A Woodland Tale ...



For a long time now I have visited a nearby woodland - well, it's more of a copse really - a chestnut copse - an ancient chestnut copse, that was once worked by woodsmen who earned their living from the trees.  Now long  abandoned and left to its own devices inhabited only by creatures of the night.  A secret silent place, save for the soughing of the wind in the tree tops, the sound of the songbird and the sudden flapping of wings from a startled pigeon.
 


There are no trails or pathways to follow as I wind my way through the semi-darkness looking for the light.  Just me, alone with my thoughts, scrunching on dead leaves and  spikey chestnut husks; snapping dead twigs with each footstep.
 
 
A squirrel follows me from high above, racing along the gnarled and twisted limbs of the trees.  The woodland floor is lush with snagging brambles and nettles that sting my ankles and bluebells gone to seed.  Where the canopy is spare shafts of sunlight shine through and dapple  everything with spheres of light.
 
 


There are humps and hollows in the dry earth where the badgers have made their homes and come out to play as evening falls. Evidence of  rotten trees that fall in high winds, no one to hear them as they tumble and crash through the undergrowth. 
 
 
Out in the light bracken grows shoulder high  and saplings flourish - there is green of every hue, inviting you further in as you lose all sense of time and direction.
 
 



Making my way slowly to the edge of the wood I see a clearing with sheep grazing contentedly in the fields beyond - I blink in the bright daylight as I take in the patchwork of fields on the horizon. Such a bucolic sight and one that I hold dear.  I wander around a little more then make my way back to the road - the spell is broken - but this special place of quiet tranquility is  imprinted on my memory, till the next time I  feel the need to visit.
 
 

 

 
Elaine
 

 

Comments

  1. A beautiful post about a precious space, Elaine. You are truly fortunate to have somewhere like this to walk.

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    1. Thank you Sarah - it is certainly a very special place.

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  2. You have captured a timelessness and peaceful quality to your lonely wanderings in your local woodland which is lovely.
    I do like your pretty new header.

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    1. Thanks Rosemary. I wouldn't say I was lonely - just alone - all the better to absorb my surroundings without feeling the need to talk to a companion.

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  3. Your writing is beautiful, Elaine I could imagine every step you took in that special woodland place:)

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    1. Very kind of you to say Rosie - I wrote it all down as soon as I returned home so as not to forget any of it.

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  4. So very beautiful. You brought the peace of the woods to my heart tonight.

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    1. Thank you Sarah - so glad you enjoyed the post.

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  5. Ancient woodlands are very special places.

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    1. They certainly are - there is something mystical being amongst ancient trees.

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  6. Rambling with your camera what a great way to relax, nice one Elaine

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    1. My camera was working overtime - so many images to capture.

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  7. walking in woods, alone, with my child, or through others' words.... all bliss.

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    1. I agree with you Autumn - pure bliss.

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  8. I especially like the photograph of the twisted and gnarled tree trunk. I love to see interesting shapes of the trees

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    1. That particular tree looked as though it had been through a lot - if only they could speak.

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  9. You made beautiful photos on your magical lonely walk in the woodlands. By the way did you ever see living badgers in the evening? I only saw dead badgers along the roadside. I love your writings very much.

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    1. Thank you Janneke for your kind comment. All too often you see badgers having been run over by cars but I have seen one in the evening only once when I was walking our dog - a long time ago now though. There are plenty of badger setts around the village and they come into the garden when we are asleep and dig holes in my vegetable beds.

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  10. There must be mushrooms (Cepes) in that chestnut wood. Beautiful.

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    1. I don't know about that Cro - but there are plenty of chestnuts.

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  11. I can imagine druids walking there many years ago.............such a beautiful place, secret and magical.
    You capture it well Elaine, I wish I could have walked there with you, enchanting.

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    1. Now that would be a sight to see - but as there is no official opening (you have to push through hedges and brambles to get in there) I don't think they would have managed it in their long robes, it also goes quite steeply downhill towards the canal. I think it is a private wood and I may possibly be trespassing - but no one has seen me off yet. Let's hope it stays that way for my future visits.

