Friday, 11 December 2009

The winter heath

We woke to a bright frost this morning, but by the time I had fed the animals and finished my morning jobs, the glistening white landscape had softened into the subdued browns and greens of a damp winter`s day. I climbed the far gate and crossed down into the valley. I was not out for long.
The side of this rounded hill was , until a few years ago, covered with dense, old gorse bushes. One evening, the Forestry men came and the hill was ablaze with fire. Controlled burning rids the heath of older gorse and heather, leaving a blackened landscape. In the last year or so, new heather plants and gorse have begun to grow once more. The hillside is now renewing itself with fresh green plants amongst the dry grasses of summer.

Soft lichen amidst heather on the heathland floor.

Across gorse, heath and bracken to the woods beyond.

When my old New Forest pony was alive, we would ride short distances around these hills and valleys. He liked to canter up and down this little dip and then we turned uphill on the track for home.

A bright orange fungus clinging to dead gorse.

This treeline was an ancient enclosure hedge of mixed beech , oak, holly and hazel which was left to grow and form a shelter belt for the animals in the fields beyond.


Bovey Belle said...

I know where your walk was from your photos - it's the one Keith and I did in the summer, only the other way round I think! Hope your sinus problem soon feels better.

Morning's Minion said...

What a nice walk. I like tracks and paths that follow old ways made by animals and people taking short cuts. At home we called anything in the pasture a "cow path." If it went through maple and beech it was a "woods road" or a "logging road."

matt6v33 said...

hello young lady,
i'm the new kid on this block! :) stopped by to say hello, and to to say your pics are so lovely, beauitful, God's awsome creation.. wow.. nice. look fwd in reading some of your "Food For Thoughts" and to learning from you, and yes too, appreciating that awsome God given talent u clearly possess!

Respectfully yours,