Sunday, 25 September 2011

Woodland - September

Each month when I photograph this little wood I look for the changes, things that are different from the month before. This month as I walked along the path everything looked very similar to when I last saw it at the end of August. Perhaps a few more pale lemon leaves on the elder,

a little more water in the stream

and the bracken was turning brown

but the trees were still in full leaf providing a canopy as dense as in the summer months.

Then, I came across a big change,

a large ash tree had fallen across the path. Although we escaped the worst of the recent gales, there have been some high winds

and they were too much for this tree, which although it looked sound was rotting away from the inside.

As it fell, it took down other trees leaving a mass of broken branches on the woodland floor.

At the moment this area looks damaged and broken but it is also more open and lighter.

Looking up, the space in the canopy left by the missing tree is clearly visible.

The whole of this wood is very shady in summer but now there is a bright patch of sunlight reaching the ground.

The higher light levels will cause changes to the mix of flowers and plants that grow here. A seed from one of the trees nearby which may have germinated but not had enough space or light to thrive may now grow to fill the space left by the ash.

The falling of a tree, an event that probably lasted only a few seconds will have caused changes in the wood that last for many years.

I have grouped all my monthly woodland posts together here. Just three more months to complete the woodland year.

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