An autumn walk in the woods

A weekend at home. ‘Don’t get that coat dirty, it’s clean!’ shouted my mother as I bundled out of the house with my nephews Dylan, Ethan (both 5), Theo, (2 and a bit) and Sampson the pug. That was advice that went unheeded; as soon as we arrived at the main path to the woods, Ethan was in a muddy puddle kicking water at his cousins – which explains the wet, mucky faces.

It was a beautiful day in Badby, but the paths were quiet. Just as well, because the older boys were in the mood for adventure. Theo just wanted to watch the tractor ploughing a nearby field, touch everything in sight and climb every fence or fallen log he encountered.

Psst: click any image to enlarge!

We turned right into the woods looking for hazelnuts; we were too early but some – still encased in their prickly shells – fell from the trees and littered the floor around us. Dylan was convinced the squirrels were playing tricks on us; keeping the good nuts for themselves and throwing others at us from above! We found a den, a frog, a mouse and plenty or ‘rain beetles’ hiding in the mud and ferns, and possibly even a Gruffalo hole – but we couldn’t be sure!

I really enjoy being out with the camera with little ones – they have a lot of energy and get themselves into the funniest situations – but the boys themselves had differing feelings about having their photo taken. Ethan didn’t want to have his picture taken at all but Theo was doing his best to bomb every photo I was taking, hence the super close-up face shots! Sampson didn’t want to stand still and was just relishing having so much space to roam.

As we trooped back towards the main gate, I took the opportunity to look around a bit more. It might well be the start of autumn, but the trees were still very green with only a tint of changing colour in the leaves. The plants and flowers told a different story though, and withered fruits and flowers gone to seed hinted at the shifting seasons.

Then we were back to the start, but we were missing one boy… a few moments later and Dylan ran round the side of the archway, a long stem of grass in his mouth, pretending to be his farmer great-granddad. Home time!


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