The wood wakes

It’s morning. High cloud filters gentle sunlight. Bird song flows through the stillness and the low drone of insects in the woodland canopy sets the backing-track. A tiny ribbon of dust trickles silently down from a pinhole in an old sycamore stump; inside a minute creature bores deeper into the wood one grain of cellulose at a time. The stump is surrounded by a halo of wood dust – weeks of work by the inhabitants of this micro-world. Labouring unseen, these grafters have woken to the call of spring as it surges, unstoppable, through the wood.

A rustle in last year’s leaves; a hare lopes into view, white tail drawing arches through the newly green undergrowth. It moves through an artist’s spring palette. The emerald of ramson leaves and the paler green of orchids showcase splashes of colour. The purples of an early bluebell patch and the bright yellow of the celandine clumps contrast with delicate pale primrose bunches. White wood anemones cluster beneath trunks where the new hawthorn leaves glow lime green against the sycamore’s red leaf burst.

The wood is alive with the pulse of spring. Distant lambs bleat, birdcall warns and welcomes, the bees pass, their loud hum disappearing as quickly as it arrives. Little winged dots drift in the barely present breeze, beetles fly close to the ground where woodlice and millipedes scurry. A wood pigeon coos contentedly as it basks in the warm sun, a nuthatch toots and all the while, leaves steadily, imperceptibly open, gradually concealing the wood’s inhabitants, recreating intimate glades and hidden bowers. In the stillness of the morning, the wood silently alters, taking on the mantle of spring. In the stillness of the morning, you can hear the heartbeat of the wood. The wood wakes.

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