Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Down in the Wintery Beech Woods

Thursday was dry and cold, between days of rain and storms.
Late in the day, we walked along the valley and up towards the beech woods, through a small mixed wood where moss and silver bark shone in the afternoon light.

New foxglove leaves had emerged in sheltered places.

Deep green holly grew among bare trees.............

.....and the gold of lambs-tail hazel catkins, brightened high branches in the lane.

Across  valley pastures where ponies grazed, we could see heath and woodland of open Forest, on higher ground beyond.

Down the lane, into the beechwoods, were the two tall beeches that would have witnesses the old London coaches driving through, in centuries gone by. This is a winter view of my blog header photograph.

Beside the track, remains of felled or dying trees took on strange shapes.

Here is the "Man in the tree".

A whole, mature beech had fallen since we last walked here.

As we reached the track that winds uphill towards the next wood, we realised that Whisper Dog was tiring. Turning back, we found that the group of ponies by the wooden bridge had decided to follow.

These two were cropping fresh moss and grass beside a stream.

An afternoon of sun had brought out the woodland flies. The chestnut pony was bothered by ear flies and shook her head as she walked.

She and her companions followed us back to a junction in the paths and they turned away then, up towards the gorse thickets beside the marsh.

We left the steam and the beechwoods, making our way home with a tired old dog and all of us enjoying the last hour of cooling wintery sun.


crafty cat corner said...

Thanks for a lovely post, it took me back to when my son lived down that way and we used to visit and go walking in the forest.
Why had the Chestnut pony got a collar on?

ann @ studiohyde said...

That was an enjoyable walk. We are lucky to be having some nice sunny days...making the most of them whilst they last :)

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

How very beautiful! Love beech trees. Don't suppose you could make some of the pictures bigger? It would be a treat.

Mum said...

Magical - and I love the unusual shapes of the trees.
Love from Mum

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh for an afternoon as sunny as that DW - it has snowed all day up here - that awful wet slushy stuff that just makes one feel miserable. Your photos give me a hint of Spring.

Bovey Belle said...

The ponies are looking reasonably well for the end of winter. I enjoyed the scenes, and can't wait to make my re-acquaintance with them again soon! I shall have to pick some Sweet Gale to remind me of the Forest when I'm not there.

Beacee said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely photos!

Barbara x

Rustic Vintage Country said...

Such a lovely post and the Beech Trees are magnificent!

Em Parkinson said...

I love that little Dun pony and the funny tree man. Lovely photos - thank you!

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely to have the ponies as companions!

Morning's Minion said...

Much as we long for springtime the season of leafless trees offers interesting shapes. I often find myself standing in the dooryard gazing at the patterns of branches against the sky.
I'm remembering when we stayed for a number of months where horses were pastured in an area where I walked each morning--several of them became rather nosy companions.

Isabelle said...

All very lovely as usual. I would like to be a horse in the sunlight but wouldn't care to be in the wood at night, in the dark. But I don't expect the actual ponies mind!