Over the past few years we have developed the routine of walking the 4.6 mile circuit around Salcey Forest twice a week. This has been great for our fitness but has also meant that we get to see the forest in all its seasons.
Last winter was a bit devastating as they took 4000 tonnes of timber (a lot of it oak) out of the forest. The huge machines they use for this operation create so much damage and destruction and it was heart-breaking to witness. However, nature is so good at recovering and the extra light allowed into the canopy seemed to have provided opportunities for quite a lot of insects, especially butterflies, to thrive this summer. There were good numbers of silver-washed fritillaries, skippers, whites and speckled woods around and I saw a clouded yellow down one of the rides at the same time as a veritable swarm of hornets!
But I thought I would share with you a few of the autumn highlights in picture format as follows:
- the trooping funnel toadstool which get its name as it tends to pop up in lines around the wood
- a very large pumpkin dumped in the wood to feed the wild creatures 🙂
- the red necklace beads of black bryony
- the stunning pink berries of spindle with their bright orange seeds
- a fallen oak leaf with its droplets of water
- and finally, a harbinger of the Spring and happier times to come – the first hazel catkins