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Yes, I know, but….

May 15, 2013

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.

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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.

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The flowers in late April, miraculously uneaten by mice, rabbits and pheasants.

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.

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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,

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the sweet-faced wild violets,

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and wood sorrel, with its fragile bell-like flowers and refreshingly sour leaves, which grow busily on beech mast,

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on mossy, magical tree stumps,

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and along the paths under Douglas firs in the deeper part of the wood.

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There are kingcups growing in the burn that trickles along the edge of the woods,

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and ferns unfurling like ammonites wherever they can gain a foothold.

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All this beauty underfoot. And overhead, the drenching, cool green of the year’s new beech leaves, the most delicious colour of the year.

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(Spring was much earlier in 2011 and 2012: you might enjoy Beech woods in springtime.)

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. maryz permalink
    May 15, 2013 1:51 pm

    I love listening to you sing the praises of your grounds – along with the wonderful photos.

  2. hmunro permalink
    May 15, 2013 3:34 pm

    The idea of you spending your days frolicking among the trees brought a big smile to my face, and the photos of Tronach’s lovely memorial brought a lump to my throat. Thank you for so beautifully and so eloquently sharing a bit of your life in Scotland, DB.

  3. May 15, 2013 4:13 pm

    History and stories are for winter and bad weather – How could anyone stay inside with all this waiting? Enchanted woods!
    The first pix – that swirl of green under the trees reminds me of green velvet skirts whirling around young dancers in costume.
    Our violets are blooming here – I grabbed some from the woods before they sold – not expecting them to live in different soil and among palm trees – but they have flourished and are so welcoming to see. We’ve a small batch of wood sorrel surviving tucked in a shady spot.
    Ferns remind me of the summer promising to unfold. Such a lovely walk. Your beloved pup’s memorial is a well chosen spot.

    • May 16, 2013 11:23 pm

      Thank you for these thoughtful observations.
      You are quite right, stories do suit the dark evenings better than this season of growing light and warmth. I love the idea of the trees dancing in their green skirts! And how amazing that you have violets and wood sorrel growing in such a different climate from ours.

  4. Margaret Lambert permalink
    May 15, 2013 9:56 pm

    Do I recall you saying you have a new camera, or perhaps it’s my new glasses? In any case, the violets, kingcups and ferns are so clear I can breathe the air captured in your photos. And I can feel a renewal of some joy, with the light, and the passing of some time.

    • May 16, 2013 11:25 pm

      Well, it may be both of course, Margaret! 🙂 Yes, I did get a new camera last year, so any improvement in the photos here is entirely thanks to the gadgetry rather than to any increased skill on my part. (Mind you, I am about to get new glasses too, so that might help a bit further!)
      You are very astute. I think the joy is creeping back this year. Thank heavens, thank heavens.

  5. boyd hussey, (Douglas Ontario Canada) permalink
    May 16, 2013 3:16 am

    your spring is far ahead of ours but we will catch up. i think your Kingcups are our Marsh Marigolds. they look very similar. thank you for the sharing including “best beloved”

    • May 16, 2013 11:27 pm

      You have the best of spring still to look forward to! Yes, kingcups and marsh marigolds are the same thing. It’s an ancient native plant in the British Isles and has acquired many different local names over the centuries.

  6. May 16, 2013 12:03 pm

    Wonderful descriptions – the unfurling ferns are indeed just like ammonites! I will think of that in future. Good to see your beech leaves finally coming out, and the violets and marsh marigolds in bloom. The woods that you walk in look delightful, and I can’t blame you at all for making the most of every minute outdoors.

    • May 16, 2013 11:28 pm

      Thanks, Jo. I do love these woods: at this time of year the flowers and leaves are changing literally every day. It’s good for the soul to be out amongst them.

  7. May 16, 2013 7:19 pm

    The castle will be there whenever you choose to write about it, but this pinnacle of spring beauty is very fleeting and has to be captured before it disappears. Wonderful photographs of your beautiful surroundings. You have a little foretaste of heaven there, DB.

    • May 16, 2013 11:29 pm

      I do hope and trust that one of the many mansions of heaven has a bluebell wood in it! 🙂

  8. May 19, 2013 3:10 am

    Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing a little of your springtime. Better late than never!

    • May 21, 2013 8:01 pm

      Absolutely, spring is always worth the wait. Of course, you in Australia are settling down into the other most delicious part of the year, the cool nights and crisper days of autumn. Enjoy!

  9. May 21, 2013 4:13 am

    Lovely photos, as always. I’ve never seen kingcups before and they are very pretty flowers. They remind me of water-bound buttercups.

    • May 21, 2013 8:02 pm

      Thanks, Lisa. You’re right, kingcups are just like giant buttercups (they are several times the size). I am pretty sure that they are part of the same family.

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