Sailing my Paradox and country living

February update


The last few weeks have been difficult because Maggie – my wife – has been so ill, with two spells in hospital and lots of doctor’s visits.  All a great worry and I’m not sure her condition will permit me to get away much this year for sailing or camping trips. We’ll have to see how things go.

So the only leisure events for me lately have been local walks for an hour or so, to exercise, accompanied by my assistant – who had her 11th birthday this month..

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My assistant

Our local walking has been in the nearby fields or in the wood a couple of miles from here

Conditions underfoot have been very sticky and muddy as we’ve had our share of winter rain. This month started off dry and I became quite hopeful that the ground would dry out in the desiccating north winds, but before there was any appreciable drying the deluge returned and second half of this month had been very wet.

Yesterday we had a walk in the woods. The conditions very muddy.resized_feb 15 walk 051

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Although there were some patches where the path was OK

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My boots became a mess

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Lots of fallen wood just left on the ground to rot. Good for insects and bugs which are the start of the food chain for out wildlife.

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Someone likes building these little teepee like hides, there’s quite a few around there

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I’m not sure if they’re for badger, owl, or bat watching. Perhaps all three..They look a bit draughty – not cosy. I wonder if the user slings a bit of cammo netting over when in use…

Lots of the trees look to be rotting away at ground level due to the constant wet conditions. Even the oaks, which normally thrive in the wet.

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looking up all looks OK. But at ground level all is rotten

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This one has a load of fungi growing. ‘King Alfred’s cakes’ is what they call  these around here.

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Fallen trees which block the trail are cut up by contractors and the remains left on site for the bugs to inhabit.

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I confess that the way the woodland is managed is surprising  to me. The Woodland Trust is always seeking more money and I would think there would be some advantage in selling some firewood to the locals instead of leaving all of the windfall wood just rotting away.

And they use imported soft wood for little projects there instead of using up some of their own which is lying around everywhere. Like this little footbridge .

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Which my assistant prefers to go under while I go over.

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I was glad of a chance to sit for while for a breather on a memorial bench which we came to.

Finally, although we’re in the depths of winter, there are little signs of spring. Bluebells sprouting and seedlings germinated..

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2 thoughts on “February update

  1. Jim,

    With your interest in ‘green’ I’m surprised that you are surprised by the management of woodland!

    This (http://treesforlife.org.uk/forest/forest-ecology/dead-wood/) might help.



    • Thanks John, that’s a very interesting link. Still surprised they use imported wood for the gates and bridges. Wood is all biodegradable , so if they used their own it would eventually rot anyway and become ‘deadwood’ in time.
      Using commercially sourced wood there must increase the risk of introducing disease, no?


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