Sunday, 6 April 2014

Springtime in the woods - flowers and butterflies

We took advantage of the sunshine yesterday to go for lunch in the woods with my parents, who were visiting for the day. Although I saw solitary Bluebells a couple of weeks ago, there's a liberal scattering now visible!

DSC_8181 Early bluebells

The Wood Anemones are also looking good, now at the height of their flowering:
DSC_8190 Wood Anemone

Between them and the Bluebells, the woodland is completely green now!
DSC_8195 Wood anemone in woodland

In the wayleave there are also Violets in flower, to the delight of various insects:
DSC_8197 Insect feeding on Violet flower

There's a good number of Primroses too - these were near the roadside:
DSC_8200 Woodland primrose

Also scattered amongst the Wood Anemones over in Sweep Wood are Lesser Celandine and an occasional Daffodil:
DSC_8250 Celandine and Wood Anemone

DSC_8255 Daffodil and Wood Anemone

The butterflies are also out in force now, here's a Small Tortoiseshell:
DSC_8212 small tortoiseshell butterfly

a Comma:
DSC_8216 Comma butterfly

and a Peacock:
DSC_8229 Peacock butterfly

The birds are busy too - we saw some scouting out nesting sites, and the pheasants are strutting around making a lot of noise as usual for the time of year:
DSC_8232 Pheasant in woodland

The trees all come into leaf at different times - Oak is still some way off, but Hornbeam is coming out now:
DSC_8241 Hornbeam coming into leaf

Hawthorn is well on the way:
DSC_8242 Hawthorn leaves

Hazel is just starting:
DSC_8248 Hazel leaves

and in the warmer spots in Sweep Wood there are even some Sweet Chestnut leaves appearing, but in most parts of the woods they are not started yet:
DSC_8264 Sweet Chestnut leaves

Here's a view of an area we coppiced in 2010/11, with ground cover growing like crazy:
DSC_8260 coppice woodland

And here's the area we cut in autumn 2013 - we spotted a few butterflies making the best of the new sunlight in this area already!
DSC_8244 coppicing

Finally, Tracy had her class visit the woods this week, so their dens/shelters are now in a better state of repair:
DSC_8234 woodland shelter

DSC_8235 woodland shelter

DSC_8236 woodland shelter

One group even got as far as making some miniature clay pots for the den's 'kitchen'!

We're looking forward to some more sunny days so we can spend time in the woods, now the wet weather has passed...


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