'Ten thousand saw I at a glance', yes really. But the camera simply can't capture their starriness en masse, the way the light shines out of them in the still leafless wood.
And the birds were to sound what the flowers were to light. I am always frustrated when it comes to telling blackcaps from whitethroats by their song, then this chap obligingly showed himself to be a blackcap:
The zoom on this camera is more powerful than the last, but not really powerful enough to take really virtuoso wildlife shots, and the camera itself is less speedy also, I think. So most bird photos are really for identification only. The bird below, whose call was unfamiliar, but who became visible when I stood still for a time, as it fed on the seeds from the larch cones, was not identifiable at all beyond that it was some kind of tit. The photo showed it to be either a willow or a marsh tit, but no chance of telling the difference by its looks, and my knowledge of their voices, which are apparently very different, was not adequate.
However, my lovely new Collins Bird Guide, whose information on distribution is far more up-to-date than the Field Guide I've had for years, confirmed that here we are outside the usual range of the willow, so marsh it must be.
On the ground, a fluttering shape crossed my path, which had a differnent quality to it from a dead leaf. Looking twice, it was this mouse.
One shouldn't really see mice out in the wild like this, they should be more careful, and hide, and not keep still long enough to be photographed. But this one seemed dozy, not quite right in itself. Perhaps it was ill, or I thought perhaps coming out of hibernation. It was very small and silvery coloured, and, looking at the photo, there seems to be a slight dark stripe down its back. There is a species of woodland mouse called the birch mouse, which fits this description, occurs in this part of Europe, and which enters into a very long and deep hibernation, emerging relatively late in spring, so perhaps this is what this one was.
(Post script: further searching tells me that birch mice don't get this far west, and are much more blodly striped anyway, so this must be simply a wood or harvest mouse...)
The wood anemones and celandine were not to be overlooked, as I would have done this wood sorrel, below, taking it for another anemone if I hadn't noticed the bright lime-green trefoil leaf. Its flowers are delicately veined with purple, when you look closely. Which you always should.
Withal, a lovely walk, and Mol concurred that it was well worth getting your haircut for. She tells me the smells weren't bad either.