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Sun-baked new forest

What a stunning early walk.

The mist was delicately laying like a blanket above the purple hue of heather and dare I say, almost a chill on my bare arms as the sun rose over the horizon.

Walking into the rising sun everything became a silhouette but there was no mistaking the frolicking of foals making the most of the coolness and grazing fallow bucks with impressive crowns! Cows gently murmured amongst their herd and stonechats were setting up territory for the day. I stopped to admire a moth nursery which had consumed a gorse branch in its silk as the animals were "doing their chores" before the heat of the day.

Now walking with the sun behind me I could start to see the details again and found myself tip-toeing quietly in the search of reptiles as the landscape started to warm, but I was distracted by the beauty of the heather edged by flowering dwarf gorse and the patchwork colours of golden, brown and green bracken creating depth to the landscape where a roe buck safely foraged.

I stepped off the dusty track just to see in hope if there was water in the stream, there was.... but not flowing, it is just muddy pools where a heron hung out in desperation of a snack and a quick flash of a kingfisher as he continued his mission upstream.

From a dry landscape, stepping into the ancient trees seemed so green and enticing. I greeted the mares who were hanging out there and apologised to the trees for a lack of water for their roots while standing amongst their beauty for a moment before returning to the sun-baked heath for a short walk back to the car where people were heading out for a (normal) early morning walk at 7.30am.

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