Friday, 9 April 2010

Easter camping trip

We bought a new tent last weekend! The old one sleeps 8, so takes so long to put up that it's not really worth it for one night, so we thought we should have a smaller one as well. As there was a bank holiday, it seemed like a good time to test it out in the woods:
We were blessed with beautiful weather, and it was nice to be up there to prepare some fuel and cook dinner:
There was a great sunset to photograph as we walked along the wayleave to see the work that's been going on in other parts of the wood over the winter.
Then it was back to the camp and time to build the fire up a bit:
As it was a clear night I tried taking a photo of the stars with my camera on a tripod, which worked OK:
but what turned out to be more interesting was the faintly lit clouds, which you couldn't see with the naked eye:
Or, seeing as it was a long exposure, the same view but using a torch to light up the trees:
With a clear sky, the night was cold, and we've decided we need better sleeping bags for this time of year! Still, it was great to wake up in the wood, and when I crawled out of the tent at 6:30am I saw a pair of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers in the oak above me. The light was pretty poor, but I just about managed to get a photo of one of them:
then it was time for a cooked breakfast, which always tastes better when cooked over wood, of course!
and also time to hang out the bedding to air. We were really glad we'd had our bivvy bags over the sleeping bags, it would have been much too cold to sleep otherwise.
We saw plenty of wildlife while we were up there, such as this Sparrow and Chaffinch at the top of Sweep Wood (they're not found deeper inside the wood):
and there are lots of insects out as well; we were pleased to see bees enjoying the wood anemones:
The buds on the trees were developing really well now, here's the Chestnut:
Ash (at the top of the tree):
At the top of a large hornbeam, the leaves were much further on:
as are Sycamore saplings:
and Hawthorn:
There's also some nice blossom on the "mystery" plum tree in Sweep Wood:
Down at ground level, things are beginning to grow again:
and the wood anemone blossom is spreading:
Brambles are pushing out new leaves:
and a gorse bush in the wayleave is in flower:
There are of course some unwanted plants, such as the dreaded rhododendron, which can take over entire woodlands if left unchecked:
So we dealt with a few of them with a chainsaw!
After that we dug the roots up too, and placed them where they could not re-root. There's still some more to do, which we hope to get to in the next few weeks.

Thanks all for now,

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