the woods at Holt Lowes are a good place to walk on a windy day,  pine plantations shelter the heath and birchwoods from the west and south, while the hillocky landscape protects the walker from the worst of the weather.

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the bracken has been mostly beaten down by successive storms, and the sodden russet fronds lie about amongst fallen leaves from the oaks and silver birch. a few leaves are still clinging on doggedly, despite the twenty to thirty mile an hour winds we have been experiencing.

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in Bale we seemed to experience some kind of mini tornado in our road on Monday afternoon – bits of branch were torn from the holme oaks and pine trees near the church, my dustbins were felled in the first blast, lights flickered – yet no damage seemed to have been inflicted anywhere else.

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today in the sheltered little hills and vales of the Lowes the low slanting sunlight dazzled, illuminating the remaining oak leaves and the silver birch trunks. I was looking for fly agaric, one superb specimen had caught my eye on previous walks, but it had disappeared, no doubt melted down by rain, or kicked away by cows.

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bright light unfiltered by the leaves of the canopy exposes details of the wood which go unnoticed at other times of the year. the trunks of the older birch are marvelously furrowed and covered in bright copper green lichens.

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in the pine plantation all is dark and mysterious with shafts of light piercing the gloom and reminding one of dim cathedrals.

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T disappears from view as she makes the rounds of the wood; S sticks to me, he is never very adventurous.

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when T gets the wind up her tail she finds us much too slow, especially if I have the camera.

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carpets of leaves everywhere; a beautiful sight and sensation as one walks through them between the newly stripped structure of trunk and branch and twig, each with its own delicate or muscular graphic patterning, according to its species.

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