Working Towards Spring

Sunday, December 3rd 2017

Yesterday's blog mentioned that the work along the Hazel bank must be completed before Christmas, so that young leaves are not damaged.  Coppicing allows more light and air onto the area and this benefits the early spring flowers and their accompanying invertebrates.  On this particular part of the Hazel bank, it is interesting to note that there is a patchwork of very small, different habitats, allowing for a range of vegetation. 

Wood Anemones are never plentiful at Foxglove so it is always a great pleasure to see their flowers open in the sunshine.

Wood Anemone

Last year Early Purple Orchids thrived and increased their range.  

Early Purple Orchid

Bluebells grew well and yesterday there were several dead, empty seed heads still surviving.

Bluebells

Geum or Water Aven shows its leaves right though the winter.  Come spring the nodding heads provide food for many insects including bees.

Geum or Water Aven

Sometimes one stands out as just not the same.  It is a mutation.

Water Aven mutation

Yellow Pimpernel creeps along path edges and through the undergrowth showing its bright yellow flowers.

Yellow Pimpernel

All of these flowers and many others will soon be showing their new growth, often hidden under a warm blanket of fallen leaves.  As soon as the temperature rises in early spring so the rate of growth quickens.  Leaves flourish followed by the flowers.  As the canopy begins to shade the ground, seeds develop and disperse, ready for the following year.


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