Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Post for Lorrie

Lorrie lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, and whilst staying in the Cotswolds one summer she visited Frith Wood which sits on a high ridge between two of our local valleys. On my previous Autumn post showing a different woodland, Lorrie commented 
'seeing the path through the woods makes me think of Frith Wood where we walked several years ago, and I imagine it looks very similar to your photos now'.
Last Sunday it was H's birthday so before having a special family lunch we headed out early to walk the pathway that Lorrie too must have trod during her visit.

Frith Wood is an ancient woodland that spans the ridge between Painswick, known as 'Queen of the Cotswolds', and Laurie Lee's Slad Valley. Until 1801 this ridgeway path through the wood was the main route from Cheltenham heading south. It was an old drovers road where livestock such as cattle, sheep and even geese were driven along to market.
The soaring 70ft beech trees were brought over as seed from Belgian at the same time as the Napoleonic Wars drew to a close. These central European trees grow tall and straight in comparison to our more gnarled native beeches.
They would have been a familiar sight to writer, Laurie Lee, who wandered this self-same pathway as man and boy.
"If ever I saw blessing in the air
I see it now in this still early day
Where lemon-green the vaporous morning drips
Wet sunlight on the powder of my eye" 
    Laurie Lee   
   
Spring catkins and buds are showing already,

but the fluffy remains of Rosebay Willowherb linger,
a forest floor sparkling with tiny jewels,
along with a potent splash of orange from the Iris foetidissima berries 

In his book, Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee immortalised these beech woods, deep valleys, flower strewn summer meadows, and the village characters who dwelt in Slad - now they are forever a part of our English literary landscape.


47 comments:

  1. Beautiful! We don't have any woods or forests on our peninsula, though there are a lot of trees in peoples gardens to overlook. We do have a few parks, though I've not been able to take time to walk through lately because of working. I must say again how wonderful your photography is! Jane :)

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    1. We have lots of woods around here which I enjoy walking in throughout all four of our seasons.

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  2. What amazing pictures of the woods you made! It looks like I can walk straight into the woods.

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  3. I love those paths covered in leaves. The photos are lovely. It reminds me of the 90 miles of trails I loved to walk and ride on horseback in New York. It sure makes you wonder what the world was like before concrete covered so much of it for our roads.

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    1. I love the idea of riding those 90 miles of trails on horseback Catherine.

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    2. Here is their website with winter views. Not the best time of year for riding horse though.
      https://www.mohonk.com/

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    3. Thank you Catherine I will take a look.

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  4. A post that captures the essence of Autumn perfectly. The 1998 film of Cider with Rosie with Juliet Stevenson is worth catching. Still the best version I've seen, despite more modern PC adaptations of the book which have been watered down slightly to filter out some of the harsher realities of rural life back then, also honestly depicted in the book. Modern productions tend to put their own spin on classics from the past I've found which are often completely at odds with the mentality held then by most folk.

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    1. When read a book then see the film it is invariably true that the original story is compromised, and I don't know why it is necessary to do that.

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  5. Good to see the wood looking so wonderfully autumnal - after this week I think everything will be much more wintry. I like the way you've contrasted the close-ups with the more general views.

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    1. You are right John - I noticed a huge difference in the foliage when visiting this piece of woodland compared to my previous post, and there was less than a week between them. By this coming weekend Autumn will sadly be over, but there will be the compensation of bare branches starkly etched out against winter skies.

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  6. What a beautiful path to stroll through.

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  7. A treat for Lorrie and for me too. I live opposite Comox which will mean nothing to you but Lorrie will know it. Our rain forests are very different from the beautiful ancient woods of England. Each has their own charms, a walk in either will invigorate, however for an English girl an English wood will always tug at the heartstrings.

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    1. It is lovely to hear from you Susan, and do hope all is well with you. For some reason, I don't know why, I thought that you lived on the eastern side of Canada. I do understand your sentiments, it is the same too for my brother living in Canada - but for him country pubs grab his heartstrings.

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  8. Goodness, so Nature is busy on the catkins already! Lovely photos as usual. I've missed the most colourful bit of autumn in Britain this year, realise how fast it goes.

