The joy of Autumn.
Gosh, don't sunny autumn days feed your soul!
Heading out with coffee and snacks I had a day to wander and it couldn't have been more perfect!
My first gift of the day was approaching a gate out of the inclosure to see 2 red stags lumber across the grassland. Not to disturb them I lent on the gate for a while with sun on my face and watched them pass and hop over the fence before I continued my walk. The grace had kind of gone out of their step coming to the end of the season, but looked in great shape and vigour!
As I continued on my walk, following the stream cutting right through the forest grey wagtails bounced on the waters edge and buzzards called and circled on the thermals. Heading back into the woodland the autumnal colours sparkling against the low sun was a delight! Long tailed tits politely chattered and flew between bough and branch tidying as they went while red admiral butterflies erupted into flight before landing on the warm path again ahead. My attention was drawn to a day calling tawny owl and as I stopped in my tracks to listen a fallow hind almost silently lead her fawn across my path before quickly disappearing into the patchwork of bracken.
I felt this was a good place to stop as it was on a quiet path and a log was perfectly placed in a sunny glade under a beech tree. I watched a Jay pick a sweet chestnut from a tree. Remove it from its spiky casing before taking flight with it. Squirrels were busy under the trees. I witnessed one pretend to bury a chestnut well aware he was being watched from above and then take off deeper into the woods with his prize. It wasn't long before I had well and truely sunk into nature and my surroundings and tuned into the sound of fallows rutting and barking nearby. While I took a sip of coffee a fallow buck caught my attention as he meandered across the track, followed by a hind and her fawn. They stopped and looked at me but seemed unfazed by my presence and continued on their way. While listening to the rutting deer, scrabbling squirrels and chattering crossbills a squirrel came dashing down a tree right in front of me. He stopped and looked at me then hopped onto the log I was sat on. It made me smile as he made a wickering noise as if he was trying to tell me something! When I headed off I left him a sweet chestnut on the log as a little thank you.
Now on the home run the freshly cut pine neatly stacked along the paths filled my senses with woodland joy! What a way to start the weekend (I celebrated with an ice cream back at the car park 😋🍦)
Enjoy the weekend folks, if you want to join me tomorrow for more woodland wanders there are still spaces 😁