Certain weather conditions today (the almost perpetually pluvial) prevented play but a few days ago on a short trog I noticed a few signs of life that caught my eye .
<<< This apple tree just bursting into bud by Grannies old place, sadly with no other apple trees around it the flowers will not pollinate, so no fruit is ever produced from this lovely, but lonely old dear.
On yet another type of wood, a lonely beech tree stands decaying away, but is obviously often visited by local birds. We have hundreds of green woodpeckers around here and later on in the year it can sound as if riveters in some shipyard are hammering away, it really gets quite noisy as they sharpen their beaks trying to make suitable nesting holes in old decaying trunks of trees. They are not fussy as to tree type, I see these holes in beech, pine and oak. The sound of them flying in groups across the valley floor is quite something. And ... on the subject of birds, I saw the first swallows here three days ago, they are early this year.
<<< Signs of another adventurer and the first time I have ever seen this, and I guess it is a badger. It was just after rain had washed the path clear and there were no other signs of human or dog prints apart from ours. Also it crossed over the track from the pine woods, not along it, towards the farmers pasture, so ... something to look out for during future ambles around this area. This is mixed wood of pine and beech, the latter only just producing their first tiny spring buds, so it still looks rather bare.
The beech trees looked skeletal against the sky with their roots in a thick carpet of last years shed leaves. something that the daft dog just loves to dive into, deeply scenting the smells that lie underneath. Sadly at the moment they are somewhat soggy and clingy, but when they are dry I also love kicking through them when that particularly unique scent of autumn drifts on the air. They also provide a sheltering damp layer for new growth to survive and thrive in a protected nursery of leaf litter ... but, with the freely wandering sheep, the chances of survival are small.