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    1. I was very surprised to see such a lot of catkins so early, some were even starting to open. Five days ago plenty of colour was still around but I imagine that by the weekend it will have gone.

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  9. Thank you for sharing such Gorgeous photos of a Lovely place.... it reminds me of the back woods roads in my own childhood rambles here in New England. Peace, a trace of nostalgia, that dimming of the Autumn days... but still some golden light.... Beautiful!

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    1. Thank you - I am pleased that this post reminded you of your own childhood rambles.

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  10. I so enjoyed your glorious photos and words. I love Laurie Lees writing. Such a beautiful part of England. B x

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    1. Thank you Barbara - I wonder if you saw the last production of Cider with Rosie on the TV a couple of years ago. It was rather lovely as they filmed it locally and kept it authentic to the book.

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  11. Hello Rosemary, These photos are just magical. This post also has special meaning for me because I am originally from a place called Beachwood, Ohio. It apparently was supposed to be named Beechwood (there are lots of beech trees, and certainly no beaches). There are several theoretical reasons for the spelling change, but no one seems to know for certain!
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - it could be that it was simply a spelling mistake that resulted in the place being called Beachwood. Glad that you enjoyed the photos and thank you.

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  12. I like to think of drovers and animals traversing that forest track in days gone by. Can imagine them looking into the distance, as in the third last image. Love the trees and shadows in that photo. All beautiful.

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    1. Dear Betty - I too can just imagine drovers and animals going along that trail - it would make a lovely subject for a painting. A girl on a horse came riding by, but I was not quick enough to catch her properly before she disappeared into the distance.

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  13. What a treat, and a bit of a surprise, to see my name in your post title. I love seeing these woods we walked in on a very, very hot day in July. I didn't realize the differences in beech trees, so I'm glad you pointed that out. I recognize the fork in the road in the top photo - we took the right hand pathway outgoing and found our way to the lower pathway on our return. Thank you for writing this post. I'm chuffed, as my NZ friend says.

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    1. Delighted that you enjoyed seeing this pathway going through Frith Wood during a different season from the one you experienced. I will try and show it to you again when the bluebells are back.

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    2. That would be wonderful! Thank you!

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  14. Beautiful pathway through the bush, would be such a lovely walk.

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    1. It was a lovely walk and we all returned feeling ready to enjoy H's special birthday lunch.

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  15. Whoever walks through this pathway is bound to feel the peace and quiet and beauty of nature. A blessing to the eyes.

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    1. I am so pleased that you enjoyed seeing the beauty of this lovely woodland walk Jane.

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  16. Dear Rosemary,
    I can hear the crunch of leaves under my feet. Your photos are extra special.

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    1. Dear Gina - thank you so much for your very kind comment, but most of the credit here must go to the woods themselves.

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  17. Dearest Rosemary,
    Thank you for rekindling fond childhood memories when we walked with Dad to the leaf covered beechwood area for gathering beechnuts! Have not eaten them in over 50 years I guess.
    Your photo with the glistening leaves on the wood floor is pure magic and what a beauty!
    Sure, it is in the eye of the beholder and one has to get out for discovering it.
    Thanks so much for sharing this. By the way, our special order shower door got installed on Tuesday. Cleaned the entire bathroom on Wednesday and feel so grateful for having this behind us. Painter did part of our bedroom, office and hallway.
    Hugs and happy weekend!
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - I can imagine just how relieved you must be feeling having now completed all of your renovation jobs, and how lovely to have it all looking so nice for the approaching Christmas season.

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  18. I especially like the leaves that look like jewels.

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    1. I was surprised when I looked at that photo on the computer and realised just how metallic the leaves looked.

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  19. You can really capture the moment Rosemary...beautiful pictures!
    Thanks for your sweet comment too :)
    Have a happy week, take care.
    Titti

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    1. Thank you Titti for your very kind comment. Hope your week is good too.

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  20. Dear Rosemary - You have such wonderful woodlands in your surroundings. I enjoy walking with you from time to time through four seasons. I especially like the photo of the tiny jewels on the fallen leaves; three of them look like a brooch with jewels on the metal.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - you can see just why jewellers very often copy their design pieces from nature when you look at these beautiful leaves.

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