Out on a recce for Saturday's coming walk. Perfect walking weather, warm with a light breeze and apparently perfect butterfly weather too. The heath and grassland was "all of a flutter" brimstone, large white, peacock, gatekeeper and silver washed fritillary to name a few!
The landscape is green and lush but peppered with purples and pinks from the newly flowering thistles and heather. The clock has definitely turned to the season of Lammas as trees are starting to laden their branches with fruit.
Heading away from the grassland and into the mixed woodland, the tones and textures of the trees were a joy for the eyes only being distracted by a heron gliding over the canopy. It wasn't long before I could see where he was heading as I wandered up the hill out of the woods and past Cadnams pool. There he was in all his glory and stealth-like waiting for his lunch to pass in the water. Mumma drake was sunning herself with the children on the edge of the pool until some over enthusiastic feeders came along and they took to the water in a commotion of quacking and flapping! (Pleased to see they were feeding bird seed and not bread 😁) They soon forgave the disturbance as they about turned and frantically feed the offerings.
As I continued to the old aerodrome it was getting warmer and the ponies and donkeys were taking to the cover of the trees. A red kite flew high and low over the grassland and the resident kestrel was in his usual spot. It's hard to think how different this place was 100 years ago and how quickly Mother Nature has taken it back.
Cutting through the campsite, the donkeys have taken up residence outside a tent and seeing children going to collect water and playing frisbee reminded me of my childhood holidays. Out of the campsite and dropping down into the ancient woodland a roe buck foraged undisturbed by my passing. Sadly some more old trees have been lost here in the recent high winds but the really old trees standing full of pride and wisdom still guard these woods.
If you want to join me for this walk, check out the events page.