Thursday, 27 August 2009

New things growing and some visitors...

We identified the fungus we found last week, and our friend Tim confirmed it - Chicken of the Woods (or Sulphur Polypore):
We've not tried eating any, but it is supposed to be edible. Perhaps we'll give it a go... we hear it's quite expensive to buy!

Another interesting thing growing is the big holly tree in the public footpath. Here's a picture of it during the coppicing work last winter:
As you can see, it now has a lot of light getting to its lower branches as well as the top. As a result, it is now flowering!
I assume it's been flowering at the top every year, but this is the first time we've seen it flowering near ground level. And if you're wondering why the leaves aren't spiky, it's because it has polymorphic leaves - only those lower down (and therefore at risk of being eaten) grow spiky.

The big event this week so far was a visit from some of my work colleagues from the Ashden Awards and their families:
They all had a good time, and there's a write-up on the Ashden Awards blog, with some more pictures.

Last of all, on Monday we did a bit more processing of firewood:
This isn't ready to sell yet as it needs some more seasoning. Here's a birch log that had been striped along one side only:
It's hard to tell in the photo, but you can just about see that near the stripe made on the top by the chainsaw the wood is drier (paler colour). This is why it's important to stripe birch if you're not going to split it (this log in particular has been split now, by some of the Ashden Awards people!).

We're off to the woods again this evening, this time for a friend's birthday, so I think a fire, marshmallows and a few beers are in order...


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