This morning the sun came back – it had been hidden above the clouds for the past few days, oblivious to the plight of those under the gloomy grey curtain. Water had fallen in torrents from the sky and filled the ditches and creeks with nourishment for the trees, squirrels, deer, badgers, foxes and pheasants. Autumn is here and fungi spring from the ground fresh each morning. Being out early and I caught their beauty before the animals, both two-legged and four, came by and trod, poked or tripped over them.
These woods have an ancient spirit… sometimes as I stand silent drinking in the trillion shades of green and brown and yellow that cover this woodland canvas, I sense someone or something behind me, about to touch my shoulder or to silently take a place beside me and share my wonder of the green canopy. I have a new understanding of those fairytale descriptions of ‘enchanted forests’ now that I’m on speaking terms with one.
The long fallen tree stumps, with their ruffle of brown and golden leaves and their green mossy cladding seem likely to not be decayed trees at all, but living creatures soon to rise from the ground with feet and arms that will hang from a torso that will come after me with a rolling gait. As a child places like this were only in story books and fairy tales – I had to imagine the woodland of Robin Hood and Alice in Wonderland – but now I can see how an imagination can be pushed to the edge of fantasy by the English woodlands and meadows.

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