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Let me take you back in time to the end of April of this year.  In preparing this post it has been strange looking through my early spring photographs while the leaves outside are falling from the trees and most of the flowers have gone.

Elinor and I had enjoyed our two previous walks in Halesworth and Beccles but this time we wanted to get away from people and buildings and into the woods.  One of our favourite places is Reydon Wood which is cared for by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.  I have written posts about family walks in this wood a few times before but the last time we visited was about three years ago; how could we have left it that long?!

Reydon Wood

The weather was perfect, chilly but sunny and there hadn’t been any rain for quite a while so the paths were free of mud.  Spring was cold and late this year so the first leaves were only just beginning to show on the trees. The wood was full of birdsong and we soon found any number of spring flowers in bloom.  The light was strong and bright which was not conducive to good photography, for which I apologise.

The path through the woods

I love these perfectly pleated Hornbeam leaves (Carpinus betulus )

Common Dog Violets (Viola riviniana ) and a small white Wild Strawberry flower (Fragaria vesca) in the centre of the picture

Reydon Wood is quite small and would only take twenty minutes or so to walk round if one wasn’t interested in stopping and looking at anything.  We heard a couple of women approaching from behind us and stood to one side as they walked past talking non-stop.  We waited while the noise of their voices faded and birdsong re-established itself.

We saw Wood Anemones (Anemone nemorosa ) in the wood for the first time

Primroses ( Primula vulgaris) were in flower

There are plenty of coppice stools like this in the wood

Reydon Wood is coppiced each year.  Some of these trees are hundreds of years old and have been supplying wood for generations.  Here is a link which explains what coppicing is.  A copse is a wood which is or has been coppiced.

A clearing was carpeted with Primroses and Lesser Celandines (Ficaria verna )

Great Crested Newt ( Triturus cristatus)

In this clearing is a large pond which is home to all sorts of interesting creatures and plants.  The Great Crested Newt is Britain’s largest newt and has suffered in recent years due to habitat loss, especially by the infilling of ponds.

Water Violet (Hottonia palustris )

The Water Violet isn’t a violet at all, it is a member of the primrose family but the petals are a very pale lilac-colour which may be the reason for its common name.  It is usually found in sheltered ditches and ponds with shallow clear water which is rich in calcium.  Another name for it is Featherfoil because of its fine feathery leaves.

Tangled branches and shadows

The Bluebells were just beginning to flower (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

Spring leaves

Woodland in the springtime

I always like to greet this giant Holly tree with its weeping branches (Ilex aquifolium)

A Hoverfly of some sort sunning itself on the path. With their large ‘fly’ eyes they always look like they are wearing large sun-glasses.

Goldilocks Buttercup (Ranunculus auricomus )

A spring-flowering buttercup.  The whole plant, including the stems and the leaves, dies back by mid-summer.  The flowers are usually deformed with petals missing and the upper leaves deeply cut.

Deeply rutted path

We were extremely fortunate to have had such dry weather during the week before our walk.  The paths had set like concrete and though they were uneven they were easier to walk on than if they had been wet!

With any luck I will be able to add to this short series of walks before Christmas!