Transformational Magic

Managed to get out for brief forays in Eaves Wood on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which were both bright, sunny pleasant days, although Boxing Day was quite cold. Both walks began with my usual companion on foot rather than on my back:

He walks very quickly for a toddler, but does like to stop occasionally to examine a particularly fine patch of mud or to throw stones into puddles. And why not?

On Christmas Eve he climbed up the hill to the edge of the wood, but then tired and having retired to the carrier was soon asleep. Shortly after he dropped off, I noticed a beech leaf by the side of the path, held in an upright position by the other leaf litter, and catching the low-angled winter sun.

I was captivated…

…and snapped away…

Only a few weeks ago I was enjoying the woods made unfamiliar by fog, but here they were equally transformed by the magic of the light.

In strong light the bark of some trees really comes into its own, particularly Scots pine and birches, although these photos don’t manage to capture what it is that I see.

I was on the look out for more leaves catching the sun, and although I found them, none of them were quite so satisfying as the first. (But there are many experiences in life of which that is true!) The best that I found was an oak leaf…

However, whilst looking for backlit leaves, I noticed some fallen branches in a shady spot under a tree which seemed to be limned by flame. My first thought was that the dead branches still held some leaves and that they were catching the sunlight, but on closer inspection I found that it was papery bark peeling from the branches themselves.

We returned to the same spot on Christmas Day and, finding the same effect, it was only then that it occurred to me how lucky we were that in deep shade some light would filter through at just the right angle to create this spectacle.


For this walk S and I were joined by the rest of the clan.

And yes – one of our number was armed, armoured and in search of dragons to slay.

At three years old a wood can be a deeply magical place.

A can find her own way to the Pepper Pot and rushed on well ahead of the rest of us. ‘Are you lost?’ one party of walkers asked her.

Transformational Magic

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