I love this walk at this time of year. The heather is more of a hue as it is imminent to flower and the woodland is full of greens, seeds, nuts and fruits in this time of abundance.
Heading down through the conifers of Highland water, the sweet scent of pine filled the air in the damp woodland. Raindrops weighed heavy on the branch tips from the heavy shower that I seemed to miss before my walk. I was joined by nuthatch calls and wrens speeding across the path on the wing before disappearing into the undergrowth the otherside.
I crossed the bridge over Bagshot gutter and admired the twisted oak. Bare from leaves as it is over shadowed by taller trees. As I stood and admired his contorted structure, I was trying to think when was the last time I stood within his roots? Certainly not this year.
But I continued my walk in anticipation of seeing my old and stoic friends. A little further along the track, there they stood. As impressive as always. The two ancient beech trees that stand together on the edge of the path. I stopped to reacquaint myself with these majestic queen's. Running my hands through the moss and then leaning on one to look at the other then vice versa. They fill my heart with joy and sheltered me for a while from the sharp shower, but their embracing boughs kept me perfectly dry.
As I step between these two beech trees it always makes me feel like I am stepping into the world of the elementals, but I suppose I am on the edge of puckpits enclosure, so with a little imagination I could be stepping into the world of fairies and pixies.
Reaching the top of the gentle rise is another tree, I love to stop by. This oak tree has adapted to survive as it almost lays down, propped up on its elbows to admire the view across to Withybed.
A stone in the shape of a heart sat on one of his boughs and I like to think it was left there from a woodland folk.
Taking my attention from the trees to far fetched views I start to cross Murrays passage. It is alive with the sound of grasshoppers and stonechats and the darkening sky added to the colourful landscape. Ponies roamed through the heather in the distance and the atmosphere started to become heavy and humid, but by the time I had taken the short walk across the passage to Fox pond, the sun had reappeared.
Turning across the puddled heath towards Stonard wood the clouds closed in once more and I found myself sheltering again under the ancient boughs. The rain is heavy out on the heath but I am well protected once again by the welcoming trees. The rain passed and the sun appeared, as did I from the woods to enjoy a wander down Hart Hill with a bounce in my step and butterflies fluttering out of the rides. I stopped at the bench to admire the views across Acres Down before heading into Puckpits (with a slightly damp bum from my moment of rest.)
The sun dancing through the trees, could be mistaken for pucks and fae along with the flit of dragonflies before walking back out into stonard wood where a pony pound stands near ancient trees who boast etchings and Mystical vibes.
I retrace my steps back to the car and step back through the gap between the ancient beech trees and back into the realms of this world. What a beautiful day for a magical walk. You can join me in this Mystical world on Saturday at the withybed walk.