Wytham wandering

The purpose of trees is to provide blessed shade as you stroll along on a hot summer’s afternoon. Any other purpose is useful but secondary. Put enough trees together and you get woods. Put the woods on a hill overlooking Oxford and you get Wytham Woods.

It’s an access-controlled SSSI, and even though I don’t think there are any reasonable bars to anyone getting a permit, it makes it just a bit more peaceful and remote than, say, Shotover (despite the best efforts of our friends from Brize Norton to bring a little low-level noise into our lives). Every now and again you turn a corner and suddenly find yourself with a panoramic view of the dreaming spires, and wish you’d brought the proper camera rather than just the phone.

The phone camera also failed to do full justice to the hitherto unknown pastime of caterpillar bungee-jumping.

That glowing blob is not a crack in space-time: it is in fact a small green caterpillar about 3cm in length, dangling in the middle of the road by a strand of silk so fine it seems to be levitating. Closer up:

And there were a lot of them. Whether they were trying to get down or up or just dangling to pass the time of day, I have no idea. However they do it at about face level so it’s a good way of grabbing the attention of passers by.
Current reading is Avilion by Robert Holdstock, last of the Mythago Wood series, which gives all sorts of added resonances to walking through a piece of undisturbed ancient woodland, and makes you realise that living somewhere like this:

… could be a very bad idea indeed.