after hail  showers, a wonderfully sunny afternoon. the light was flooding through the wood with no leaves to filter it.

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at the entrance budding leaves on a huge willow leaning in the embrace of an oak.

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in spite of the dry weather we have had for the past two weeks, the wood is still very wet, and the little bit of rain over the last couple of days sits on the surface.

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the wood is a very boggy place, full of ponds and ditches, and that is why it is left as a wood. many trees have fallen, I wonder if it is too wet for  trees to stay healthy. parts of it are just mud soup at the moment; the deer have been trooping about in it.

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other parts are high and dry. the beech wood of one and half trees is a special place with dry leaves crisp underfoot. something has been scratching the leaves up, perhaps the roe deer. last year I found saplings with bark rubbed off by the roebuck as he scraped the velvet off his new set of antlers.

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in another part there are spring flowers. violets are starting to come through.

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and primrose clumps, very pale delicate flowers compared to the robust specimens at full burst out in the lanes and hedgerows, form islanded carpets in one corner of the wood.

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there are a few hares around now. sadly last week there was a freshly killed one in the road, a beautiful large hare. we saw three yesterday, one was sunning itself in Cake’s Lane, I didn’t see it in time to prevent the dogs having a very exciting chase, luckily with two sets of hedges and the bridlepath itself dividing off down to Marsh Farm, they didn’t have a chance, it went into the field and out on the track , back towards me and then over the ditch into the field on the other side, and my dogs didn’t have a clue. these big strong over-wintered hares are more than a match for them. it is when there are leverets about that Tilda can do some damage and I am more wary of her spotting one then.