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If you go down to the woods today (well, technically this day last week!)…

…you’re sure of big, wonderful, amazing surprises.

Including zombie rabbits…

…Jewel-like reflections…

…and not forgetting the odd heart!

To put into context, this time last week I was up in the far North West Highlands, completely immersed in the beautiful Culag Woods of Lochinver. Enveloped in a dramatic atmosphere – created by that morning’s rainfall, and enhanced by the sun frequently bursting through low cloud, creating beautiful contrasts between the striking silvers of birch trees and vast rock formations, and the greens and browns of mosses, lichens, pines and earth – I walked in captivated silence. Crunching on the gravel trails, often taking detours onto the soft, springy woodland floor and inhaling those delicious earthy scents, nothing in my path was left unexplored.

Small pools, puddles and rain drops reflected the beautiful woodland habitat:

Knarled bark of untamed, twisting trees – fashioned by invisible hands of wild Highland winds – revealed so many faces watching me from all angles. Some I spotted, many more remained hidden, yet to be discovered – I’m sure – on future journeys, or by other searching eyes.

My best discovery of the day revealed itself as I came across this small tranquil waterfall:

Not having a tripod to hand, I spent a little while kneeling on the damp earth whilst supporting my camera against some rocks to steady it, allowing me to take photographs with a slow shutter. As I went to move on, I saw a fox face in the ripples and bubbles (faces in water formation – excluding reflections – is a new one for me! But that wasn’t the best discovery, although not far off it!). The clue is in the foxes “eye”...

I spotted a reflection. Already having been kneeling down, suddenly I found myself sprawled across the mud and wet, getting as close as possible to those bubbles without joining them in the stream! The reflections were incredible; the larger ones mirroring the 360° world surrounding them, the smaller ones looking like crazed eyes. All of them transient – one instant there, the next, gone forever. Leaving behind a small, happy person, content in the moment and glowing inside from the energy of the woodland magic surrounding her.

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