8.30pm. Friday. 2012. Breezy, dry but not warm. There’s a pink haze lying over the valley as I walk down the hill. No sound, just a few birds singing and horses tearing at grass but otherwise silent.
The growth is so thick I can’t see the badger hole in the bank of Knapweed meadow. Maybe I can put my camera there one night to watch. My hunch is it’s a maternity sett but I can’t be sure.
The stream is running fast after the torrential rain. It’s the highest I’ve seen it at this time of year. No signs of otter spraint on the stone.
The tall hedges are smothered in sweet smelling honeysuckle.
As I reach Stable oak there’s no sign of the little owls. Maybe they’ve decamped to Adam’s Oak on the hill where there’s more cover and food?
A song thrush is singing from a telephone line near the Mission, while a female gathers worms from a nearby field and swallows dive low over the lane.
Walking back down the lane bats take advantage of the knats. Several fly just over my head. Pipistrelles I think.
The stream that runs between the fields is overflowing onto the footpath and road. I’ve only seen it do this in the winter. It’s usually a dribble by now.
Reaching Knapweed meadow I spot a roe deer. There are no horses in the field at the moment, so the grass has grown long. Watching her with my binoculars I spot a fawn, then another. Twins… obviously not very old but steady enough on their feet.
I’m posting a few of the photos I’ve taken recently. These were taken on 31 March under the Remedy Oak (see previous post). I’ve played around with their background colour a little, but their yellow centres were so amazing I just had to make that zing…
A couple of times recently I’ve driven over to Woodlands, a small hamlet between Wimborne and Cranborne, to survey the intriguingly named Remedy Oak for the Ancient Tree Hunt. I must admit it’s very easy to miss, blink and you’ve driven past, but get out of your car and walk around it and I promise you will not be disappointed.
I know, I know! I don’t post for ages and now I’m posting again. I just had to tell you about my exciting sightings today.
I thought it was about time Urban Extension went “Interactive”. What the hell does that mean? I hear you cry. Well it means that I’ve been playing around with Google Maps (adding walks and photographs) and I’m about to unleash it on you. Sitting comfortably? I will explain…
Bumblebee colonies die in late Summer early Autumn leaving only mated Queens to hibernate over Winter and emerge in Spring to start up new colonies – at least that’s what the books say! Over the last few years more and more bumblebees have been seen flying around in the depths of winter. So what’s going on????
So it looks like summer is well and truly over. October arrived with northerly winds and Summer 2008 waved goodbye and got on the next plane to Florida. Depressed? At least we had a couple of weeks of sunshine and the insects managed to have a final feed.