As the weather gets warmer and drier during spring and the countryside begins to bloom, I always like to set myself the goal of getting out into it as much as possible. I like to use these countryside walks as a way to calm my own mind and escape the stresses of modern day-to-day life. In particular, I am always drawn back to the woodlands and forests, with the tranquillity they breath to me. Growing up in Dorset I have always been able to disappear into the trees and appreciate such a habitat at any time of year.
In celebration of my love of the woods, especially during springtime, over April and May this year, I made 4 visits to one of my local ones to observe it as the season changed. On these trips I sat and wrote down my experience on my favourite log (see photo above), and took lots of photos with my new DSLR camera whilst walking through the woods. Check out below to see my diary entries and the photos that accompany them:
- Date: Friday 12th April
- Time of day: Mid-morning
- Highlight: Seeing the first bluebells emerging in the woods
The woods are noticeably just beginning to take on their spring splendour with the woodland floor coming to life. Bluebells are starting to flower, wood anemones are dotted here and there, and celandines, primroses and stitchwort are spreading through the undergrowth. The hazel trees are coming into leaf, as are the oak trees, with small soft bunches of leaves hanging above my head. Everything is now lush and green, with winter now being fully forgotten.
When turning my eyes to the ground around me, it becomes apparent that the undergrowth is full of bees and flies buzzing between the flowers, the most notable being furry bee flies. Looking at the undergrowth around me, it does make me think how if you just stop for one moment and take in your surroundings, you will always find that everything is alive around you.
When sat in this wood, I feel away from all the hub bub and stress of everyday life. It gives me the opportunity to see this world through the glass of a lens, whilst still getting excited about everything new I see. Thus, I believe everyone should have the opportunity to have their own escape into nature, such as amongst the trees, flowers and wildlife, to be able to recharge and refresh.
2: Sunrise start
- Date: Friday 19th April
- Time of day: Early morning
- Highlight: Sunrise
Snow white garlic flowers are now emerging in the wood, whilst early purple orchids are also beginning to sprout here and there. The bluebells are now starting to create a sea of blue, with their white counterparts dotted here and there amongst them. Soon the woods will be fully awash with purply-blue and patches of white.
3: Walking with a four-legged friend
- Date: Friday 10th May
- Time of day: Morning
- Highlight: The company of my dog Cassie
On my trip this time to the woods, I took my four-legged friend Cassie. At the ripe old age of 13, she is becoming weary on her legs, but is still up for an adventure. This is great as there is nothing better than sharing the wonder of the outdoors with another being, even if they are no more than 3 feet tall.
4: The death of spring
- Date: Saturday 25th May
- Time of day: Afternoon
- Highlight: The changing of the season
The days are getting hotter and the sun higher in the May sky. In the depths of the wood though, the canopy keeps me cool. The woodland floor is now a tangle of unruly vegetation. The dying bluebells, orchids, and spring flowers jostle with unfurling ferns, sticky goose grass and flowers that persist. These include stitchwort, herb Robert, and red campion, which are gems of colour in a sea of green.
How the woodland made its transition