From an early age, I have always enjoyed the enduring appeal of woodlands.
Where once they were a place to play out childhood fantasies, they are now a haven of solace and tranquility, a source of pleasure from my walking and photography perspectives.
A walk around the woods at Shaugh Prior, just on the edge of Dartmoor is today’s destination, a place with the added bonus of the River Plym running alongside its banks.
The bronze and amber leaves of autumn have lost their crispness, as they lay discarded, turning slowly to mulch after weeks of rain, most of the trees, now stripped of their foliage, are arboreal skeletons standing bare against the elements.
Yet, amongst this austerity, the woodland still has treasures to show, rust coloured bracken against the lush green lichen coating both rock and trees alike, colour in this minimalist landscape.
Fungus that finds nourishment from a tree, long since felled, a single leaf hangs defiantly alone, just waiting for the next gust of wind to deliver the coup de grace.
I love the majesty of the granite outposts of rock, standing like guardsmen along the path, the sound of the river below, the wooden archways formed by the meeting of tree branches from either side of the path.
As much as I love to capture the essence of the woods throughout the seasons, spring will always remain my favourite, where the cycle of life begins anew, mother nature’s changing of the guard.