Wednesday work party

by Ian Bushell

The weather was again kind to the working party: dry but not too hot.  Another good turn out, just missing Sarah and Alan who are on holiday. 

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More about acorns…

…and squirrels.

Here is a video, taken from BBC Earth’s Spy In The Wild series, about squirrels caching acorns.

The header picture was taken in the park by DKG

Acorns

Oak trees produce thousands of acorns every year. Somebody has worked out that an oak tree can produce ten million acorns over its lifetime. In a good year, they carpet the ground under the tree.

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More about oak galls

This strange object is a knopper gall on an oak tree, photographed in the reserve yesterday by Ian Bushell. At this time of year, our many oak trees are sporting a whole variety of galls.

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Orchids

Why has this been such a good year for orchids?

This year, we have identified five species of native orchids in the reserve. Two of them, the common spotted orchid and the broad leaved helleborine, are old friends, but bee orchids, pyramidal orchids and southern marsh orchids also appeared for the first time in the reserve’s fields.
What makes a good year for native orchids? Here are five possible factors to take into consideration.

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Scarlet pimpernel

This is Anagallis arvensis or scarlet pimpernel discovered last week among the grass in the set-aside at the top of Kestrel Field and photographed by Ian Bushell. It is a tiny annual plant more usually found growing in bare ground under arable crops than among the reserve’s lush grasses and, like so many of our wildflowers species, it is now in serious decline due to modern intensive agricultural practices.

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Talking to Trees

by David Feather

“I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me.” This was part of a lyric to a song some of our older nature reserve walkers will remember. Well, there is a possibility that the lyric writer might have been mistaken.

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