Sunrise in Coldfall Wood

The view from the entrance to Coldfall Wood

Dear Readers, I don’t know about you, but we’ve been having some positively apocalyptic sunrises and sunsets during this winter. Today the clouds scudded across the sky like galleons, and there was a strangely ethereal light over Creighton Avenue here in East Finchley. Like many of us, I’ve noticed the sky a lot more during lockdown, and although the long, dark nights can be depressing it’s been good to actually see the sunrise, much more unlikely when the sun pops up at 4 a.m. during midsummer.

I made a visit to my favourite fallen tree – it looks more and more like a stick -insect in the act of righting itself to me. It’s a popular spot for dog walkers and smokers and anyone who just wants to take a few minutes out for a breather.

We’ve learned that if we can get out of the door before 7.45 a.m., we have a lot less company – all the school children and their parents seem to burst out of the door at 8 a.m. so we have a bit of time before it gets (relatively) busy. Social distancing is trickier when the path on either side of the road is ankle-deep in mud (clay soil definitely has its disadvantages).

And then we’re off to the flooded part of the woods, which is looking rather less flooded than in previous years. I always look hopefully at the bulrushes in case a reed bunting or a bearded tit has turned up (no comments please) but no luck so far.

I had always thought that the ‘oil stains’ that you see on ponds and streams were evidence of pollution, but apparently some naturally-occurring bacteria produce this kind of effect as they break down nutrients in the water. Who knew? However, the foam on some parts of the stream is probably due to run-off so I don’t think we’ll be having ‘Coldfall Wood Spa Water’ any time soon.

And look, the sun’s coming up…

There are still a few recalcitrant leaves clinging on for grim life.

And how about this crow? The crows of Coldfall Wood are an interesting bunch, always calling to one another from the tree tops and occasionally harassing the dogs on the playing fields. This one looks like the monarch of all s/he surveys. In fact, these photos look almost like a reflection on a pool, very disorientating.

And as we head for home, the light turns from icy white to warm gold, filtered through the bare trees. It’s funny how everything seems to spring into life with a touch of sun, even in mid winter. The world is still turning, in spite of all our human nonsense.

4 thoughts on “Sunrise in Coldfall Wood

  1. Malachy Malagrowther

    The transience of each sunrise (and sunset) is a lesson in itself. Some are unbelievable – but by the time you have gone back for your camera they have invariably changed into something else.

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      Absolutely true. I’ve pretty much given up trying to photograph them now, unless I’m taking a walk for the blog. Sometimes it’s lovely to just stand and watch the colours change….

  2. Anne

    I am usually awakened by the Hadeda Ibises about half an hour before sunrise – which meant they were calling to each other by twenty past four this morning! I generally rise soon after that to enjoy the still cool part of each day – and to enjoy the sunrise 🙂

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      We have a programme on the BBC at the moment about an artificial waterhole that was set up to see what the ecosystem around it would be like, and so I saw my first ever Hadeda ibis on the TV a few nights ago. What handsome birds they are!


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