Stapleford Wood was a place I loved visiting as a child, when it always seemed dark and mysterious off the paths to my dark brown eyes, but crazily I've never been back as an adult. I'd heard of many raves taking place at night when I was a teenager, and imagined strobe lights lighting up the ancient woodland, creating frightening shadows. But in my nature writing cocoa and slippers old form, I'd always thought it a little far away to visit.
Really it isn't. It's about 4 miles away as it turned out, and once I arrived, I quickly found a woodland track and followed it round to its end. Plenty of butterflies were on view, mainly large white, small and large skipper, and a large number of fresh second flight peacocks finally turning up late to the party.
They didn't want to be photographed however, and getting a shot usually meant being stung, scratched and generally being annoyed by hurty plants. As for the female common darter following me around, as usual, the only shot I could get was hideously out of focus.
Dragonflies are to my mobile phone cam as vampires are to mirrors.
The really big hawker dragonflies - brown and southern as seems to be usual for this area, were patrolling higher up like WW1 biplanes.
Things went a bit crazy after I left the woodland, as I thought that by following a particular minor road I might end up in Winthorpe Village. I didn't. I ended up ascending a dead end track called Danesthorpe Hill, which lead to a racehorse stable I had no idea existed, before a farm track led me roughly in the direction of home.
Very roughly. It was a very tired runner who arrived home after nearly three hours and 23km - over half marathon distance - who feels he has earned the reward of a pint tonight.
I hope you agree!
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 02.08.15
|I'm here! And I'm knackered already|
|The way in|
|Among the trees|
|Spot the out of focus darter|
|The shadow of the man|
|Interesting bumbles these. Reckon they are some sort of red tailed cuckoo|
|Another peacock, further away|
|4 miles later, Brough church|
|Farm track home|
|Perhaps I should have stolen it|