Autumn is creeping in strangely this year; some trees have embraced the new season with enthusiasm while others choose to ignore the shortening days and are still rampant in their greenery. Grasses and bracken are filled with the same indecision.
Jays and Magpie swear at each other in the treetops while flocks of tits and finches call slyly in the underbrush. And just through here is a small pond where birds sometimes come to drink. As I push open the gate a Woodcock, that enigmatic shadow-speckled bird and master of camouflage, springs up and makes its urgent but off-kilter flight between the trees.
Sun lances in through the branches and momentarily lights a particular tree, leaving others loitering in the gloom. But the low sun will move on, hurrying across the sky, and the woodland floor will be cast in deep shade long before the sun dips slowly beneath some far horizon
Footsteps fall softly on the damp leaf-litter, pushing through bowing, dew-laden grasses, then descending carefully down a steep slippery slope between mossy banks.
Here in the valley bottom a tiny stream waltzes over the sparkling gravel to join hands with other waters to journey on towards the sea.
Oak, Hornbeam and Silver Birch are falling under autumn's spell. Yellow leaves drift down like butterflies to settle where they may.
A scattering of yellow jewels settle on a forest pool, denting the fragile, reflecting surface with their tiny weight.
Up above other leaves look down in all their golden glory, one last hurrah before they take their final bow.
Fallen branches support tiny fungi that will, given time, break down the timber to nutrients for new growth. Another turn of the wheel of life.
Just how many fungi can a child kick over before being struck by their architectural elegance - a fan-vaulted ceiling for ground-dwelling insects.
Meanwhile teenagers are trying the same trick with an old tractor; to break it down and return it to the earth! Coming on it through the wood I almost mistook it for some kind of sculpture.
And now the Hornbeams are twisting and writhing to produce their own kind of sculpture. Is it the agony of slow death or a dance of ecstasy?
Now where the devil has that path gone??!!!