Morning sun in the beech woods
While today has been grey and drizzly, yesterday gave us a perfect September morning: low-lying mist and golden sunshine. On the way home from the school run, I couldn’t resist a detour to my favourite beech wood. It grows on the edge of a hill, which falls away precipitously to the river below.
The bank is so high and steep that it gives me vertigo, though I love that view of the tall grey trunks soaring up from it. Turning away from the river, the main body of the wood is more approachable in scale and gradient. The sun was still low enough to be tangled in the trees; the ground was dank and mossy underfoot.
In the still of the morning the woods were quiet, except for the hoarse screeching of jays arguing in the canopy: appropriately enough, since this place is called the Crow Wood, and what are jays but crows in party clothes?
One Autumn, we visited a friend in Hesse, Germany, and there walked through the beautiful golden beech forests of the Odenwald. The forests there stretch for miles and miles, criss-crossed by paths and cycle routes. This little beech wood of ours is extremely modest by comparison but it breathes, to me, a similar magic – and perhaps it is all the more appealing for being a little unkempt. From bird-filled branches to mossy, mysterious roots, it is a wonderful wood.