The trunk was a little too big for the 28in Husqi and will lie in state in the wood, providing habitat for all manner of bugs beasties and funghi. We are encouraged to be a little less tidy in our management of woods water and gardens in order to promote biodiversity.
This arboreal leviathan had been a popular stopping off point for woodpeckers, and a bunch of bees had taken up residence in a hole half way up the main trunk.
Not very good at identifying bees and who knew there were over two hundred and fifty varieties in the UK alone. They looked and behaved similarly to the mason bees that enjoy the thatch on the cricket pavilion, although the abdomen may be a little darker.
They didn’t seem too bothered by the chainsaw disturbance and went about their business on the three days it took to deal with the tree.
This substantial ash fell over fifteen years ago and continues to play host to all manner of life, decomposers mostly slowly returning it to the earth.
The rain has been hard, heavy and provided a welcome early winter fillip to the river. The hatch on the mill stream is already open (it remained closed from August 2013 to January 2019 due to low water) and the main river is carrying colour and close to being bank high. It doesn’t make for easy grayling fishing but a few are booked in to have a go as quite rightly, fishing with one other buddy is a permitted activity in these bizarre times. Today, on the way to deliver barley to the flight pond, I paused to question The English about his movements and my eye was drawn to a couple of dozen olives dancing above our heads. It had been a mild day and in clearer water they may well have drawn the eye of the grayling as they broke free of the water.
This honeysuckle in the hedge is clearly confused by the mild conditions and is throwing flowers again
Why they built the thing so close to the road in the first place is beyond me, and at this point can we all remember that a lot of it was taken down and moved around in the early 1900s.
It could be done so much better and taking the traffic away and putting it underground will only enhance the piece. Great play will be made of the engineering miracle of the tunnel but Madam and myself have travelled through numerous tunnels in Europe of far greater length. Many times we have sat stuck in traffic near Solstice park trying to head west and one of us has sighed and muttered, “when are they going to dig that bloody tunnel???”