Saturday 25 January 2014

Shrinking log pile...

Six weeks ago:

DSC_7565 pheasant

logs running low...

No, we haven't actually burned all that in six weeks! Just moved it home...

While loading the trailer, I found that a bird had made a nest behind the logs last spring, possibly a Thrush or a Blackbird - not sure which, leave a comment if you know please!
Bird nest found in logpile

Hopefully we'll have logs cut for next winter back in there before nesting time so that the site can be used again this Spring...


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Saturday 11 January 2014

Sunburn in the woods in January!

Nice sunny day today, and I called in to our friends Tom and Jane to help fell some trees in their garden, one was just a conifer that was getting too big and shading the garden, the other was a eucalyptus that was leaning after the recent storms. Tom has a chainsaw too, so we were able to work together on them.

DSC_7724 felled eucalyptus

I actually got sunburnt on the back of my neck! Quite unusual for January!

We then headed from Tom's garden into a part of the woods that he and I manage together, and dealt with some of the recent windblow there. It'll all come in useful next winter to feed Tom and Jane's woodburner!
DSC_7730 Clearing windblown trees

I showed Tom a few new techniques, such as using a pole cut from a small tree to lever a bigger hung up tree after we'd severed it from the coppice stool:
DSC_7726 Clearing windblown trees

Nice to get a good load of logs from the work!
DSC_7731 Clearing windblown trees


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Sunday 5 January 2014

Clearing up after the storm - again!

Before we'd even done all the clearing up from the storm in October, the woodland got hit again on Christmas Eve. No oaks down this time, but plenty of big sweet chestnut stools over:

DSC_7698 windblown trees

DSC_7696 windblown trees

Quite often, one knocks another over. And in this case another, and then another!
DSC_7714 windblown trees

We spent a couple of days between Christmas and New Year sorting some of them out, removing the stems and tipping the stools back into the ground where possible:
DSC_7701 windblown trees

As there's so much, we're cutting it to 2 or 3m lengths (according to what it might be used for) and stacking it:
DSC_7704 logs

As some of the stems are pretty large, they'll be used to make benches or stools rather than just firewood.

I came up with a neat way of stopping the logs rolling off their bearers without having to build a rack:
DSC_7715 logs

But that's just one of the piles of logs, here's another (with plenty more still to come behind it):
DSC_7719 logs

And yet another, this one located near the base of this fallen stool simply so I don't have very far to move the heavy logs!
DSC_7721 logs

The wood also got very wet - this was how it looked on Christmas Eve, just after all the rain.
IMG_4564 woodland stream in flood

I unblocked this bit though, and the water subsided a little as the water flowed under the bridge instead of round it:
IMG_4565 woodland stream in flood

Of course, the wildlife carries on regardless - we've added a second bird feeder now, as we've not been in the woods as often with all the bad weather. Here's a Coal Tit feeding...
DSC_7710 Coal tit

And a cheeky Pheasant admiring the view from the top of our firewood store...
DSC_7565 pheasant

The wild boar have been active too, with a new mud bath created:
DSC_7568 wild boar mud bath

And a muddy trail leading away from it into the trees...
DSC_7570 Wild boar trail

We've also started to bring back logs to top up our firewood store at home. This is 2-3 weeks later than in last year, which is probably partly due to the mild weather and partly the improved draughtproofing at home.
DSC_7713 logs

Anyway, looks like it *might* be colder by the end of January, so maybe we'll get some snow pictures again soon...


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Saturday 4 January 2014

Stormy seas at Rye Harbour

We wandered down to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve recently, to see how the repairs were getting on after the storm surge in early Dec 2013 - we were pleased to see that after just a couple of weeks it was all back in place:

DSC_7625 Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

DSC_7627 Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

DSC_7629 Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Given how it looked earlier, that's very impressive!
DSC_7582 Storm surge damage at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Mind you, given that the materials they've repaired it with are the same as those washed away, it's only a matter of time before it happens again I guess... As if to underline this point, the sea looked pretty ferocious for the English Channel:
DSC_7679 Waves at Rye Harbour beach

DSC_7670 Waves at Rye Harbour beach

DSC_7668 Waves at Rye Harbour beach

DSC_7666 Waves at Rye Harbour beach

DSC_7664 Waves at Rye Harbour beach

Not that these little Turnstones were complaining - they were dodging the waves to look for food that might be washed up:
DSC_7685 Turnstone

DSC_7672 Turnstone

The beach had certainly shifted during the storm - there was a new 8-foot depression in the shingle which hadn't been there before...
DSC_7690 shingle beach after a storm

I hope it's a long time before we get another flood like that, but with sea levels creeping up a few mm per year, and extreme weather becoming ever more common, it might come again sooner than we'd like...


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