Wednesday 31 December 2014

Rye Harbour Sunsets

We've had some lovely sunny days over Christmas, and I've been down to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve a few times to make the most of it. Here's a few snaps of the sunset there a couple of days ago:

DSC_3107 Sunset at Rye Harbour

DSC_3085 Sunset at Rye Harbour

DSC_3080 Sunset at Rye Harbour

DSC_3079 Sunset at Rye Harbour

Walking back along the beach I saw this huge flock of Oystercatchers...
DSC_3097  Oyster Catchers at Rye Harbour

Of course, they took off as I approached! I felt a bit bad for disturbing them, but it was past sunset by this point so I knew they'd be heading to the lake for the night soon anyway...
DSC_3100 Oyster Catchers at Rye Harbour


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Monday 22 December 2014

Coppicing update

There's been a few days with nice weather during December so far, and it's been great to spend them cutting trees in the woods:




I've had several pheasants coming to watch me work - they aren't sufficiently afraid of humans for their own good! Fortunately for them I wasn't out to shoot them.

The trees I've been felling have been yielding a decent quantity of wood, so I've had to build several more racks to store it in, but the tricky bit is always find a place for them where they won't be in the way of trees I'm yet to fell. In this case, I felled several trees first and cut them up:

Then built a rack where they'd fallen, using some of the logs from them as bearers:

Then the remainder of the logs made a good start towards filling the rack!

Of course, plans and the wind direction sometimes change as you go along, and this tree didn't have a clear space to fall into. But it was very satisfying to get it to fall just where I wanted it, missing this log rack on the right and some regrowing trees on the left:

As well as the racks of firewood, there's also a nice pile of logs which will make good benches at some point in future:

And also lots of blanks for making one-piece stools:

It looks like there'll be a few more sunny days over the holidays, so I'm looking forward to spending some more time up there - I shouldn't need many more days to complete the work I've planned for this winter.


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Sunday 7 December 2014

A frosty day in the woods

Saturday was a proper frosty day in the woods!



It was nice to have some cold weather to work in, I missed it last winter!

I put a few hours in today, coppicing some trees next to where some blew down last winter, then splitting/striping and stacking the logs. I thought I'd do before and after photos - only a few trees missing in the second one, but you can see the growth in the log pile...


I wonder if we'll get snow this year? It already feels more likely than last year did...


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Saturday 6 December 2014

Swans and Sunsets at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Last Sunday I went for a walk around Rye Harbour Nature Reserve at the end of the day. The timing was perfect for a great sunset!

DSC_2933 sunset

The lakes are now filled with Swans:
DSC_2879 Swan

DSC_2886 Swan

DSC_2884 Swan

And ducks, such as this pair of Gadwalls - first time I've ever seen these!
DSC_2887 Gadwall

Here's the female Gadwall on her own:
DSC_2899 Gadwall

And the male Gadwall:
DSC_2904 Gadwall

I was pleased to get a shot of a Cormorant flying overhead, though the light was fading a bit by this point:
DSC_2913 Cormorant

It's all a far cry from what it was like back in May:

There's still a lot of birds around, but it's much more peaceful now.

Going back to the sunsets, I'll finish with a few more of my favourites...
DSC_2955 sunset

DSC_2972 sunset

DSC_2962 sunset

DSC_2970 sunset


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Tuesday 2 December 2014

Moving towards winter in the woods

I was up at the woods this weekend after a few weeks' gap, and was struck by the shift from autumn towards winter... It's looking quite different there now:



I was there to do a job though, and got on with loading my Truncator:

Sawing the logs:

Tipping them into the trailer:

And repeating until there was a trailer full of logs to take over to The Pelham...

It's a great benefit having the Truncator for jobs like this, and as you can see in the above photo, when the job is done you can simply cover the trailer and drive away without detaching it. I made a video last year detailing how it is set up and operated.


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