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A Winter Woodland Wander

Despite it being February it is still a lovely winters day.  Just lovely for a wander through the woodland with my camera.  We often think of the winter as being a “dead” season where not much happens.  That made me wonder is that the case? or are we just not looking for activity?

I thought it might be helpful to include a map with all the locations of the images.  You can scroll into the map but please remember the locations may not be exact due to satellite positioning etc.

For each pin I have attached the photo of the plant, but you’ll see more detail on each of the photos below.  If you click on each photo you will be taken to the specific page on my online shop.

This blog was originally published on:   

4 April 2023

and subsequently modified on:  

9 February 2024

The Middle Way

A bright winter day in the woodland. On the ground layer is greater woodrush giving a lush green appearance. The first tree in the foreground is a downy birch which has polypore's growing on it. In the background is a mix of trees. Most are without leaves, except for the beech saplings which have brown leaves.
The woodland has several paths running through it. Each one gives its own perspective of the woodland. I particularly like this one as the great woodrush helps it remains green throughout the year. I like this downy birch as, although it is dead, you can see birch polypores growing on it. This path also gives the feeling of solitude and being really in amongst nature.

Soft Downy Feathers

A photograph of a group of feathers on a mossy background. The feathers are white and are very downy. There is a very subtly tinge of pink on the feathers.
As I was wandering through the woodland I came across an old moss covered tree stump that was covered by feathers. I suspect they were all that remained from a meal of a bird of prey.

Ivy on splintered stump

The structure of this photograph is a tree which has been snapped in a storm. The base that is left now looks like thin fingers. Ivy is now winding its way over and through the trunk.
Each winter the woodland is hit by storms. Sometimes trees are toppled, other times they are split. This is a tree that has been split during one of the storms. I really like how the splintered trunk almost looks like fingers. Even though the tree is no longer living it provides a very useful structure on which Ivy is climbing.

Holly and Bramble

This closeup image shows the leaves from a bramble bush on the left hand side and it is right up against the spiky leaves of a holly bush.
Throughout the woodland are both Bramble and Ivy. In this little patch both plants were competing with each other. I wonder which will win. I particularly like how the light has caught the wet holly surface.


On a background of moss and autumn leaves is a collection of feathers. One is the long black, grey and white tail feather of a wood pigeon and the others are the smaller downy feathers.
When I was wandering in the wood I saw an old tree stump which was covered by a bed of moss and leaves. Lying on top was a group of soft downy feathers alongside the tail feather of a wood pigeon.

Under the bark

A photo of a tree which has had its bark removed. There's a mix of shapes in different colours caused by different types of decay. There's light sandy coloured, darker wood and some outlined in black.
This is a really interesting tree. It has split and now has two main branches. This is the left hand branch and has a large section stripped of bark. This gives a fascinating view of what exists under the bark. We can see different textures and interesting shapes in the wood.


A photograph of a decaying stump of a tree. It is covered by different colours of lichen and in the middle of the photo it has created a swirl in the bark.
Although this looks as its just an old decaying tree stump one of the eye-catching features that I noticed was that the bark had made a swirl right down at ground level.

New Life

A photograph of leaves that have burst out at the end of winter.
Its always lovely to see new leaves appearing. This was a real surprise to see these in February. Lots of other trees had buds but these were the only leaves starting to show.

Scots pine with lichen

A closeup photo of the bark of a Scot Pine tree. The bark is reddish and has patches on lichen growing on it. There is also a series of small holes in the bark.
In the middle of the woodland, there’s a Scots Pine which has been badly damaged in a storm. It’s now starting a decay process and we can see lichen starting to spread and little holes and crevices are starting to appear. I particularly like the texture and colouring of the bark of a Scots Pine.

Multi-coloured lichen

A decaying tree stump which is covered in many different types of lichen.
This is an old tree stump that has now started a process of decay. It is covered with different lichens and mosses. Nature always gives us lots of different colours – here its several different colours of green: from vivid bright green, through to an almost turquoise colour to muted, dusty green.

Moss on tree

A closeup image of moss growing on a tree.
In this woodland it’s very difficult to find a tree that doesn’t have something growing on it. I particularly like this moss as it gives the appearance of individual strands.

Lichen on birch

A closeup image of a downy birch tree that is covered in different species of lichen.
I was first attracted to this tree by the covering of lichen. When I went closer to photograph it, I realised that there were several different lichen species covering the tree.

Ivy on birch

A closeup photograph of a section of a downy birch tree which is covered in ivy. In the centre of the image we can see the ivy stems and the aerial roots that are attached to the birch.
I’m always fascinated with the ivy that grows in the woodland. Here we have a birch tree which is providing a base on which Ivy is growing. Look really closely at the ivy and see how thick the ivy stems are, and we can see the tiny aerial roots attached to the tree. Recently I was reading some research which confirmed that, contrary to popular opinion, the ivy doesn't harm the underlying tree.

Inside a tree

A closeup photograph of a tree which has been splintered in a storm. We see different shades of brown bark. We can also see holes where it has decayed.
This tree had been split during a storm and it lost its top section. What has been left behind is a fascinating insight of all the different colours, and textures that exist within a tree. We see how quickly nature takes over – from spider webs to hole creation.


As winter ends we see this small honeysuckle has burst into leaf and is glowing up a small sapling.
The woodland has a variety of different climbers. I noticed this really small specimen as I was walking past a small sapling.


A closeup photograph of a cowslip plant that has just broken through the soil and undergrowth. We see the winter sunshine has caught one of the leaves and has lightened it compared to the other leaves.
This was another very welcome spot during my visit to the woodland. Even in February, this plant had pushed itself through the surface to get ready for flowering in a few weeks time.

Circle of life

This is a closeup image of a broom bush. First thing we can see is the old black seedpods from last year. They are looking cracked and weatherworn. When we look closely we can see small buds have formed - this years growth.
This photo was taken in February 2023 and shows a broom bush (Cytisus scoparius). We see the worn black seedpods which are now losing their outer layer. But look closer on the stems and you will see this years buds ready to burst.


Despite this photograph being taken in our winter this tree was covered in catkins. In the background we see the round of unfocussed catkins while those in the foreground are in focus. This gives depth to the image.
Never let anyone tell you that winter is devoid of colour. These beautiful catkins appeared in February and gave a real splash of colour – and a reminder that spring is just around the corner. I was pleased with how this photo turned out. I was aiming for a feeling of depth with our of focus catkins in the background while the ones in the foreground were in focus. I also wanted to capture the feeling of a mass of catkins.

A welcome appearance

Although this image was taken in winter we can see that these spring bulbs have broken through the soil and leaf undergrowth and are making a welcome appearance to remind us that spring is just around the corner.
I always get a real feeling of joy when I see spring flowers starting to break through the soil. These made a very welcome appearance in February. It’s always a reminder that all the colourful spring flowers are just around the corner.

If you want to visit the official Maryburgh Community Woodland site please click on this link

This blog was originally published on:

4 April 2023

and subsequently modified on:  

9 February 2024