Sunday, 9 July 2017

Camping in the woods - zip line and a new way to open a wine bottle

June was a busy month for work at Ashden, but towards the end things calmed down, and I had several friends from the office come down for a weekend camping.

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We actually cooked dinner for 14 in the evening!
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As well as lots of time spent cooking and eating, we also had a tour of the woods, as some had not visited before.
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And we learned a new trick - how to open a bottle of wine using a tree and a shoe!


The other highlight of the trip was setting up a zip line in the woods, mostly using existing equipment I have for winching trees over:


Although there was an earlier version that didn't work so well!


Looking forward to some more camping trips over the summer, hopefully the weather will stay nice!

Mike

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Saturday, 27 May 2017

Trailcam video: Deer, Badger, and Fox in the woods

We've got a new trail cam! Here's some video from the first week or so of its use in the woods, showing a deer, badger and fox:


Apart from a few social visits, we've not been doing much in the woods for the past few weeks, partly to avoid disturbing any nesting birds. But we've seen plenty of birds elsewhere, here's a Kestrel, Mallards with their ducklings and a Coot with its youngster as well:
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Sunday, 2 April 2017

First Bluebell in the woods!

We found our first Bluebell of this Spring in the woods yesterday!

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The Wood Anemones are looking great as well now:
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And in one of the dens Tracy's class built back in the autumn, the flowers have moved in... it's quite bizarre, I can only assume the shelter from frost made a difference and resulted in dormant seeds sprouting. The entrance does face roughly south, which might have helped trap heat.
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Lots of the trees are now coming into leaf as well, such as Hornbeam:
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Birch:
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And even some of the Sweet Chestnut:
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Ferns are unravelling themselves, but still look a bit alien right now:
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The sun's brought out the butterflies too, we've seen several Brimstone, and a few Peacock as well:
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But it's not all been strolling around in the sun, I've taken advantage of the tracks drying out to start moving some logs - these are going to be milled into planks and beams for building stuff:
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Back later with more bluebells...

Mike

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Felling oak trees and signs of Spring

I've been busy with work the past couple of months, but am now back in the woods more often, and there are clear signs of Spring in the wood at last - the Wood Anemones are back :-)
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My friend Rich has just finished some coppicing in his wood, and on Friday I gave him a hand thinning some oak trees. While we were at it I got a couple of videos of the trees being felled, and decided to place my GoPro camera in a dangerous spot...




Looking forward to the return of green to the woods!

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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Winter sunrise at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

With the coppicing completed for the winter, there's time for other things, like enjoying a frosty sunrise at Rye Harbour while waiting for my car to get it's MOT done. Here's a few photos, all taken using my phone rather than a proper camera (with some post-processing of course).

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Mike

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