Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year`s Sunlight on a New Forest Heath

After what seemed like weeks of rain, flooded lanes and grey skies, what a treat it was to wake up to sunshine on the first morning of 2013! We had spent a lovely New Years Eve with friends in the village, so it was mid morning before I emerged into the winter sunshine.

The New Forest heathland was no longer saturated with rain. Sandy soil with layers of gravel help even the worst of the floods to drain away quickly. The puddles below were all that was left of a rushing stream that carried water and debris down from the heath last week.

Early gorse flowers are beginning to bloom.

Mosses and lichens on tree bark and on bracken covered banks were still damp and shining in so many shades of green.

Down in the old hollow way, marked as a path on Victorian maps but now hardly used by human feet, is a bitter holly tree where the birds leave its berries alone. Every other holly in nearby hedges was stripped of this year`s meagre harvest before November. The bitter holly stays untouched, its scarlet berries beautiful against the morning`s  blue sky.

Moss on a wilding apple tree.........

A paddock gate........

Sweeping bare branches of oak and beech beside an ancient hedge and a ditch now littered  with coppery winter leaves.

Young silver birch trunks catching light......

....and feathery birch branches,  lit silver and deep maroon by the fleeting New Year sun.

Wishing a happy, healthy and positive 2013 to everyone who follows or visits "Beechmast" !


Mum said...

Such rich wintry colours.
It's still raining here.
Love from Mum

Anns Art said...

Happy New Year to you too. May 2013 be a good one for you, best wishes ann.

Down by the sea said...

It was so wonderful to see the sun appear yesterday. Your photos of the plants and habitiat of the New Forest are lovely, so nice to see the gorse in flower and the holly.
Thank you for your comment.
Sarah x

Kath said...

such lovely blue skies! I love the smell of gorse.
Happy new Year DW.

angryparsnip said...

Especially liked the Mosses and Lichens all that green. Not something I get to see often.
The paddock gate photo was my favorite. Very beautiful !
Happy New Year !

cheers, parsnip

Ragged Robin said...

Beautiful photos and lovely to see the colour of the gorse. Looks a wonderful walk. Happy New Year to you too :)

Em Parkinson said...

What a joy to see that blue sky - thank you. It's GREY yet again today so I am in your debt for a cheering view!

crafty cat corner said...

That's something I've learned through your post, Bitter Holly? I've never heard of that.
Why is that so? would love to know more, can't see anything about it on google.

rachel said...

And the same to you! Happy days ahead, I hope.

Rowan said...

What a lovely, uplifting post! Sunshine makes so much difference to the way you feel doesn't it? We're buried under a blanket of cloud here but there are still signs of spring about if you look for them - gorse in flower and hazel catkins among other things. Happy New Year!

Toffeeapple said...

Lovely, lovely images, isn't it good to see the sun?

Happy New Year to you.

WOL said...

Happy New Year to you, too. Love that last pix.