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forest foray

Monday, May 28, 2012

Another lovely day and another lovely outing...aren't we just sooo lucky?
Now I'm retired and in better health and DH is partially retired we can indulge our fancies and go when and where the mood takes us.

Well, the mood took us to Dalby Forest yesterday...

We drove up into the beautiful North Yorkshire forestry intending to visit the Snape area in Cropton Forest to walk and look for basking adders along the ancient tree lined rides where we thought it would be quiet and cool but...the last few winters have been very bad and taken their toll on the tracks, they aren't proper tarmacked roads just hard pressed earth and stone and last month's torrential downpours wreaked their vengeance too with the main tracks descending into deep unpassable consequently the road was closed.

Still, onwards and upwards as they say, we reluctantly turned off and after some consideration decided on Dalby Forest instead.
This is a more commercial part of the forestry with visitor centres, camping and caravan fascilities, adventure playgrounds and areas for picnics and barbeques but if you know where to go you can still get away from most of the crowds.

We started off walking the perimeter of Stainsdale Lake.
It's quite small as lakes go but very beautiful and though people do visit it there isn't usually a lot there, seemingly they prefer the more town like busy areas which reflect their own familiar environment and not the peaceful look at nature type walks.
We walked the touristy side first along the gravelled path provided and then went 'off piste' so to speak into the forested area round the back edge.
The bank sides were fringed with golden yellow Kingcups or Marsh Marigolds to use their Sunday name and pretty delicate looking pale lilac Cuckoo Flower (Ladies Smock) stood proudly next to late flowering Violets and Greater Stitchwort (Daddy's shirt Buttons).
A rainbow of colours in the lush vegetation.

As we entered the tree covered canopy sunlight dappled the forest floor and gave welcome shade from the hot sun, it was green, dark and cool with the tall pines standing like proud sentinels to a new and magical kingdom.
A soughing breeze tripped gently through the trees ruffling the leaves of the canopy and riffling the lake's surface with it's beautiful rippled tree reflections.
Looking down we saw rainbow trout gracefully cruising past like little submarines in the deep edges, the sunlight glinted on them making the rainbow on their side appear and disappear as they glided along.

The forest was cool and shady, so quiet and peaceful with only the wind's whisper, the call of birds and the occasional creak and crack of our footfall along the trail to disturb it's slumber.
It was studded here and there with wood anemones, wood sorrel and bluebells, glistening jewels in a bed of green velvet.
Lichen and mosses adorned exposed tree roots and the undulating path felt soft and billowy, like walking on a huge luxurious feather pillow, where the moss mounds grew thick and verdant.

Climbing upwards we could see the lake glisteningly blue through the gently swaying tree branches with their spring green foliage and rough textured bark.
Tantalising glimpses appeared and disappeared along our way, the only thing to spoil it was a sharp burning smell from some far off didn't smell very it tasted better!

Reaching the tops the tall dark pine trees grew sparser before they opened out into a beautiful valley vista spread before us in the warm sunshine.
Masses of yellow gorse and golden broom lined the distant slopes and seemingly miniature sheep gave a pretty white dotted effect against the far green valley sides.

Magical myriads of tiny Green Longhorn Fairy Moths danced in the sunlight's shafts around a sapling oak tree, flashing blue and green or silver and gold as the sunshine reflected on their irridescent wings.

We surprised a lone Roe Deer feeding along a little bank, he dashed off towards the shelter of the treeline edge flashing the heart shaped white patch on his rump, before turning back to warily watch us continue on our way.

We traversed the steep wooden steps that some kind forestry worker had built into the side of the slope to make descent easier, the edges surrounded by Ransoms (wild garlic) with it's pretty white umbellical flowers, the air was redolent with it's clean spicy smell.
Pretty little glades appeared, each bathed in sunlight from the shafts filtering down through the trees, warming the grove and making the garlic scent that assailed our senses stronger than ever.

Completing the circle we partook of a welcome and deliciously refreshing cold drink in the shade of an old handmade stone wall, each piece abutting it's neighbour in perfect symmetry without the need for mortar, then getting back in the car, which we'd parked under trees for shade, we reluctantly said a silent farewell to the timeless forestry before motoring back home in the now cooling air.

beautiful Stainsdale Lake

looking down on the lake through the wooded area

reflections on the wind ruffled water...can you see the rainbow trout?

violets and daddy's shirt buttons

golden yellow kingcups

pretty pale lilac ladies smock

view from the tops

Green Longhorn Fairy Moth

wooden steps

sunlit glade of Ransoms or Wild Garlic

a suprised roe deer heads for the hedge

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