Spring 2010

Oh whoops. Something was telling me that I had not written a spring report on Gimswood, yet I was telling myself that I had done it. Hence here I am trying to think back as I sit on a blazing early summer day in shorts and T-shirt (a rarity for me).

Bird song. Spring birdsong. Who can beat it while looking at the daffodils, cowslips, primroses and talking a gentle stroll among the Gimswood trees in sunshine? I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

After the cold winter the spring flowers were amazing. On the trees too: bird cherry and wild cherry in particular. The young green leaves sparkling in their enthusiastic new growth. Orangetip, peacock and brimstone butterflies, hoverflies, bumblebees, other bees. Selfheal, garlic mustard, one bluebell and a few fritillaries struggling, water crowfoot in the scrapes. And the surprise of this spring: two Canada geese with two eggs on the island of Square Pond. All this and it was only April still.

I was spraying thistles as they came up before the grass took off. What I noticed was that the thistles are fewer than other years, so maybe I’m winning. I also noticed that the stinging nettles are taking over Oat Field. This is good news for the butterfly caterpillars that like to eat them, so I am not downhearted, they are good news in a way.

The ponds were doing well with high levels of water, tadpoles in scrapes and ponds, vegetation still increasing. So it was all looking very healthy. And then a dry May, water levels dropping dramatically and no sign of real rain as yet, so watch for the next report to see if we still have active ponds in the summer or some sort of disaster for the aquatic wildlife.......