Two weeks ago I had carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand, a year after I had the right hand done. And yet again I have got an infection in the wound, it’s my eczema that does it apparently. So I’ve been unable to drive to the wood, let alone go and do any work there. I am missing it already. With any luck one of my children will have time to take me there very soon.
This year we moved the End-of-Term “do” for my school colleagues to the part of the
wood which we coppiced over last winter. It is a nice clear area at the moment, the only thing it lacks is a fallen tree to perch on, put plates, cups etc on. So my son came to the wood one evening, and while I hung jam jars for tea lights on trees, he created 4 of these for me. They are lengths of the willow tree that came down in the wind a while ago, which I wrote about here. The benches were incredibly popular on the night, even though there were camping chairs available, unused. I can see that they are going to get plenty of use. In fact we used them again the following evening.
Whilst I was clearing a few trailing brambles so that people, especially small children, didn’t get caught on them, I spotted a solitary small Herb Paris plant. Positioned almost halfway between our existing patch and our neighbour’s patch, the leaves had been eaten and its black berry was ripe. What was noticeable was that it was where we had been walking and wheeling the wheelbarrow in and out of the wood during our winter work, they really do seem to appreciate this trampling. So I wasn’t too sad when the whole thing had disappeared without a trace by the end of the evening. Being trodden into the ground by our visitors was probably just what it wanted.
Briefly we celebrated our first ever oak seedling in our wood. Acorns seem generally to germinate much better in the rides than in the wood proper. There may have been seedlings in the wood which we never got to see, or at least notice, but this was our first. It had done it all on its own and it was healthy. I put a stake in the ground next to the seedling, and a tree protector ready to put on it. … Then it was eaten. In my experience acorns sometimes send up a second shoot when the first is damaged, so if it does, I will be ready. It’s a good thing that I have 30+ seedlings growing at home from the acorns I gathered in the autumn. Who needs veg beds anyway?
A few evenings ago I received an email from one of my wood-neighbours. He had had to clear up after somebody’s unauthorised party in his patch of the wood. They had stolen a few items he’d stored at the wood like his camping chair, along with his motion-activated wildlife camera, they’d lit two fires and left a lot of rubbish behind them. It makes us all sad.
On a much happier note, one day I found these shelters that had been built. I suspect cubs or scouts as there’s a man who works a plot who I believe is a leader. I particularly enjoyed the note on the shelter that partially crossed the ride.
A few years ago another wood-neighbour asked how many wood burners I had at home – I said one, and he laughed and told me how many he had, I think it was three. So here’s my confession, I have recently ordered my second wood burner, it should arrive tomorrow.