After The Rain

Thursday, April 14th 2016

The day felt a lot warmer than i tecent days. There was no rain for the entire day. Four Greylag Geese and a Little Grebe greeted me as I started my morning rounds.

Mike and Jackie helped with sorting out the workshop, which will take longer than just one day. 

A trip to the wetland with a Curlew flying low, breaking into its rising flutey, call was a change from the Mallards' panicked cries as they leave the ponds. Again signs of Otters with fresh spraints were present. 

Great Sallow (Salix caprea), otherwise known as Pussy Willow or Goat Willow is in full flower.  Goat willow often hybridises with Grey Willow (Salix cinerea subsp. oleifolia), to which it is closely related.  The timber is soft and yellow in colour.  Unlike most willows, its brittle twigs are not suitable for weaving, but traditional uses for its wood included clothes pegs, while the foliage can be used as a winter feed for cattle. The wood is a good fuel as it burns well.

Traditionally willows were used to relieve pain, and the painkiller Aspirin is derived from salicin, a compound found in the bark of all Salix species. It is a great source of pollen for the bees at this time of year when pollen is rare, but not too good for the camera lens when you are up close trying to get a photo!

Thanks to the team today.

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