Looking back over the last month, it seems amazing that I actually walked 125 miles despite being unable to do very long walks because of my ankle. For the most part, the walks have been shorter and more local but there have just been more of them 🙂 ! I have also cycled the best part of 100 miles so January has been a really good month considering some of the weather we have had.
These pictures were taken on one of those shorter walks that took in a lovely area of woodlands. Now the woodlands might seem bare in winter but they are nonetheless beautiful for that, and if you ever think about taking up bird watching for the first time, this is the season to do it because with no foliage to get in the way, the birds are much easier to spot.
The forest floor was filled with ferns bearing their winter dress and glowing russet in the winter sunshine. It is such an attractive colour, especially when set off against those bare upright trunks that might seem to some like prison bars. Not to me though; this woodland is no prison. It has an open and spacious feel to it and the branches form a tracery almost akin to a stained glass window especially with sunlit treetops and blue sky peeping through from the background. This is nature’s cathedral and there is none better.
In amongst the ferns, the overnight frost still lingers, remaining untouched by the sun despite this late hour. The air is crisp and the day has a bite that nips at fingers and nose……fortunately not toes, they are warm inside boots – it is a day for wrapping up well.
Today, there is evidence of man’s intervention in the form of a log pile that catches the late sun. If those logs are not carried away, they will form a home for all manner of bugs before long. Strangely, it feels like an intrusion though, as if someone else has ‘trespassed’ on my space.
There is always a lonely feel about the winter woodlands but it is not a negative feeling, just a pleasant and comfortable feeling of isolation among the trees. And it is a feeling that for me is always accompanied by a sense of belonging. The trees and I are kindred spirits, both created by the same hand and both on this earth for but a short time. We are partners for these moments as I make my way onwards feeling like a guest who has visited them in their homes. This is their place but mine as well for just a short time.
In fact, I am not entirely alone as I share this space with a couple of deer who have also come to visit. Theirs is cut short though when they spot me and make off as they usually do. If they were people, I might be offended……but I’m not. I am contented and at peace and alone apart from my friends, the trees.
As I leave my woodland cathedral, I look back one last time and reflect that in just a short few months, that russet coloured carpet will be replaced by a brand new blue one when spring makes its appearance. I promise myself, and the trees, that I will return again then.
Thanks for stopping by.
Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler
If you would like to contact me, my email address is terry.yarrow@– comments and feedback are always welcomed.
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