Sunday, May 10, 2015

Spring in the woods

click photo to enlarge
We recently walked from Woodhall Spa to the tiny hamlet of Martin (see church in previous post) and back, a distance of about 9 miles. Quite a lot of our footpaths took us through trees. Lincolnshire isn't a county known for its woodland but it has more than the popular image suggests, and in places trees are really quite plentiful.

At this time of year the leaf canopy isn't fully developed. Consequently quite a bit of light still makes its way to the woodland floor. Bluebells and ramsons use this brief period as an opportunity to grow and flower. On our walk it was wood anemones that were taking advantage of the brightness: in places it looked like a light fall of large snowflakes had descended in the night. We heard chiff chaffs and a cuckoo, their distinctive calls further emphasising that spring is the season and winter is past.

Towards the start of our walk I photographed a subject that I'd photographed (and posted before). The track that goes through the woods that form part of the National Golf Centre, with its three courses, is a public footpath. This landscape is what is usually known as lowland heath. Silver birches and oaks are common in the woods and flashes of yellow gorse can be seen all year round. Here, however, the folly of the Victorians is also very evident because in several places the woodland is choked by rhododendrons. These will be spectacular when they are in full flower in a couple of weeks time but for the rest of the year they will be a dense mass of glossy greenery. But in the area of my photograph it is the slender silver birches that predominate making the woodland light, bright and almost cheery.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 18mm (27mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On