Nature brings us gifts in abundance at this time of year.  I was lucky to enjoy one after another during a brief visit to a jewel in England’s woodlands: the Forest of Dean.

The Forest of Dean from Symonds Yat Rock
The Forest of Dean from Symonds Yat Rock

I soaked in the view from Symonds Yat Rock, a popular landmark in the Forest, where the languid River Wye meanders through the wooded hills, while overhead a rare Peregrine Falcon soared near its nearby craggy home.  In the Forest the leaves were turning in colour.  The beech and oak that dominate the canopy where turning yellow and orange amongst the green of fir and spruce.  Underneath them the rare and valuable wild service tree Sorbus torminalis was surprisingly common on the steep slopes above the river, its distinctive leaves the deepest golden yellow, contrasting beautifully to the rich reds of berried holly.

Gabriel Hemery

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