Archive for Trees

Beautiful Bluebells

One of our favourite walks is to go to Otterhead Lakes and walk by the lakes and through the woodland.  We went a couple of weeks ago when my brother was here but the bluebells were not quite out so we went again today to see the beautiful carpets of flowers.

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The sunlight was just shining through the emerging Beech trees with their light green leaves.

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Just off the path before the bluebells were beds of wild garlic.

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As we walked further down the blue of the bluebells got more intense.

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Neil took my picture sitting amongst the flowers.

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This is such a beautiful place, so peaceful and today there were no other people around, just the sound of the birds and the rustling leaves.

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We stopped by the first lake and could see the swan still sitting on her nest and also the Heron was in the same place as we had seen it a couple of weeks ago.  I took a picture of Neil by the lake.

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As we were driving from the car park up the lane we noticed that the Devon banks were also topped with bluebells.

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We are so lucky to live nearby.

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Bluebell walk at Otterhead Lakes

Today, dodging the showers we went for a walk at Otterhead Lakes, one of my favourite places, to see all the bluebells.

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The map shows the path we take, from the car park following the red line down to the first lake and then along the path through the woods to the second lake.  Earlier in the year we came here to see the carpets of snowdrops, now it is the turn of the bluebells.

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When we got to the first lake one of swans came up to see if we had brought any bread, (but we had forgotten).

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It was closely followed by some ducks, who were equally disappointed by us.

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The swan upended itself to search for its own food.

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As we walked along the path by the river we could see the carpets of bluebells in between the trees.

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Neil posed on the little bridge across the stream.

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In an established woodland the bluebells are native English where the bells hang to one side as opposed to Spanish bluebells where the bells are all the way round.

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When we got the second lake there was a clump of yellow flowers that looked a bit like buttercups.

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The water was calm on the lake.

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Walking back we admired the bluebells in the woods along the bank.

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We are so lucky to live in this beautiful part of the country.  come and visit us

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Planting trees and amusing the chickens

Over the past week we have been planting out more fruit trees into what is our small orchard, which currently doubles up as the chicken run. Neil would dig a hole and the chickens would come flocking around to grab the worms and then run off with them, being chased by the other chickens trying to get the worm off her. They were so funny to watch.

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Even when the trees were planted the hens were still milling around picking up the worms.

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Our handsome Apenzeller cockerel who we call “Ted” was crowing loudly, as much as to say to his girls “Come and get the worms!!”

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The chickens were all having a wonderful time pecking the worms and running around.  Glad to provide amusement for them, as they lay us such lovely eggs.

 

 

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From little acorns……

From little acorns do mighty oaks grow – so goes the saying and we hope it is true.  Last Autumn the common oak trees shed the most abundant supply of acorns.  We were picking them up and noticed that some were sprouting,  So Neil decided to plant some in compost and see if he could grow them.  We put them in a seed propagator on the window sill in the dining room where it is a constant warm temperature. Out of 36 planted, 29 sprouted.

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We started them off in the inside of toilet rolls in compost and as you can see they started to grow.  The next stage was to pot up the most vigorous ones and give them their own mini greenhouse.  We had been collected clear PET bottles from water and tonic and we cut these to make a small pot and a top.

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The toilet roll inner tube was then placed into the bottom of the bottle with extra compost and the top part put over it to make a little cloche.

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After a while we had a tray full of little oak trees in their own individual cloches.

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When they grow a bit taller and reach the neck of the bottle, we take the top part off and let them grow upwards.  When Spring comes we will replant them again into larger pots and gradually from about May onwards be able to put them outside.  Our idea is to have a nursery bed of trees that when large enough (approx. 4 to 5 feet tall) we can then plant in our woods. These will need to be protected from the deer by fencing and an electric fence barrier on the wood’s perimeter.

We have a few sackfuls of other common oak acorns and will be planting these out with a variety of different methods which will be blogged at a later date.  So watch this space for progress on the trees.

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Down with the Sycamore Trees

We have been having trouble with a neighbour’s sycamore trees.  The branches have been interfering with the overhead power cables and causing trip outs.  We have been on to Western Power about this and they sent a guy from their tree contractors round to survey the problem.  They had to get permission from the farmer as the trees are on his land, and he agreed not only to having them trimmed but to having them cut right down as they would only grow up again, sycamore trees grow so quickly.

This is the trees how they looked before the work was done.  They also blocked sunlight onto our front garden during the afternoon.

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So the other day the contractors arrived, we made them a cup of tea and they started working cutting down the trees.

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They worked away all day long, cutting and chipping.  One guy had to climb one of the tree trunks to cut down the side branches.

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And then by evening all that was left was the Ash tree.

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Don’t get me wrong I love trees, after all we have 2 acres of woodland that we are nurturing, but Sycamores are like weeds, they grow about 6 feet a year and drop seedlings all over the place, so sometimes its good to get rid of them.

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