Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Fruit and nut (and some leaves too!) fall

Crunchy beech
It's a dangerous place these days - walking in the woods that is. You run the risk of either being caught in the line of fire of masses of acorns ready to surrender to the draw of the earth, or a shower of drying leaves that are destined to fall to provide the essential ammunition for earthworms and other recyclers of the forest trenches. It's a beautiful place now and even though I love summer, I love autumn best when it appears to us as it has done the last few days - mist-shrouded mornings followed by golden sunshine and leaf-kicking-perfect afternoons before red sky at night takes over just about teatime. 

It's back to walking every day now so no more just wishing I was out there. And there's a feast of colour to be found as reward - sloe and haw berries, acorns and chestnuts, and every shade of leaf on twig and branch and forest floor. Holly has developed a love of acorns so the walking is slowing down a bit as she snacks en route. Alannah is oblivious as she rides in the tight sling and buries her head in the warmth of mother or father's chest. I had to shield her head from unexpected acorn fire a few times - motherhood brings all sorts of new jobs and roles, some expected and most very unexpected! 

Time out from wandering the woods
We follow the same path most days - down the long oak lined avenue to Charleville Castle, off on a tangent to say hello to the majestic beech with abundance of crisp brown leaves carpeting our feet, up and over fallen ivy laden tumbled down pine trunks and then a sharp left turn before the crumbling gates of the castle, and then we tunnel uphill through infestuous (newly coined word for this blog) laurel that really shouldn't be there as it crowds all things of forest beauty out. And then, homeward bound we meander along the margins where oak and 'all sorts' forest meets barley fields and winter beet crops before we turn back onto the car-busy thoroughfare that links the outside world and the midlands small-town on whose edge we now live. 

We have an oasis of woodland and bark and leaf almost right outside our door - a paradise for otherwise housebound dogs that get loosed on weekends, a runners escape in all weathers, a kingdom of the acorn and sanctuary for newborn and new-become mother on sunny autumn days. 

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