(15) Blog Posts Made in November 2010

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More Snow

Tuesday, November 30th 2010

More snowy pictures for you today.  This was taken at the top of the woodland walk, and the sun was streaming in between the trees, throwing long shadows.  The light was soft and the sky was blue.

Sunshine on the snow

Hawthorn berries in the snow

 Four volunteers turned up today.  Apart from a walk around in the snow Anthony helped with some indoor jobs whilst Ann helped with some work on the new website.  Thanks a lot.

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Winter Wonderland

Tuesday, November 30th 2010

As you might expect Foxglove looks like a winter wonderland!  This morning the sky was blue and the low sun was making long shadows across the snow. 

Hide and lake in the snow

The lake is frozen over, except for the little piece where the spring comes in.

Snowy lake and trees

The snow was so fresh it was squeeky underfoot so there was no chance of creeping up on the birds.  They were flitting through the trees and taking advantage of our filled bird feeders to stock up on food.

The only colour came from the Holly berries,-

Holly berries

- and the Hawthorn berries.

Hawthorn berries

Up on the moor there was a moody dramatic sky.

Skyscape on the moor

Our access road is very snowy at you might expect.  Take care if you are intending to visit.  It may be better to park on the parade square and walk in from there.

If you do make it here we now have our Christmas cards for sale and our 2011 Foxglove calendar.  Get them quick, before they sell out!

 

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Birds in winter

Saturday, November 27th 2010

Snow-covered logs

As snow continues to cover the reserve there have been a lot of birds around our feeders.  Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Reed Bunting, Brambling, Greenfinch and Bullfinch have all been seen in the back garden.

The birds become more obvious against the grey and white backdrop of the snowy trees.  Visitors have noted, amongst others, Woodcock, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Jay, Goldfinch,  Mistle Thrush, Redpoll and Buzzard as they have walked around the reserve. 

The deer are also easier to see and have been spotted mainly in the area towards the lake.  They stand out as they jump away through the Larch with their white tails bobbing. 

Half-finished classroom in the woods

The Outdoor classroom is really beginning to take shape.  Here it is with the back and floor installed along with the first of the roof trusses. 

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The First Snow

Friday, November 26th 2010

Foxglove has been transformed by the first snows of winter.

Frozen lake and hide

This morning the lake was almost frozen over and snow covered everything in a soft, white blanket.

Rosehips covered in snow

Clive came to fill all the bird feeders for us and the birds were almost waiting for him to do it!  A Robin landed at his feet to pick up the dropped seed.

Colours other than white shone out like jewels.  The last yellow leaves on the Silver Birch, the orange needles on the Larch and these rosehips, looking like rubies against the muted background.

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Frogs in autumn!

Wednesday, November 24th 2010

The weather today could not have been more different from yesterday.  The sun shone down from blue skies  whilst the work continued on the coppice.

Volunteers cutting down WIllow

The fifteen volunteers we had today cleared a huge area and were watched by a very un-seasonal observer.

Frog peeping out of a pond

Yes, that's right - a frog!  He popped up and enjoyed basking in the warm temperature before lunchtime.   He was much photographed before he retired from view.   

 

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Water, water everywhere

Tuesday, November 23rd 2010

In a typical grey autumn day the overwhelming sound at Foxglove was water.

Water rushing over the weir

Water dripping from the trees, water rushing down the little streams and over the weir, and water tumbling along Risedale Beck. 

Risedale Beck

The lichens pictured below had covered the same Willow tree and looked really fresh and beautiful.  The grey/green colour of the first one was very subtle.

grey/green lichen on tree bark

This is the fruiting body of another, identity unknown!

yellow/green lichen

 

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A Whole lot of Work!

Monday, November 22nd 2010

It's been a very misty couple of days here and the work has been continuing apace.  Out on the newly laid moorland path there are now bridges to cross and stone seats to sit on!

Stone seats on the moorland

Those of you still looking for flowers will find the odd one here and there.  Up on the moorland this buttercup was braving the fog.

A buttercup flower

This White Dead Nettle is still clinging on as well!

A White Dead Nettle flower

There are plenty of fungi about too, brought into fruit by the damp weather.  This one is on the moorland.

Mushroom showing the gills

The Larch needles are already softening the look of the newly laid paths.  This is the path which winds through the Sycamore avenue.

Apricot Larch needles covering a path through the trees.

Trevor and Darryl have now finished all the work at the new hide.  The boardwalk is finished and you can now walk down from the stone pile car park and straight onto the boardwalk which continues across the bridge to the hide.

Boardwalk and ramp leading to a bridge.

ATM have finished re-laying the steps at the end of the path along the beck.  Although there may seem like a lot of steps they are much better than the few which were there before as they came down the steep bank at quite an angle. 

Steps along the beck.

Today the young students from Askham Bryan college came to work on the coppice.  They worked hard on taking out a lot of Silver Birch saplings and cutting back the Willow.

Students at work in front of a bonfire.

Those of you who haven't visited the reserve in a while are sure to see some huge changes.  Not only from contractors, who are dealing with large capital works, but also from the volunteers who turn up each week and give their time.  Winter is very exciting in that it is when most habitat management work is done.  We wait to see the results of our work when the vegetation grows the following year. 

