Sunny highlights of The New Forest.
Walking out this afternoon could have been mistaken for a completely different day from this morning. Once the rain stopped and the clouds parted it was all about the dazzling sun pushing through the canopy and lighting up my path. As I passed through the forest the ground was soft enough to spot the deer tracks and to keep my steps quiet allowing me to hear every blue tit conversation, every vole rustle through the scrub and every scamper up the trees by squirrels. The sun highlighted ancient boughs and fractual shapes of the bracken while speedwell and st John's wort turned their faces to bask in the sun and the glistening light seemed to make foxgloves shimmer their bells.
Heading out into the open grassland and heath, the sun was strong and made my steps a little heavier, but I was soon distracted by the ponies looking in top condition as the graze in their herds and the low flutterings of silver studded blue butterflies across the heather.
Turning back into the ancient, untouched woodland was a relief from the heat of the afternoon and took a moment to rest on a tree. I went unnoticed as a muntjac wandered though the dappled glades and speckled wood butterflies danced on the rays. A buzzard sat in a tree nearby. He knew I was there as we shared glances.
As I set back on my path, I caught a quick photo of a small emerald moth resting on the ground. The contrasting colours of this light green moth against the forest floor was pleasing, it quickly took flight and straight into the path of a hungry chaffinch! A pair of bullfinches accompanied me out of the woods flying from branch to bough along my path. Heading back out into the afternoon sun, it bounced off the shallow flowing water of the brook and iridescent beautiful demoiselle damselflies flitted and skipped upstream (and could easily be mistaken for fairies) on the shimmering water. I sat and watched them for a while before heading home for a glass of something cold! 😉