It had rained steadily all morning – so we went for a walk. It was still raining when we got to Millbuies Country Park.
To be among old trees again, of all shapes and sizes! Taking in the odour of leaf mould, the vistas of bark columns and all the colours heralding the change of season! Sweet Chestnut (introduced from the Balkans in the 16th. C) contrasts with the still green Sycamore (another non-native).
Beeches hummed.They dappled the darker woods, shining golden or copper.
Huddled under umbrellas, we missed the dripping canopy.
The good earth yielded underfoot, oozed at the bends and was carpeted with leaf litter. We listened to the patter of rain on leaf, land and us.
Rain-dappled twigs hung from shivery boughs. Ducks kept their distance.
Clear dark water harboured brown trout, all the way to the dam wall in this man-made fishing loch.
Leaves in a back-water eddied like golden scales from a magic fish.
A robin piped and flickered through the bare branches. I’d missed the red squirrel.
Golden, fairie birches flickered under the rain as we trudged down and up and around the water.
Gothic larches studded the hillside,while bracken, like feathers from a phoenix, fringed the track.
With lungs full of fresh, soft air, our body warm and feet dry, we headed home refreshed.
I look forward to walks like this.
Forests in the future?
Last Autumn in Scotland, I saw many more Oak trees have been planted in public places. You notice them easily for they hang on to their golden-yellowed leaves the longest. Many were cut down for ship-building in the 17th and 18th century. Ubiquitous mono-cultural fir plantations were established by the Forestry Commission in Scotland after WWI. The British war effort had almost run out of timber! I remember these dense monocultural woods, where nothing grows below and no birds sing among, which are now being cleared and replanted. This time, with trees native to the original Caledonian forest that once covered much of Scotland. For more info see Trees for Life founder Alan Watson- Featherstone’s talk on Youtube
This post is linked to Ann-Christine’s Photo Challenge #83 Future
All text and photos by Meg
Story Twigs the Imagination! blog by Meg Philp. Copyright © under Australian Law.