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  12. Druids and hobbits, too, I would think. And your narrative is just as enchanting.

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    1. Thank you Ann. The pictures do make it look like something from Middle Earth now you come to mention it.

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  13. Wonderful pictures. I have to say that I'm not that keen on woods, and prefer open spaces. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty. It can be a little spooky being surrounded by trees but I don't let that put me off.

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  14. I too have spent many a day ambling through the woods. Love all the things I find. If I were to do this time of year though, the ticks would be carrying me along the way. I have to keep to my ATV in spring and summer. What a beautiful header photo.

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    1. Thanks Donna - the header photo was taken at a country park last year by my husband under my instruction as he has a better camera than me. Not sure what an ATV is?

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  15. Amei conhecer o seu blog, já fiquei por aqui!!!Achei maravilhoso!!!
    Visite-me:http://algodaotaodoce.blogspot.com.br/
    Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!

    Obrigada.

    Beijos Marie.

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    1. Obrigado por visitar e deixar um comentário - bem-vindo ao meu blog

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  16. What a wonderful wilderness, I especially loved the pics 4,5 and six! You weren't alone with your thoughts though, I was right there walking with you! What a delicious post, you have me yearning for a wood to explore! If I lived there I would be out in the night hoping to catch sight of a badger! xxx

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    1. Thanks Snowbird - glad you enjoyed the post - it is a very special place that I am sure not many people, if any, know about - they just whizz past in their cars without realising what wonders lie just off the road.

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  17. Beautiful and mysterious Elaine. On a much smaller level, we have a bit of a woodland area at the bottom of our garden and, every time I'm there, that sudden flapping of the pigeons wings always startles me!!
    Once again, your photographs are brilliant. XXXX

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    1. Thanks Jackie. How lovely to have your own bit of woodland - and I agree, it doesn't take much to startle a pigeon they always make me jump - stupid birds.

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    2. I think that I might have misled you re the bottom of our garden !!!!!! It's just about 3 very large silver birch trees, an old pear tree,a weeping silver birch and, because of them, we have planted ferns and hostas and ivy grows there plus a large vibernum !! Not quite woodland but a little representation of one !! …… and, those fat, waddling pigeons love it !! haha. XXXX

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  18. What a wonderful description in words and pictures!!!! xx

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    1. Thanks very much Amy - glad you enjoyed it.

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  19. Utterly enchanting! I was right there with you on your walk. So lovely to escape into such beauty and be observant of so much. Thank you for the virtual walk.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment CD - it is a special place and I too enjoyed every moment of it.

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  20. Such beautiful writing my friend and such a gorgeous place! It reminds me of a little woods I played in as a child!! The way the light dances in your photos says it all!! Wishing you all the best in your start to the weekend! Nicole xo

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    1. Thank you Nicole. I loved the dappled sunlight through the trees - woodlands are very special places. I hope you enjoy your weekend too.

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  21. There is a magical, mystical feel to al of your beautiful shots. I'm there with you, carefully walking through the edge of the bed of ferns...clicking, dreaming...it's beautiful.

    Jen

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    1. Thank you Jen - I enjoyed every minute of walking through the woods - my camera was in overdrive. ha!

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  23. Lovely pictures. There is something immensely calming about being in woodland isn't there.

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    1. Thanks Su. I did find it calming - just being there in amongst all the trees is a magical experience.

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  24. it sounds like a very spiritual place, Elaine. Have a lovely weekend x

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    1. Very spiritual - you can't quite put your finger on it, you can just feel it. Have a lovely weekend yourself Ann.

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  25. Copse's can be so lovely and peaceful ... I like the way the light reflects through in certain of your pictures too.

    Peaceful

    Have a good weekend

    All the best Jan

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  27. There is nothing like a walk in the woods to restore one's spirit. I always enjoy standing on the edge of the forest looking out on a meadow. So beautiful dear.

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    1. Thank you Debbie - I have to say I love woodlands - very special places.

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