Today I cleared my diary after a very busy few weeks just to take stock and re-energise. So I headed to the woods.
The forest is doing a slow and steady spring this year. The leaf bud opening is a gradual process rather than the spring burst of previous years, but this is nice. It makes me appreciate the slow awakening of spring and gives me time to take in the small detail.
Looking at the landscape as a whole it was peppered with yellows and lime greens of gorse flower and new tips of spruce while the rides were lined with flowering wood spurge, but slowing down there is so much more! Whites of a cloud of blackthorn flower and wild cherry showed their delicate blooms. While wood anemones embellished the ground beneath ancient trees and shared the woodland floor with purple violets and soft yellows of primrose.
Beneath the conifer trees southern wood ants were busily rebuilding their nest in the warm pockets of sun, but the warmth came and went as the strong breeze shifted the clouds through the sky. If I closed my eyes, the sound of the wind through the pine trees could have easily been mistaken for the ebb and the flow of the sea. Although the aroma of the woodland was very different to the sea, it was just as inviting to my senses. Then hearing the sound of calling goshawk quickly kicked me out of my moment of Imagining.
Heading out onto the open heath I was treated to a kestrel hovering above the heather. It must be such a task on a windy day!
But his presence was felt as it caused a commotion with larks who were nesting on the ground. I continued my walk across the open heath with wind on my face and distance calls from a cuckoo from one direction and a woodpecker in another before a red kite swooped into sight, throwing acrobatic moves into the sky and a buzzard watched on as it circled on the thermals high above. Ponies were minding their own business as they grazed the tracks and drinking from the ditches which were full of water crowsfoot.
So much to see by simply taking a lesson from the gradual awakening of spring and slowing down to notice things unfold.