into the wood

today there was a wind full of fine rain behind us on the beach, so we turned into the pinewoods rather than face back into it.


these old trees are up to their necks in sand dunes which may well predate their planting but seem to have risen around them.


but unlike most pine plantations the regimented rows of trees are broken up beyond recognition; there are little glades where storms have taken out individuals; grasses, undergrowth, reseeded younger trees and paths spread between the oldest giants.


they are home to a variety of wild creatures; some specialised, like crossbills.


the bristling shapes of trunks and branches darkened by the rain.


and trees uprooted by recent storms tangle with the survivors, blocking the way.


further back towards lady Anne’s drive there are birch woods too, inland from the main dune ridge.


we get a bit lost and emerge back onto the beach too early


the wind is still strong and bringing rain across the beach; there are white horses out to sea.


the clouds are soft and moving quickly, grey water-filled sky meets grey sea.


we turn and re-enter the wood; there is no real path, but a tangle of hillocks, trees and brambles.


and then the marshes with Holkham village and the Hall in the distance


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