Wild @ Rivers - September 2015

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Diary Entry by Charmaine Cooper

Hawthorn Berries

After overnight rain the day is bright and sparkling. Water droplets trapped on the cobwebs that festoon the branches and grasses sparkle and shimmer in a myriad of colours. The air is fresh and the sky a vivid blue; the feel of autumn is in the air. The scarlet Hawthorn berries have ripened in the nursery scrub hedgerows and the dusky blue Sloe fruit adorns the orchard’s hedge, winter fuel for the wild birds. Along the orchard meadow’s hedge plums have ripened and tumbled into the grass. A Dragonfly swoops swiftly over the hedge darting to and fro as it seeks flying insects. Two Speckled Wood Butterflies twirl upwards from the hedge followed by a Green Veined White Butterfly despite the cold breeze.

Knopper Gall

In the orchard’s meadow the young Oak trees have produced Acorns this year. Some of the Acorns have developed frilly edges that are Galls. This sticky Gall is the Knopper Gall and contains a single Gall Wasp egg. Jays have also been attracted by the Acorns. Three Jays screech as they busily fly in and out of the tree branches retrieving Acorns to bury for their winter hoard. The Green Woodpecker calls from within the nursery scrub as the Jays fly off into the scrub with their haul.

Thrush's Anvil

The meadow and orchard are mown and the Magpies and Jays forage among the cut grass for insects. Along the meadow’s hedge the Fox ambles, enjoying the sunshine. The bright sun highlights its russet red coat and bushy tail before it slips quietly into the hedge and disappears. Rabbits scurry among the mossy footpaths in the nursery scrub. High above the orchard’s meadow the call of Buzzards pierce the blue and wispy clouded sky. Four Buzzards are playfully tumbling before they slowly drift off. Michaelmas Day has passed and the Michaelmas Daisies in the scrub have opened their delicate mauve flowers, a splash of colour as the grass withers around them. The Song Thrush has been busy along the scrub’s footpath; a pile of crushed and broken Snail shells lay next to the stone used as an anvil to break open the Snail. The Traveller’s Joy plant that scrambled over the Hawthorn and Bramble bushes in the early part of the year has produced its tassled seed heads. Nature is slowly winding down for the coming winter.

Michaelmas Daisies

Travellers' Joy


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