I visited the National Trust woods at Ashridge early yesterday morning and sketched this group of what I think were DofE award leaders at the cafe.
Thursday, 16 May 2019
Friday, 10 May 2019
Saturday, 4 May 2019
After a cold, wet and windy start to the weekend the weather improved enough to enjoy springtime for a day and a half at Croft Castle recently. I was probably a week or so too early to enjoy the full beauty of the bluebells and wild garlic. Bluebells were everywhere though and the gorse was in full bloom where it had colonised the areas of the woods cleared a few years ago. I wonder how the National Trust are going to keep the spread of brambles at bay? The walled garden looked beautiful with apple blossom, wisteria, clematis, tulips and lots of other flowers in bloom.
Flowers: opposite-leaved saxifrage, violet, wood anemone, gorse, bluebell, wild garlic, wood speedwell and others (I knew I should have made notes, I got distracted by the shear pleasure of being out on a walk).
Birds: coal tit, buzzard, nuthatch, robin, blackbird, wren, treecreeper, possible song thrush singing, greater spotted woodpecker, small tweety things, black cap, grey wagtail, chiffchaff, pigeon/crows and I am sure a few other things.
Distant hills, grey through the fine mist,
blend indistinguishably into the sky,
from where minute water droplets
land with a delicate tapping
upon windscreen and roof.
Dandelions closed, sunshine absent;
yellow broom and gorse tussling
in the gusting waves passing over hill and tree
as if with the chastising threat of a heavy hand.
Lambs bleat, wren, chiffchaff and blackbird,
delicate in the face of weather's dominion
that here, on the edge of the uplands,
more visibly asks for observance
and submission to its omnipotent power.
The darkening mist gradually dissolves
the uplands into silhouetted forms,
devoid of springtime colour.
Out of half opened window I gaze out
enjoying not being bound to time
nor the desires of the world.
Earlier, I looked at a hillside tree
on the other side of the valley -
our distance separated by the thickening mist.
Between us, an old landscape, quiet and still
belonging to the whims of nature and farming,
not degraded by the necessity of towns
or the warehouses of consumerism.
My tree is now lost to the darkness
and, in the beating rain drowning out the wind,
together we share the night and await the new day.