(From my lunchtime walk with Lily in the woods at the back of our house. We took a slightly extended version of our usual route, which goes along the main path and back alongside the beck. I walked about a mile; Lily ran considerably further.)
1. In the forest of birch, oak and rocks, the trees are evenly spaced without crowding or saplings in between. The weighty trunks grow tall and true but their still-naked limbs twist and gnarl. Underfoot is still golden from last year’s leaf fall. In just a few weeks, this scene will be transformed.
2. There is a glade in the woods just off the path above the other path, which looks like it’s from Fable. Two rings of stone, probably a century old, adorned by just one young tree each in the centre – like unactivated cullis gates to other worlds. Nearby, a stream has cut its way under a stone ledge and a set of steps leads excitingly off into the distance.
3. The sides of the beck, from here to the canal and river at Apperley Bridge, are covered with glorious green wild garlic (Ramsoms). The smell is divine. I collect a handful of leaves for my lunch.