New Forest Ancient Trees.

My walk today heavily themed trees as the sap has risen and they are starting to spring back into life.

Conifers are our old faithful friends that continue to give us that splash of green every month of the year, but with the high winds starting to settle the forest floor beneath is scattered with cones. Some mature and woody, releasing seeds as they dry and open on the warming ground and new "flowering" cones have also been blown from the trees. Soft green flowery cones with a hint of cerise lived a short life before scattering the ground.

On leaving holiday hills inclosure, I follow the stream to the Roman bridge where I catch a flash of iridescent blue and orange of a kingfisher flying upstream before making my way into the ancient woodland where the beech trees take pride of place with their spralling limbs and thick girth created by pollarding in times gone by. Blackbirds and starlings used the safety of these "old ladies" limbs to nest and a quiet chip! Chipping! came from another nearby "old girl" as blue tits frantically flew in and out feeding their brood.

Passing through the underpass to Bank I was heading for my favourite tree in the forest. Off the beaten track with little known about this old man, I wandered though the untouched woodland of Gritnam and there he was, my old friend as impressive as ever. This old oak is always very welcoming with his fallen branch tucked alongside perfectly to take a seat and lean right into this old man with his gnarly limbs and sprouting whiskers, he's such a character protected in this little unknown woodland. Gosh he must have some stories to tell to the surrounding trees that stand in these woods less than half a lifetime of this old gent. The trees are interesting in this wood different types snuggling up to one another, or simply smothering and entwined in a passionate embrace.

A blackbird sang a beautiful melody as I sat in the safety of my old friend and sipped my coffee and deer were abundant among the woodland, I lost count at 36! The rain clouds started to bubble up in the skies so I said goodbye to the old chap and made my way back out of the woods and retraced my steps. I detoured back through the reptile centre and took advantage of time to view the pods as it is currently closed and the adders were out basking in the afternoon warmth before the rain hits. Heading back through the inclosure I started to quicken my step pass the Portuguese fireplace to my car just in time for the heavens to open.



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