Unwrapping trees

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She met these pelicans on a visit to St James’s Park.

We didn’t have any exotic birds here this morning, or any sunshine for that matter, just some grey clouds and a rather chilly looking goldfinch on a wire.

Some goldfinches did fly down to the feeder after a while . . .

. . . and a chaffinch turned up, but the feeder never got crowded. . . .

There is evidence in the garden that the sparrowhawk has been paying us fairly frequent visits when we haven’t been looking, so that is perhaps one reason why the birds are not coming in great numbers.

However, one visitor who did arrive this morning was the ever welcome Dropscone, bringing a batch of his ever welcome scones with him. We disposed of these over several cups of coffee while catching up on family (good) and golf (not quite so good) news.

After he left, we had an early lunch, and went off to join a volunteer squad for the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve. After the thorough drenching that I had got at last week’s session on the moor, we were very happy to get some dry and calm weather for today’s meeting at the bird hide. Our task was to remove the no longer required plastic tree guards from well grown trees in a section of the wood near the hide.

We set to with a will, and after some hard work, the wood was looking quite a bit better.

There were well over 200 to get rid off and they gave the squad plenty to do . . .

. . . but rather amazingly, and with very careful packing, they all fitted into the boot and the back seats of Kat’s big car.

The team celebrated with a drink of Ribena and a chocolate biscuit.

Picture courtesy of Kat, our team leader.

There will be plenty more of this work to do for future volunteers as there has been a lot more new planting since the larches at the bird hide were felled.

The track down from the bird hide to the wood where we were working . . .

. . . was well supplied with fungus.

The bird hide itself is still looking rather forlorn.

It used to sit at the head of a larch grove, and I have spent many happy hours inside it waiting for woodpeckers to appear .

But it doesn’t look as forlorn as the commercial forestry across the valley.

It is in the hope of preserving more of our local environment from disappearing under a blanket of spruce, with the subsequent clear felling, that the buy-out team are currently working hard at raising the funds to purchase the second part of the moor, thus extending the nature reserve to protect and develop our environmental diversity as much as possible.

We had given another volunteer a lift up to the bird hide and by the time that we had dropped him off at the Kilngreen, we got home too late to go out for a walk with enough light to take pictures, though it was light enough for a quick stroll round the garden in pursuit of late season colour.

The star of the show was a Welsh poppy.

As we are expecting a big drop in temperature next week, this may be very nearly the last we see of that persistent little red rose.

After a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal, I put the darkness of the late afternoon to good use by entering a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group’s database before it was time for our regular Zoom with my siblings.

My knees stood up very well to the volunteering, and are hardly complaining at all tonight.

I am sad to report that the expert who thought that I might have seen an eagle on my walk yesterday, changed his mind when he got a better look at the photograph, and now thinks that it was a buzzard. Never mind, I will keep looking out for an eagle. They have been seen locally recently.

Today’s rather indistinct flying bird is definitely not a eagle.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Unwrapping trees

  1. I’m glad the knee is feeling better.
    The Welsh poppy is beautiful, especially since it’s blooming in November.
    I’m trying to think of what animals you have that would eat or damage the bark of trees. Goats, maybe? Here it would be porcupines. They love tree bark in the winter.

  2. What a team! The small trees do look so much better without their plastic tubes. I hope they are big and strong enough to cope with deer and rabbit damage. It is a pity the raptor wasn’t a golden eagle; better luck next time! The Welsh poppy really glows!

  3. I am sure the trees are releived to be rid of their protective coverings and I am pleased there was someone from a younger generation on hand to assist. We need a lot more of them.

  4. A good day’s work, with a very impressive packing job. Mrs. T. looks ready to toss that cover like a javelin! (Or, as you are in Scotland, should I say a very small caber???)

    1. I am hoping that the eagle will only be a matter of time.

      The volunteer turnout was heartening and should grow as the project continues. You can get a lot done with a committed group.

  5. It is looking more wintry there, except for the flower panel. That first goldfinch looks quite cold and puffed up. At least Dropscone is too large for the sparrow hawk to fly off with, and you got a delivery of scones.

    The plastic tubes, or what we call grow tubes here, are wonderful for protecting both trees and vines. I have had the task of putting them vines on as part of helping out at a winery. Going up and downhill with those tubes is hard work.

  6. Looks like a splendid group of volunteers doing such a worthwhile job. Wonder if in the future they’ll be able to use another material other than plastic to protect the trees. Hope the cold snap that is coming doesn’t finish off your flowers!

    1. I see that there are non plastic alternatives but as they haven’t been tested on a large scale over a period of time, people are not sure whether they are effective or not. The flowers are no their last legs so the coming cold snap will doubtless be the end of them.

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