A Walk in the Little Puckmoor woods …

s well as feeding the lambs yesterday Margaret took me for a walk in her woods. I’ve never been able to make it before because of the knees so this was a real treat!

The way is uphill from the field where the main flock of Shetland sheep and their lambs are. Entering was decidedly to meet the Spirit of Place of the wood. I stopped, bowed (as I always do) and asked if I might enter, a feeling of pleasure swept over me. I went in.

Much Marcle Yew

The land is steep and quite slippery at the moment as we’ve had a lot of rain over the past few days – much needed – and the soil is clayey. We climbed up to the glade where Margaret planted her yew tree last winter. It’s a good sized tree, taller than me, perhaps over six foot and (at present) single stemmed. Maybe, in a couple of thousand years, she’ll be as big as this one at Much Markle where my cousin lives at Hellens, just up the road from Margaret.

We were all worried about her (the yew tree) as she had to be transplanted from a hedge where a new gateway was put through but Margaret had a big pit dug, loads of “black gold” (well rotted, biodynamic cow manure) put in the bottom, well filled up and another mulch of “black gold” over the top. And 20 gallons of water! She looks good and the tips are showing new growth so we’re confident she’ll do OK. Her glade will need some thinning this year as there’s a couple of ash trees too close – and ash makes the best firewood! It’s lovely to stand beside her and look out and down over the fields to the Tan House farmyard.

Wood anenomes at Astwood, Herefordshire

We walked on up the hill to where the wood anemones are being thoroughly profligate! There’s a great mass of them under the trees stretching for many yards to either side and further up, the ground covered in white stars under the dim, grey ash branches. I love then and want some for under my ash tree here, Margaret says she’ll dig me up a patch after they’ve flowered – gorgeous! These are at Astwood, not to far away from us in the same county.

We went westward a bit, up a slope and down a dip to under the cherry tree. Just the ordinary wild cherry and now going over so the ground was again starred with white flowers … very appropriate for the time of Olwen of the White Track, Moon Lady.

Lime Avenue

We turned back down then, coming down under the lime trees – oh! the scent in June will be fabulous – to go back around to the Yew Tree Glade.

Margaret’s limes are nothing like this size as yet. I love lime avenues :-).

I gave thanks there for being able to visit and walk in the woods. The yew-tree spirit and the spirit of place both seemed to be smiling. As was Margaret, she senses and feels her land very deeply, listens for the unvoiced communication from things not-human and often not-seen.

English Bluebell

I’m very much looking forward to my next visit when the bluebells will be out. Margaret has quite a good lot of the English bluebells but the Spaniards are creeping through the hedge from the golf course beyond.

Spanish Bluebell

The bees go for both sorts and so cross-pollinate them, the English bluebell is weaker so tends to die out … it’s sad.

Elen Sentier
… behind every gifted woman there’s usually a rather talented cat …
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Celtic shaman – Elen Sentier Margaret’s Lambing

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