At the Nature Project

Day 104 of 365 Days Wild began with a walk to the pond and the little woodland area around it. I always love the sight of the morning light on the water. Sitting on the bench at the water’s edge and listening to the birds in the trees is a perfect way to start the day. No matter what might be happening in the world, I find it impossible to remain angry, stressed or miserable while I’m there.

As tends to be the usual case at this time of year, I also spent quite a lot of my time hunting for toadstools.

Whilst hunting for toadstools in the hedgerows, I also spotted a few bursts of pink that I had to investigate further. The Red Campion was one of the first plants that came into flower back in Spring. Amazingly, there are still several clumps of them around the edges of the meadow that continue to flower now.

The elderberries in the hedgerow also caught my attention. I’ve been watching these ripen for a while, waiting to capture pictures of them looking dark purple and plump. Now that they’re ripe, it won’t be long before the birds descend and strip the fruits from their stalks.

In the afternoon I returned to the meadow, this time to help my fellow members of the village nature project to rake up the cut plant matter that was left after the space was mown earlier in the week. If this was simply left in place to rot, too many nutrients would be returned to the soil. This would allow grass, brambles, thistles, and nettles to thrive, but would overwhelm the wildflowers that we’re trying to encourage, reducing the diversity of the meadow. Most of the heavy work was done by Ollie, whose ride on mower was much better at gathering the cuttings than our rakes and wheelbarrows, but we all did our bits. Unfortunately, we currently have no use for the hay, so the piles will have to be burnt. The burnt circles will be sown with native annuals – such as poppies, cornflowers and corncockles – plants which will appreciate the nutrients that the ash will add to the soil.

That’s all for today. Have you done anything out in nature recently? Are you involved in any local projects? Why not let me know in the comments below?

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