Bridford Wood

Bridford Wood is almost empty. It’s raining and only a few intrepid dog walkers are emptying their dogs along the River Teign.

Bridford Wood - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’ve been here before, in spring, when it was bursting with life.

The reflections today, in the slow-flowing water, are of yellowing leaves:

Bridford Wood - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

In spring it’s the bright yellow of the native daffodils which is the most distinctive feature.

Watching autumn appear in a woodland is fascinating. Seeing which leaves turn brown first and wondering what made them the first to turn is intriguing.

Bridford Wood - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

What possessed these leaves to start autumn early?

Bridford Wood - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They are so completely, beautifully, brown against the lushness of the rest of the tree.

I want to come here every day and trace the changing of the colours, but I don’t.

Bridford Wood - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

In autumn there’s a different profusion of growth, as puffballs sprout from the dead tree stumps here. These are the Stump Puffball, Lycoperdon pyriforme:

Bridford Wood - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They will soon be pumping great clouds of dark ochre-green spores into the air with every raindrop which falls on them.

Bridford Wood - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Lycoperdon means wolf-fart. It’s a great name.

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