Thursday, 7 June 2018

Clocking on

After their first flush of flowers, dandelions follow on with a profusion of dandelion clocks, spreading seeds all over the place.  They continue flowering right through the summer but never so many at once as the spring bonanza of golden lions and dandelion clocks.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Ground Ivy

It's not even related to ivy but it does grow close to the ground.  In fact this patch was only revealed when we cut back some nettles.  (They look better in real life than in this photo.) 

The pairs of round leaves with scalloped edges and hairy stems are distinctive

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Rowan and Wayfaring Tree

Rowan or mountain ash is covered in creamy-white bunches of flowers at the moment.  The leaves are pinnately divided and the flowers have dark anthers on the stamens.

The wayfaring tree is also in flower looking rather similar but the anthers are pale and the leaves are totally different

Veins on the rather furry leaves are deeply indented on the top surface.

Looking at the underside of the leaf, the veins are very prominent.   

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Ramsons or Wild Garlic

We have a small patch of wild garlic or ramsons flowering now.  To find it cross the stream by the White House (toolshed) and it is on the right amongst the trees.

The picture shows it growing with dog's mercury.  

Monday, 21 May 2018

Willow fluff and diamonds

You may have noticed white fluff floating in the air.  It comes from poplar and willow trees spreading their seeds around.

Somne of the fluff sticks to the old female flowers and drops to the ground when the flowers fall off.  If you are feeling a bit low and plodding around with your eyes on the ground, these piles of fluff may alert you to a sallow tree (either grey willow or goat willow) overhead.  The diamond shaped marks on the tree bark (lenticels) also help to identify the tree as a sallow. 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Willow Warbler and Yellowhammer

We were very pleased to hear several willow warblers singing this week at Filnore Woods .  .  .  

.  .  .  and even a yellowhammer, a species that has been in decline because of intensive agriculture.

And local countryman John Riddiford even heard a cuckoo down at Oldbury-on-Severn, which is only 3 or 4 miles away.  I haven't heard a cuckoo in the area for years.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Path improvements

The path sloping down to the footbridge over the stream is always very muddy in winter.   Somebody had the good idea of laying sticks across like a ladder to stop feet sinking into the mud.  We decided to use this idea to improve the path

We have started by digging a ditch to either side to drain off the water that trickles down the slope.  Then we are raising the level of the path by pegging poles into place along the sides.   Using coppice material cut earlier in the year, pegs were sharpened.

These were then used to hold the thicker poles in place along the sides of the path

 Soil from digging drainage ditches to either side was used to level the path and embed small sticks placed like the rungs of a ladder between the thick poles.

Then it was topped off with woodchip

We've made a start but the job is only partly complete.  More work for our next work morning.