There are some special edges I walk through or past on my way out to the place at the edge of the woods.
This is the edge just before the sycamore grove where a fallen tree has created an environment that small birds love. I have seen goldcrests, long-tailed tits, wrens, and many others just by standing still here for a while.
Above is the hazel grove that is on my left after I enter the nature reserve. It’s a wonderful place to fungi gaze in the autumn, and now has catkins. The dangling catkins have the pollen, but can you spot the tiny female flowers in the photo below?
There is a lot of brambly hedge that grows between the nature reserve and Bowhay Lane, an old green lane that runs along the back of the housing estate. This hedge is rich in bird and insect life. Today, a dunnock is singing loudly in the tree at the centre of the photo, while a wren ticks below it.
Now, I am walking along between the hedgeland on the left and the woods on my right. My entry into the woods is ahead, in the centre of the photo.
Almost at my entrance into the woods.
And here it is.
I climb up on the horizontal trunk and listen. I notice that the sounds of the birds are beginning to drown out the distant roar of traffic in the city below – definitely a sign of spring. I gaze at the trunk of the dead ash just downhill from this ash.
And then I see, in front of me on the tree I am sitting in, signs of new life. This tree is still alive.