Yesterday afternoon we had an exciting preview of our new website.  It looks amazing and we were all very impressed with the work done by Vicky and Jez.  In a couple of weeks' time you will be able to see it too and we are sure you will think it's wonderful!

Keep watching this space for more news about the change to your favourite website.

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Willow and Puffballs

Wednesday, November 17th 2010

The sunny weather allowed us to finish off the first quarter of this winter's coppice block. 

Wendy and Jill cutting Willow

A team of eleven volunteers worked really hard to tidy up the site and even made a start on the next patch. 

Volunteers standing in the sunshine

The pupils from the Dales School helped out for an hour too by dragging branches and adding them to the bonfire.  The area looks fantastic and we look forward to the spring when the sunshine will warm up the glades for the butterflies and the flowers. 

 A Puffball fungus with the spores emerging like smoke

The Puffballs above were growing just at the side of the Willow coppice.  When touched they released their spores as you can see from the picture, thanks to Anthony and his stick! 

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First Frosts

Tuesday, November 16th 2010

The frost transformed Foxglove into a beautiful winter scene first thing.  Even the Nettle and Bramble leaves were sparkling in the early morning sunshine. 

Frost-covered Bramble leaf

The cold weather has encouraged plenty of birds to visit the Field Centre garden feeders.  This Coal Tit was enjoying the peanuts outside the kitchen window and in the back garden Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Bullfinches, Chaffinches, Robins and Greenfinches were amongst the many birds spotted. 

Coal Tit on a peanut feeder

Bramblings and Reed Buntings were also present.  The Bullfinch and Blackbird colour ringing schemes are going well at Foxglove.  However, we need more sightings of these birds to make the project worthwhile.  Please let us know if you see any Bullfinches or Blackbirds with colour rings on their legs.  It is important to note down the exact colour combination for both right and left legs.  This information can be used to study the population numbers and dynamics.  If you have a few spare hours and could help out by watching for these birds, please do. 

Bullfinch on feeder

A couple of quick remenders; firstly, the Foxglove Christmas meal will be on Wednesday 15th. December at Wathgill.  The cost is £12 per person.  To book a place please contact the office.  Payments are required by the end of November.  See the events section for more details.  All welcome, the more the merrier! 

Secondly, we are now collecting food for the Christmas hampers which will be raffled in a few weeks time and we will be grateful for any food or drink items for these.  (Why not take advantage of the many 'buy one, get one free' offers around and donate the free one to Foxglove!)  

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Views from the new bridge

Friday, November 12th 2010

Amazingly, the trees were all still standing this morning after last night's stormy weather.  A kaleidoscope of Autumn colours can still be seen through the rain and wind!

 

Lake with trees in autumn colours

These views were taken from the brand new bridge at the lake.  The bridge and boardwalk are almost complete and will soon be enjoyed by many visitors. 

Small stream rushing through the trees

The beck is very high as would be expected and the sound of the water going from the lake over the weir is very loud as you stand on the new structure and look down.

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Larch Needles

Wednesday, November 10th 2010

Although it has been very cold the sunshine was streaming through the trees in the woodland plantation.  The Larch needles have fallen to the floor and covered everywhere with a muted orangey hue.Apricot coloured Larch needles on the woodland floor

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Still in Flower

Tuesday, November 9th 2010

A pictureless blog today I'm afraid.  Despite the wet weather there are still flowers to be seen.  Betony, White Dead Nettle, Red Campion, Eyebright and Dog Daisy are still in flower in various corners of the reserve. 

More work was done on the Willow coppice and both sets of contractors were carrying on despite the heavy rain showers. 

Although moths can be found throughout the year, in practice it is too cold now for us to leave the trap on all night.  Therefore our trappng season has finished.  Our trapping started off quite slowly, but in the end, it has been an interesting year.  There have been quite a few new species added to the moth list.  Most notable was the Blackneck, (see blog post 8th. July), which was the first one trapped in our recording area. 

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Autumn colours and Lichen

Saturday, November 6th 2010

It's been beautifully sunny all day and the autumn colours were shining on the banks near the lake.Trees with autumn colours shining

Down along the beck these lichen, called Cladonia humilis, were growing in profusion on the mossy logs.

Pale green lichens on a mossy log

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Outdoor classroom

Friday, November 5th 2010

This is the first sight of the new outdoor classroom. Trevor and his team have been working to install the posts for the base of the structure. As you can see it has been extremely wet today and they have worked through the bad weather.

Meanwhile, ATM have continued working on widening the path along Risedale Beck.

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Habitat and sheep

Wednesday, November 3rd 2010

The volunteers cleared up an area in the woodland which will be home to our new outdoor classroom. They have made a home for mini-beasts out of all the logs and stumps. As this rots down it will be a fantastic place for fungi, frogs, beetles and all manner of small things.

Log pile for minibeasts

Later in the morning we all had to help gather in the sheep which have been grazing the wetland area. Val helped by showing them exactly which way to go!

Val helping gather the sheep

They eventually obliged us by going into their transport and Keith took them away until next year.

The sheep

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