birdsong, as the wind ripples through the oak, ash, wild cherry and hazel. I breathe in the greenness, then close my eyes to feel the warmth of the sun on my eyelids; forest bathing in the now-empty pool.

β€”Keep safe and well everyone. With heartfelt thanks to all those who are working to keep us safe, especially those on the frontline in the NHS and hospitals around the world.β€”

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66 Comments Add yours

  1. Springtime Beauty.

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  2. TanGental says:

    trees are spiffing, aren’t they? I ought to write a book ‘my life through trees’ because they’ve been a constant… lovely photos btw and aren’t the skies really blue? Even in Sarf London they are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You *need* to write that book, I’m sold on it by the title alone πŸ˜ƒ Glad you are getting a share of this lovely weather daan sowth x

      Like

  3. Liz says:

    I love your photos. I feel I am there with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Liz πŸ™‚ Being able to share the views with everyone after the walk is just lovely, I’m very glad you enjoyed the photos 🌿

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  4. Tara says:

    Your photos have made me very happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much Tara – I’m really glad πŸ™‚

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  5. Thank you for walking me through your English woodland. So beautiful… It’s too windy here today to walk anywhere, and we haven’t really had much good sun or sky yet this spring. So I got it vicariously. Lovely, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant – so glad you enjoyed the bluebells πŸ™‚ I hope you get your own blue skies and sunshine soon β˜€οΈ

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  6. I love looking up, too, through the canopy to the deep blue sky. Sure would like to see that patch of bluebells.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Laurie πŸ™‚ They are the best I’ve seen them in some years – I don’t know if it’s the weather or that only a few of us now live near enough to get there on foot within our exercise hour (due to quarantine restrictions) so they are not getting trampled as much. Either way – I’m in love with them and cannot keep away πŸ₯°

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  7. This reminds me of what I’m missing back the Illinois park where I used to walk all the time. It was a mixture of prairie and woodland, so I got to see quite a variety of plants, flowers, and trees. Now that we’re in the desert, I’m enjoying flowers on cacti. πŸ™‚ Thanks for a delightful walk.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much Janet πŸ™‚ I’ve never seen prairie or desert – but I’m an avid reader of lots of lovely USA blogs. It amazes me the variation in the landscape over there, all stunning in their own way πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you stop in to mine, you’ll now see desert whereas the years before were mainly from the Midwest (prairies, etc.) or the mountains. πŸ™‚

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        1. I loved the cactus photography – nothing like that grows naturally in the wild here, and your pics of the peacock flowers are amazing πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed them and that you stopped by.

            janet

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much πŸ™‚

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  8. nanacathy2 says:

    Nature’s healing balm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautifully put x

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    2. That is very true, I always feel refreshed and well after being in the woodlands πŸ™‚

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  9. ourcrossings says:

    Beautiful post and fantastic photos! There’s nothing better than finally seeing pops of colour everywhere 😊

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    1. Hi Aiva,hope you are having a lovely weekend x Thank you so much, and I completely agree – the brights colours are very, very welcome after a long winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. gillyflower says:

    Just gorgeous. Thank you for the uplifting tour!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for reading, I’m really glad you enjoyed the walk πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you very much, I am so glad you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A fine walk, beautifully photographed and described.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Derrick πŸ™‚ Hope you had a lovely weekend

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was good. Unfortunately Aaron injured himself yesterday and had to be treated at a local minor injuries unit. We broke the social distancing rule but he seemed better afterwards. Thanks very much, Tiny..

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        1. Hi Derrick, I am so late getting to my comments this week, as I’ve been out in the fields every day – I hope that means that Aaron is feeling much better by now, and I hope that you are having a lovely Sunday x

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks very much, Tiny. Aaron still has pain, but is much better now. X

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you very much Derrick – I’ve really been enjoying practising my photography during quarantine πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for the wonderful virtual stroll through all that beauty!

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  13. Dave G says:

    What stunning pics of beauty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much Dave πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautiful photos. Love the spring time flowers. Thanks for taking us along on your walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks SuZan! Hope you are keeping safe and well πŸ™‚

      Like

  15. Vicki says:

    Heavenly. What a lovely way to spend the day.

