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Imbolc in the New Forest.

Yesterday afternoon I took a walk in the sunshine to honour the turning of the wheel, and it seemed nature was celebrating!

Horseshoe bottom is a favourite for happy dogs, and I found myself laughing out loud as they were so excitable and couldn't keep up with their legs as they teared down the hill with utter joy.

Heading up the hill on the otherside, I was almost warm enough to remove a layer, but I decided against it as I took a wander through the trees at Hinchenslea wood.

This is an interesting old woodland with a mix of conifer, pine and ancient broadleaves. It offers woodland ponds and undulating ground. I find something different here everytime I go.

A raven sat in a tree and watched me walk in no particular direction, as I had more of a sense of feeling my way to the next interesting find.

Eventually heading out of the woodland, back into the bright landscape and sapphire sky, it suddenly changed so drastically, from stoic old trees, silent, still and heavy. To soft swaying reeds and gentle glass-like water of the bog. Bog myrtle is budding and I balanced on the edge of the path in hope of spotting some early frogspawn in the shallows, but none to be seen.

Although, I'm glad I stopped because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have notice the roe deer foraging the waterlogged mire and the grey heron looking almost meditive in it stillness ready to strike.

Climbing up onto the old railway line, there were lots of people out making the most of the sunshine, but for a moment I was alone. Not physically, but it my finding. Being that much higher up on the disused line, I was at head height with some of the alders lining the bank, and starring back at me, happily sitting on a branch was a male kestrel. What a wonderful moment, as cyclists, dog walkers and horseriders passed, but nobody even saw this handsome fella sitting in his tree, nevermind have the moment we did when our eyes met and we passed the time of day.

When he decided to take flight, I stood and watched until he was out of sight then continued my walk with joy in my heart into Setthorns inclosure. Five fallow deer, led by a white one skipped across the path ahead of me and as I turned out of the campsite into the warm, sheltered inclosure I was joined by red admiral butterflies, robins and song thrushes.

Imbolc delivered on her promise of renewing, purifying and replenishment 🙏

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