There's a storm a-coming, they said, so we got up early and went to Ashton Court to walk the dog. First stop, visiting some old familiars now coming into leaf ...
Monday, 3 May 2021
Ashton Court before the storm
... but before that, whoop whoop, green-winged orchids everywhere!
I spent a bit of time with the Domesday Oak, which is looking rather more cheerful than the last time I had a proper look at it some five years ago, when it was newly fallen apart despite the best efforts of the council's specialist tree officers. It's literally not half the tree it was, though.
And then it was into Summerhouse Plantation, which is one of our favourite places to walk, especially on days that are threatening to be stormy, and very lovely it is right now too, what with the bluebells and wild garlic and all.
Down near the bottom of the wood, we paused to pay our respects to the Fattest Oak ...
... before skirting the back of the mansion which looked quite busy and heading back up through the woods, a much easier prospect than when the slopes are deep in winter mud.
Even so, we were glad to sit for a bit on a fallen log to catch our breath, while Cwtch happily ran up and down the path about eight times to our one.
There was a bit of tree art going on the wood. I hadn't spotted the addition to this beech from last year before today, though I don't think Jeremy Corbyn would really appreciate his name being carved into the bark. Still it could have been worse, it could have been Boris Johnson.
Some lovers had embarked (ouch) on a collaborative piece with another beech, utilising some natural heart shapes in the declaration of their love ...
... but I have to say, I like the trees' own art best. Heart balloons, Banksy? Our city's beeches got there first.
Back out in the open, the red deer were up near the deer park fence for once, so I left Cwtch at a distance with the Northerner and went to see them.
Hello down there!
One last visit to one last massive oak in very bronze leaf and we were home hours before the rain and wind set in, here in Bristol at least, with a pleasingly tired pup.