Thursday, September 23, 2010

I know it has been a long time; I apologise. What with work trips to Brazil and moving house, everything has been moving ahead full steam. The house move also meant that I had no internet connection for weeks which resulted in the obvious inability to update the blog.
Anyway, enough excuses; how is Scrag? Well, if I was to sum it up in one word, autumnal would do it. Although, there is no obvious golden colour yet, there is an abundance of fruit and berries from blackberries to sloes and hawthorns. There is the constant light thud as acorns hit the leaf litter. And the leaf litter is now beginning to form the yellow/brown mosaic as birch and hornbeam leaves, the first to come into leaf in the spring are also the first to turn yellow at the end of summer. The oaks are still, however, in full green leaf.
It's still very dry at throughout the woodland; I can still drive the full length of the track; my mud barometer. The stream is not even flowing, just a few muddy pools here and there. The abundance of fruits and nuts may help the badgers acquire their winter-weight but I am concerned that any cubs from this year will have great trouble getting their weight up as earthworms are still deep due to the dryness. I am thrilled that at my new house we actually have two badgers in the garden every night; a sow and what I presume is her cub from this year. The cub, named Boris (?), is worryingly small, about half the size of mum. Cubs should be much larger at this time of year if they are to survive the lean times of winter, especially if it as brutal as the last.
For me now, it's a time to prepare for the last quarter of the year; a very busy time with many woodland birds' photography workshops to run from October into December. The hides all need to be cleaned out and repaired if necessary. I have now also started to feed the birds again, this will start to get them coming in to the hides again in good numbers well before the first workshop. Anyway, it is a good time of year to work in the woodlands; that early crispness mixed with the damp smell of the leaflitter with the sound of the mewing buzzards overhead.