Monday, 29 May 2017

Glorious Spring

May weather has been a mixed bag, starting as it did  unseasonally dry and cold with a few night frosts  and ending with a mini -heatwave which broke last night with a spectacular thunder and lightning storm. I slept through it, so was a bit surprised to see that the garden water butts were filled right up. Today is muggy and  warm, with dense fog on the hills, and  drizzle. 

During the dry weather, growth in Old Copse seemed to have stalled, but with the downpours we've had recently, combined with the warmth , everything has burst into leaf. We can relax after worrying that our new trees wouldn't survive the summer. They have put on a huge spurt in growth , with just a few failures to thrive.

The established  beech trees are particularly lovely, their  almost  luminous, lime green leaves stand out from everything else and make us realise just how many there are in the wood. Not all the oaks are in leaf, which  indicates  that they have varied DNA

This is a photographic post ,  a  Springtime record of what Old Copse looks like in May 2017,  to enable us to compare with past and future years. To a casual viewer of this blog it could well appear that nothing much changes and it all looks the same from year to year , apart from seasonal differences. However, as frequent workers in the wood, we have every opportunity to observe changes, and to note what is doing well, and vice versa.

We've started opening up clearings and made a track through the dense birch wood

Each year there are more bluebells, and they are gradually spreading down among the thinned pine.

Grasses, foxgloves and ferns  are  colonising cleared ground 

The fallow deer have become very bold since the close of the season.

It's that time of the year again , Mark and his deer stalkers came in to do some heavy lifting.

And here they are taking a welcome break. Many thanks chaps for ........ 

Doing some tough holly clearance

.............and  processing, transporting, and stacking a large amount of birch firewood for next winter.

Recent sightings. Sarah was lucky : she disturbed a woodcock (red listed)  at the North end of the wood. It was taking cover under a beech tree in among the birch,  and later a tawny owl flew low over her head heading back to its roost in a large beech tree in the north of the wood.