The stream flows from a-tree ringed pool, which I assume was artificially created and which I understand has some fish in it. It is also home to coypu, which are quite common here, an unwanted introduction. They undermine the banks of rivers and ponds and carry leptospirosis, but are vegetarian and don't seem to damage crops hugely. The plan is to control their numbers rather than eradicate them; there is a bounty on their heads and a trapping programme. They make a most peculiar noise, something like a 45 rpm guinea pig being played at 33.
Down the left side of the valley a number of trees have been felled but their trunks and stumps left to decay. Moss and ivy, foxglove and pennywort colonise the caves and valleys of the dead stumps, a fractal landscape within a landscape,
and the great bones of the barkless trunks fall away into cavities and death's head faces reminiscent of Michelangelo's damned souls.
But there is no real menace in these twisted patterns; vegetal death contains some of the sadness but none of the horror of carnal death, it is earthy but clean, and always carries the certainty of regeneration, of resurrection, if you will, in like form.
there are no daffodils here, but sometimes primroses, and as ever, shiny-faced celandine, with a scattering of windflowers - wood anemones - in amongst them.
Further into the wood and across the stream, fallen trees make archways across the path,
On the other scarped edge of the valley are a row of very old emonde chestnuts.
Their growth is one sided, the other half of the trunk has become atrophied, laced and striated and honeycombed with cracks and holes and whorls, open to light and air.
Leaves and husks lodge in these niches, sometimes making a serendipitous still-life.
This one seems at some point to have been burned.
Again, they take on a look of creatures ( 'where's the face, where's the face?' we are hardwired from infancy to demand...)
There is an illuminated manuscript, a bestiary, a Book of Kells, to be found in these old trees.
And suddenly, one of these dragons from the old wood will prove not to be sleeping after all, and green fire will burst out of its cracked and brittle jaws.
Yes, in the vegetal world, there is always resurrection.