Things have been quite quiet at Treragin Wood in the last month. I have finally finished filling the new log store, which is three times the size of our first. This is to help run the new woodburner, which is connected to four radiators around the house, in our first attempt at central heating. I normally fill our log store as soon as it is emptied from the previous winter. I tend to get the left-overs – mainly wood that has been over-seasoned and got soggy in the cordwood piles. But that dries out quickly when brought under appropriate cover. See below for our first wood store, not the prettiest, but open facing south, to get sunshine, and slatted sides, to enable wind and air to circulate. Shut away in a damp shed is the worst thing you can do.
On the wildlife front, we are just getting into the orchid season. Last year we recorded 152 Broad-leaved Helleborines, a record for us, though rabbits did munch quite a few of them before they flowered. They have been spreading erratically over the last twenty years, with us first recording five in the early years. Two Twayblades also keep them company, and seem to be the same plants, as neither has moved in the last four years. We normally do an official count in June, but with the cold weather many things are late this year, so I will let you know how many we find next blog. I’m expecting less, but you never know….
Further afield I saw a family of five foxes at our Chelfham Woods, but I was a bit slow with the camera, and discarded the only shots on the grounds that no-one else would believe what that tiny brown dot was! Bit easier were the deer tracks in the same wood, which are of Red Deer (two spotted, but again not on camera). OK, I cheated,the photograph at the top was taken by Wildstock, the best I managed was a photograph of the deer tracks; even then the scale rule was over-exposed!
I think perhaps I might make a better herpetologist, as they tend to move a bit slower: the slow-worm below was photographed by me on a site near Looe. Having spotted one at Treragin last month, for the first time there, I’ve now seen them in three more sites in the last three weeks. They just like hiding under things, in this case a sheet of plywood, at Treragin under a stone. You may even find them in your garden if you start looking!