    Hope the children are all happy and well at home. You’re lucky to have some fields and woods nearby to let them run free and explore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Vicki, yes it’s all okay here – I think our two autistic sons think we have lost the plot a bit, with all the staying in – and we can’t explain it to them … but I am exceptionally lucky it is springtime, so we can go out in the fields (which are knee deep in muddy clay in winter). Hope all is going well with you xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Vicki says:

        All’s well with me as I’ve been pretty much housebound for the last 15 months since my hip OA got so much worse. I’m lucky in that my severe health conditions make me qualify for council assistance and supermarket home deliveries etc. Really, my life has changed little since the lockdown. I feel as though I’m, sort of……waiting for something to happen. My Canadian friend with severe health issues says the same. We are all just ‘waiting’.

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        1. Hello Vicki, I know what you mean about the feeling of “waiting” … I find it really strange to have so much going on out there, and not being able to go and do something about it. I’d normally be part of any community outreach, and instead I’m at home. I’m very glad to hear you are getting all the help you need and hope you do see some improvement soon xx

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  16. Leah Biernacki says:

    Beautiful photos! You’ve inspired me to take my camera along next time I go out.

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    1. Your photography is incredible – so I’ll look forward to seeing them πŸ™‚

      Like

  17. DrJunieper says:

    Just saw you visited my blog. Wow, you are up late at night:) Am Dutch and we have a son living in Holland, so I keep track of the times. Beautiful and so such peaceful scenes you chose to capture. Happy you logged on. Only was in London and Sussex, so I have not seen much of the country side of England. Sorry there are food shortages – hard on families. Hope we have seen the worst of this uncomfortable and difficult period. How in the world do you have time with two autistic boys to blog?? But maybe it’s for your peace of mind… in short, happy we can get to know each other this was!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello πŸ™‚ Yes, you’re right it was very late! My youngest is teething and while she falls into deep sleep after a wake I like to read blogs πŸ™‚ I initially started writing up our adventures for the children, so that our photos were in order and annotated … it sort of spiralled from there! πŸ˜€ I loved your writing and have followed 🌿

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  18. jmankowsky says:

    Beautiful post. I loved the way you described trees–they do work together and are calming to be around. Thanks for posting! I love these snippets of England. For me, You are right up there with Monty Don’s Hardened World, which is a highlight of my Mondays here in the States. 🌱🌻 Stay safe!- Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I love Gardener’s World too – here it’s on every Friday – I really appreciate the compliment 🌿 Although the quarantine has been tricky (especially with two of our children being autistic) – it has definitely made me appreciate what we have right here, just a few minute’s walk away, without needing to use the car. Thanks again, Julie, your comment was so kind x

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Beautiful photos and such poetic text. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much 🌿

      Like

  20. jmankowsky says:

    Haha..that would be “Gardeners World”….🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. πŸ˜€ Autocorrect always does things like that to me too x

      Like

  21. I have missed visiting our blue bell woods this Spring… So thank you for sharing those lovely photos… Loved your wonderful flow of narration as you took us step by step with you… So peaceful.. Thank you πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Sue, I actually thought the bluebells would be over, but yesterday found that the eastern side of the wood was newly carpeted, so we should get a few weeks more of bluebell spotting yet! Very glad you enjoyed the photos 🌿

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fantastic… Our woods are part of a Park and so closed, but I do have some in my garden… they are just about finishing now.. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We’re lucky that the deer park near us has ancient rights of way running through it, so although it’s technically closed, we can still walk through it πŸ™‚ 🌿

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Wonderful πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

  22. Marsha says:

    Beautiful descriptions both the writing and the pictures are lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marsha πŸ™‚ 🌿

      Liked by 1 person

  23. How lucky for you that spring arrived in April. We had spring snow storms every week in April and a hard freeze the first of May. Spring has been somewhat less than impressive after that frost but we’re getting there. I hope. Though early temps hovered around 6ΒΊC this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goodness that is really cold for May as I know it, I hope it gets warmer for you very soon. We had a sneaky late frost last night, but thankfully all the potato plants held up and I’ve been holding my nerve until the third week of May to plant anything else out πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s typical at our altitude. I never plant stuff until after the second week in May. We’ve had snow as late as May 17!

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        1. Eek! When does your summer end? It seems only fair that you should get a summer that lasts well into September if it starts late πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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