No sooner do I complete the enormous task of clearing the woodland floor than Storm Erik comes along to rock and roll among the trees, tearing down branches. Ah, well. That is life.
Owl Wood is a place of magical delight to humans and animals alike, but it does come with responsibilities and expenses. In this modern day and age, even for such a small scrap of woodland, we have to have special woodland insurance and that doesn't come cheap. Add to that the many hours we spend maintaining the place and, at this time of year, I do sometimes wonder why?
Then I come across photographs like this...
A safe space for our grandchildren and their friends to play in and explore, for treasure hunts, map reading practice, or for rambles with the dog.
Fun isn't limited to the summer.
Two cousins take a spin around the woodland.
A lazy swing and a bit of contemplation
A game of hide and seek with someone who hasn't quite grasped the concept...oh, the hours we spent doing that!
Early evening adventures, a little bit of darkness makes it all seem so much more exciting - for that is when you have to watch out for bears and wolves.
Owl Wood has been home to several little flocks of retired battery hens - their joy at the freedom to roam was very special. They soon regained their feathers and their health, wonderful characters, each and every one of them.
The most recent flock were fancy breeds. Beautiful girls, but definitely not as robust as those battery girls. So many hens over the years, yet each one developed into a character.
There are many bird boxes, as well as nests, perched up in the trees.
The most special box is the one where these three little creatures were hatched, three Tawny Owl chicks, all three successfully fledged, hence 'Owl Wood' - so much nicer than the official name.
Adding all these delights up, and all the ones I haven't mentioned - wild garlic, for instance - offsetting them against the cost of insurance (£150 pa) plus all the hard work - is it worth it?
Thank you for all your lovely comments, they helped me through my silence.
Whatever it was seems to have been blown away by the wind, for I came back from walking Toby feeling bright and energetic, windswept and cleansed of whatever ailed me.
Have a wonderful weekend.