After dragging ourselves away from the excitement of carpet shopping, we took the kids to Brigsteer Woods. A walk in the woods is always a big hit with them – almost immediately they found a fallen tree trunk laying over a dip which provided an opportunity for feats of daring, balance and agility. The strange little woven-stick buildings I walked past on my last visit were also popular.
From an adult perspective though, the most striking thing was the ubiquity of great drifts of daffodils. Apparently, once upon a time this was a common sight all across Britain, and the reasons that such displays are much less common now are not fully understood.
The whole wood is access area and is criss-crossed with paths. We found a route which took us down, down, down to the right-of-way which runs along the bottom edge of the wood and then another track which brought us back up the hill, eventually back to the car. (If you plan to make a visit, be warned that the right-of-way doesn’t pass through the best areas for daffodils.)
Chiff-chaffs were singing in the trees overhead. Underfoot we found more violets…
This one has the nectar-guide lines. The leaves were tiny and not much use to me for identification purposes. We couldn’t detect a scent. I think that I found the stipules though…
…which have hair-like teeth. The spur was darker than the petals. I think that this is early dog violet.
Although daffodils provide the principle entertainment at the moment, it was clear that there will be a succession. Some area were completely colonised by ramsons….
And it looked to me as though there will be a good display of bluebells too. We even found a solitary scout leading the way….
There were wood anemones and primroses too. Everything was moss-covered, even the smallest saplings were wearing shaggy socks….
In the shade of a mossy fallen tree we found some large scarlet elf-cup…
Down by the path we also had a ‘Lord of the Flies’ moment when we found a skull mounted on the branch of a small tree….
B was delighted….
…and has brought the skull home with him to add to his bone collection. Judging by the size and the teeth, which all looked like molars, I’m guessing that this is a sheep skull, although I suppose that it could be a roe deer.