The awakening

In early spring when my usual route into the woodlands became too muddy, I headed to another part of the woods where there’s a pine plantation. The path leading up to it is lined with coppice trees whose branches bend over it so you feel like you’re in a tunnel heading to Narnia. Badger and deer trails crisscross it. In late April bluebells guarded its edges always ready to ring their bells in warning of the slightest tresspassing wind.

Now in May it’s dark and lush and green. In the pine woods blackbirds sing and dash from branch to branch while fronds uncurl amid the bracken at their feet.

And so in the early mornings I watched the woods stir and then wake up from a winter slumber. I noticed the changes of the season, colours, flowers and light. And spring somehow felt like my awakening as well.

Spring. March fans it, April christens it, and May puts on its jacket and trousers.”
Journal, 1 March 1838, Henry David Thoreau

MarchPine plantation March coppice pathApril
Pine plantation April bluebellsMay
Pine plantation May coppice path

When the pine tosses its cones,

To the song of its waterfall tones,

Who speeds to the woodland walks?

To birds and trees who talks?”

‘Woodnotes’ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

MarchPine woods March treesMay

Pine plantation May wood edge

MarchPine woods March and ferns

MayPine plantation May treeline

MayPine plantation May curling fern

MarchPine plantation March lines trees

He heard, when in the grove, at intervals,

With sudden roar the aged pine-tree falls, –

One crash, the death-hymn of the perfect tree,

Declares the close of its green century.”

Woodnotes Ralph Waldo Emerson

MayFallen pineThe bluebells are almost all gone now. The last dying ones making room for a victorious army of bracken which has returned for its summer encampment under the pines and along the verges. A lone rhododendron shrub dazzles in their midst.Dying bluebells and fernMarchBrackens and leaves among pinesMayRhododendrons in pine woodsMayRhododendrons amid pinesRhododendrons in woodsI follow a different way back home when I leave the pine plantation. In March the cool sky gazes through the leafless branches. Now in May, even though the light is held at bay, little flowers and even wild strawberries peek and poke out along the path.

MarchWood path in MarchMayWood path in MayMayBugles and herb robertsMay wild flowersWild strawberriesWhen I followed some of these wild flowers off the beaten track today I came upon a pond. It was quiet and still and hidden in the middle of the woods. Funny that I had never seen it in March or even during the winter months when the trees were all bare. Or perhaps spring had also been nudging me to wake up and notice nature more as I walked.
Pond in woods


7 thoughts on “The awakening”

  1. Elizabeth - Simply Blossoms

    I adore that tope quote – May puts on its jacket and trousers! So true. It’s beautiful seeing things really start to come out now isn’t it? #HDYGG

  2. Such a beautiful series of photos showcasing the changes of each month, makes you realize just how busy nature is. I was amazed the first time I saw a rhododendron shrub growing in the woods, such an unexpected pop of colour between the sea of green.

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