Autumn morning

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With a couple of hours to spare on a glorious late-autumn morning, a walk in the woods seemed like a good idea. Ashridge holds a lot of very special memories for me. Amongst other things, there was the magic of May Day when the bluebells were in bloom and my son and I went for an unexpected walk.

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There are some beautiful old trees here. It is an odd place, half wild, ancient woodland, half planted estate, belonging to the big house that was once a priory that belonged to the young princess who would become Queen Elizabeth I. The building that stands there now is a more modern affair, a mere two hundred years old, built by the Earl of Bridgewater and now a business college. trees-dew-moon-041

Closer to the house, the grounds have a more managed appearance, but when you get away from the more frequented paths, it is not unusual to see herds of deer. There are birds everywhere, squirrels in the trees and newts in the dew ponds. Ancient trees of imposing girth shelter saplings and wildflowers and you can see the cyclical and ever-changing life of the forest as you walk through the trees.

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You begin to get a sense of how ancient these wooded places really are… how they once stretched across much of the land and gave shelter, food and warmth to its people. The creaking of the branches, the rich smell of damp earth and the copper carpet of beech leaves evoke the stories and legends that were born beneath the forest boughs and there is a timeless quality that is quite otherworldly.

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It almost seems an intrusion when people appear, glad in the bright, synthetic colours of fashion, walking their dogs and snapping away with cameras… Even I felt out of place, as if I needed to stop and simply be with the wood and earth here leaving the constraints of time and necessity behind for a while.

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Yet the wood itself wears bright colours. Crimson and scarlet, yellow, green and gold against the rain-blackened bark and earth. Light ripples through  the leaves, casting laughing shadows on the ground. Berries sparkle like Yuletide baubles, and the fresh greens look as if importunate spring were attempting to join with autumn in the dance of the seasons.

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That dance is visible here, rooted as deeply as the hoary oaks and stately beeches. Free as the leaves that fall or part to reveal a bashful sun. From seed to sapling, from majesty to a decaythat fuels the seeds. It is a dance to the rhythm of life…and we too follow the steps, whether we realise it or not.

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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in albion, Dance, earth, England, Landscape, Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Autumn morning

  1. mihrank says:

    wow – your post is like walking to paradise, elegant photos and words…

    Like

  2. alienorajt says:

    Ah! Beautiful, Sue! xxx

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  3. jenanita01 says:

    This is just what you need on a grey monday morning. A delightful stroll through one of the most beautifil woods I have ever seen. Now I feel as though I can face the day with a spring in my step! Thank you Sue…

    Like

  4. willowdot21 says:

    Beautiful Sue , it was a treat to join you on your walk!

    Like

  5. Bernadette says:

    Fantastic walk. Thanks for taking me along.

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  6. fransiweinstein says:

    Very beautiful. Shar a glorious way to begin your day.

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  7. Glorious images. You took us there, on your walk in the woods. Wonderful. Thanks, Sue. ☺

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  8. Mick Canning says:

    A lovely place, Sue. We all need those woodlands so much!

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  9. Love all that green and colored foliage. A wonderful walk. I smell the fresh, wood-scented air.
    😀 😛

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  10. Lovely!

    I love all the seasons. Isn’t it something that when dying and falling in their brilliant colors you see beauty. Like the elderly lady who puts too much rouge or lipstick on, and the old man who tells you stories just to make you smile or laugh, him then joining in his delight. These things add color to our lives. Thanks Sue.

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  11. dgkaye says:

    Gorgeous! 🙂

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  12. noelleg44 says:

    What a fantastic place to walk, Sue! Did Ani lead you at a merry pace?

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  13. Helen Jones says:

    I love Ashridge, Sue – it’s a wonderful place for a walk. My blog background image was taken along one of the tracks there. Lovely photos – looks like a glorious day for a morning wander.

    Like

  14. What a magical place 🙂

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