another early morning walk, in hot sunshine. a few days warmth and the oaks are bursting their buds. the old saying “oak before the ash, expect a splash, ash before the oak, expect a soak” has never been truthful as far as I can make out. whatever kind of summer we have, the oak regularly gets its leaves out before the ash tree.


this magificent tree which bars the track to the wood was very beautiful in its autumn colours.


I had a lovely encounter this morning. a roe doe was in the wood. she obviously felt that the new foliage protected her, although we were quite close she didn’t go far in on the first sighting, when she was only a yard or two inside. then as we came round the corner to the side of the wood she moved a little further in. she was so quiet the dogs (on the lead) had no idea she was there. I peered in amongst the tree trunks, and there she was, peering back at me. we looked at each other for about a minute, I got up on the bank to get a better view. she wasn’t happy about that, barked a few times, stamped her foot, then took one bound away, looked back and barked again. this gave Tilda more of a clue of what was going on, and I thought it was time to leave the deer in peace. there was no chance of a photo, she was almost hidden, and her winter dark grey-brown is good camouflage. new roe prints in the mud over the track of my trainers.


I saw a hare this morning too, on the beet, where I saw four yesterday. I hope they aren’t eating the new seedlings.


here are red campion. despite my best efforts you will have to imagine them a really dark pink.

its interesting to see the trees pushing out their new foliage. hornbeam with its flowers too, the male catkins and then female flowers dangling off the twigs.


sycamore, the foreigner and weed tree – although I have seen some wonderful specimens in Devon – its leaf buds exploding into star shaped clusters.


the green filmy veil of new leaves is changing the landscape very quickly. this is a distant view of the anemone wood. and cowparsley! summer is almost here. I haven’t heard a cuckoo or seen a swallow yet .. they are late this year. soon there will be bluebells too.