Yes, I know, but….
I know, I know, I promised you I’d write more about the castle and its history, and almost all I’ve given you is burblings about the great outdoors. It’s not that I spend all my days frolicking in the trees – happy thought – but that what I want to do most it to share the beauty of it all with you, now that spring is bursting through the woodland. (Plus I am still trying to sneak in some Tuesday Trees without drawing too much attention to the fact. This was set to be a Tuesday post, until I was sabotaged by technical glitches.) Remember how I was looking forward to the ‘verdant light‘ of spring? Here it is.
Ahh, that greenness! This might perhaps not look like much of a wood. I mean, it’s beautiful, but there are not that many trees. It was never a very big wood and, since the winter storms of 2011-12, there is much more open ground than there used to be. I still love it, though. You can see the silvery disc of the lochan where the wild swans nest, beyond the edge of the trees. And it is where my beloved dog is buried, with the bulbs I planted last autumn flowering on her grave.
We are blessed in having Tarka, nearly nine months old now, as our new companion on walks (and on sofas, ahem). She is very patient with me and my previous attachment, happily investigating rabbit holes as I pause at this spot.
Anyway, the woods. And that green! The lushness under the trees is mostly not grass but the leaves of bluebells, which are just beginning to flower this week as the daffodils die off. More profuse at the moment are the wild forget-me-nots, pushing up through the bluebell leaves,
the sweet-faced wild violets,
and wood sorrel, with its fragile bell-like flowers and refreshingly sour leaves, which grow busily on beech mast,
on mossy, magical tree stumps,
and along the paths under Douglas firs in the deeper part of the wood.
There are kingcups growing in the burn that trickles along the edge of the woods,
and ferns unfurling like ammonites wherever they can gain a foothold.
All this beauty underfoot. And overhead, the drenching, cool green of the year’s new beech leaves, the most delicious colour of the year.
(Spring was much earlier in 2011 and 2012: you might enjoy Beech woods in springtime.)