Nature Report – W/e 22nd Feb 2014

Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle … a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”
– Barbara Winkler

What a difference a week makes.  This week I could actually smell spring in the air.

I could hear it in the birds and I could see it in the rays of sunlight that at last have come out to play.

Weather

Apart from a couple of showers this week has mostly been dry.  The sun has come out on more than one morning which has given me the itch I needed to start heading outside again, like a hedgehog waking up from a very long slumber.

Habitats

The garden is still very much the area I’m spending a great deal of time in and also headed out into urban areas (in the evenings so not much to see when it’s dark) and also a nice walk to the local woods.

The woods, while not quite bursting in life yet does look to be nearly there.  Plus the ground wasn’t too boggy at all which made it very pleasant.

I realised I hadn’t been to the Woods since before Christmas so the walk was well overdue – Mouse thought so too!

Birds

I haven’t seen the wren this week.  Not to say s/he’s not about though, or at least this is what I hope.  The feeders continue to be emptied by the great and blue tits.

I’ve noticed a pattern occurring on the bird feeding area at the moment.  It starts about 8am, when then robin comes down to feast, followed by the black birds, followed by intermittent feeding by the sparrows.  Then along comes the squirrel, about 9am, who’ll sit and stay until he is chased off by a passing cat.  Then finally its a race between the ring neck doves and the wood pigeon to see who’ll take up the entire feeding area both on the station and the nearby bird table.   They will then stay until about 10am

After all that it goes really quiet until later on in the day when the birds come back anywhere between 2:30pm until dusk to fill their little bellies up ready for the night ahead.

Trees and flowers

I noticed a few trees locally have has to be felled.  A trio of tall slender poplars are being cut down as we speak which makes me very sad.  I hate seeing tree’s chopped.  I appreciate the size of them may have given their owners something to be concerned about as they were just at the end of what appears to be someone’s garden.  Another couple of tree’s have been chopped down in the woods as well.  I’m not sure if the Council (who own the woods) have any habitat plans in place but I’d hope to see the tree’s replaced at some point.

I noticed quite a few hedgerows have been what looks to be cruelly cut back (and down in some cases) by what I assume has been done by a tractor and possible a flail cutter.  This is apparently fine on small stems but anything larger than 2cms and the stem is literally ripped off leaving ragged and torn edges.  The hedges I saw looked liked they’d been though the mill a bit.  Strong hedges survive the onslaught but will take a few years to recover.  That’s if the remaining ripped stems don’t pick up any fungal diseases.  The planting of my own hedge has made me much more aware of these plants.  In fact everywhere I go at the minute I see all sorts of hedges.  They really are quite dominant as a feature in both the urban garden and the countryside.

All over the floor of the woods the green growth of anemones are beginning to show now.

Mammals

Just the usual grey squirrel this week.  I also saw a fox (a vixen I think) one evening that gave me a quick glance as she headed into another garden.  She looked pretty small.

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8 thoughts on “Nature Report – W/e 22nd Feb 2014

  1. Well it looks like we have a similar bird feeding routine in our garden except no squirrel or fox. I don’t know where I got the idea from but I have become very keen on making a stumpery where I can grow mushrooms and ferns. Our friends kindly donated a lovely long log they were planning to chop for the burner and I have put this in the shade of the pear tree. ( Well I am hoping it will be so when the leaves return) I now need to purchase the mushroom plugs to impregnate my log and look our for some interesting ferns. I only hope that Izzy and Bella, our two cats stop looking upon it as a new garden toy in the shape of a horizontal scratching post! In the greenhouse I have peas, beans, cabbage, cauliflower and aubergine germinating for the allotment together with hollyhoc, lupins. And some other mystery seeds I collected now in the propagator with fingers crossed. I am trying hard to be selective with growing on only the strongest seedlings but I do hate to discard any do you?

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    1. Hey Julie, nice to hear from you.
      A stumpery sounds like a wonderful idea. I did something similar in our front garden, rescued some logs and sat them amongst some ferns. It’s been mostly woodlice and other small creatures rather than mushrooms but it looks nice! I had no idea you could actually buy mushroom plugs though. I shall have a look for that.
      Sounds like you’re going to be busy in the garden again this yr. I know what you mean about discarding seeds. The weaker they look the more I see it as a challenge to save them even though most of the time it’s pointless and I should know this but still…
      Will look forward to seeing your growing endeavours 🙂

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