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Walking the golden hour in the New Forest

Out for my weekly stroll with my buddy (and photographer) Roz Tucker, neither of us realised at the start what a special evening this would be.

There was no one, not a soul on this beautiful evening as we headed along the dry and dusty inclosure track but the rides are peppered with wild flowers such as vetch, birds foot trefoil, sneezewort, hedge nettle and dwarf gorse. There was "abuzz" of bees, butterflies and soldier beetles as we walked amongst the canopies and fruit bearing brambles.

Dried leaves of beech, oak and chestnut showered us in the arid woodland and leaving the sound of creaking boughs and scampering squirrels behind we set out along the heathland We had stepped into the "golden hour" that time just before sunset when the light turns everything to gold that it touches.

The birds were still active amongst the heather stonechats with their clattering call, meadow pipits chirping and gliding the top of the foliage while larks called before diving into the heather.

To our delight we noticed an emperor moth caterpillar on the path. I lost Roz for a moment in her amazement as she snapped it from every possible angle before gently removing it from the path into safety.

Too nice an evening to miss the imminent sunset we made the short trip to Stoney Cross to see the best of it as the clouds turned pink

but amongst the activities of playing children, evening walkers and the nearby campsite a herd of fallow bucks rested. Roz didn't know which way to point her camera, but I think it proves she got the best of both!

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