Sunday, 26 July 2009

Wytham Woods in July

High summer has flooded Wytham Woods with green:

Nettles and in places Bracken have mostly taken over from flowers, but these Nettle-leaved Bellflowers were one of the exceptions breaking through the cover:

Wherever the canopy opened up a little there were also many butterflies enjoying the Nettles and the last of the Blackberry blossoms, especially Small Whites, but here’s a Brimstone on a Creeping Thistle:

(Apparently these creatures’ yellow colour gave butterflies their name.) We also saw an elegant Silver-washed Fritillary, but the superior photo is courtesy of The Independent’s butterfly guide:

There was also plenty of mammal activity in the woods - we saw a Badger poking about under a log beside one path who hurried off when we got too close. This was at about 6pm but it was still very light so a real surprise and a gift to see. According to the BBC these woods have the densest Badger population in the world, but that doesn't make it less special to see one. The Badger was fairly small and fluffy so perhaps a youngster. We also saw a female Roe Deer crossing a path and heaps of shredded pine cones showed there must have been lots of Squirrels hidden in the leaves. The Hazels have little clusters of nuts now sheltering under their leaves, and many immature nuts are already on the floor and chewed apart by Squirrels and mice:

I was entranced by the movement of leaf shadows on the trunks of the Beeches. The light changes as if through water, and you do feel as though in a different element, under a thick canopy above and crossing a seabed of dried Bluebell seedpods on yellow stalks and eager little Ash and Beech saplings:


  1. More photos! Brilliant. The light in that first one.

  2. Thanks very much! It's an effortless pleasure to take photographs in such a beautiful place as these woods.