Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Spring walk!

Once again I've been out in the woods. Although technically March does count as spring, the weather won't get to what most people think of as warm until mid-April. But despite this there's already lots to see.  I've put all the photos on my Flickr page, but here are some of my favourites:

My first discovery of the day! These otherworldly little creatures are baby ferns. Aren't they brilliant!  They are born from their seeds like this, all curled up small, and then as they grow taller they slowly unroll themselves and spread out their fronds like little alien invaders.
At first glance everything still appears dry and brown, but look down, and you'll see hundreds of green shoots breaking out through last year's leaf litter. There are whole new plants down there; brambles, tree shoots, grasses, flowers and ferns.  Jubilee Wood is a bluebell wood so under the shadow of the oak trees I found the first of this years bluebells scattered in the new grass. The little white ones beneath are wood anenomes, very pretty to look at but poisonous to eat.

And these tiny blue pin-pricks in the forest floor turned out to be violets!  I think they are Early Dog-Violets but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Now look up! Buds are forming on twig-ends, catkins dangling down and blossoms of blackthorn twisting up, new green branches growing out of the junctions of old trees, reaching for the summer sunlight that is just around the corner.

There are also animals and birds up there. I managed to sneak up on a squirrel until I was only a few metres away, before it saw me and shot up the tree like lightening. I also bumped into a robin as I rounded a corner, in the perfect spot for a photograph. Slowly I lifted the camera, got it in my sights, moved my finger onto the button... and the battery died. Nooo!!

Mosses and lichens are everywhere, and in so many different colours! During my route I found everything from thick grassy green through to lime green, turquoise and even orange. I love the sculptures of the woods, the bleached bones of last years fallen trees and upturned roots that become the basis for the green growing things of this year.

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