Phew, we made it to the last day of term! Things are a bit behind around here, but I’ve just stolen a few minutes to write up the latest from my daily tree project, before I pour a large glass of something red and delicious and head to the sofa.
This was the oak at the beginning of July
As the weeks go by and the hedges fill outwards and upwards, it’s getting harder to see the tree behind the green screen.
And here it is today (July 23rd) – the bird box is now almost invisible behind all the growth.
Seven months in and the best thing for me about this whole project so far, is that I’ve gone from sort of noticing what was going on around me, to really being interested and looking out every day for changes in the hedges and trees along our route. I’ve become much more aware of what’s growing where and the developing leaves, flowers and now fruits too. I wish there was a pet naturalist handy to come along on the odd walk and tell me more about what I’m seeing, but I’m definitely learning a lot about the local plant and animal/bird life.
A while ago, I realised that I’m inevitably going to want to be able to compare what I’ve seen this year with what happens next year. At first I tried keeping a daily diary – on paper and then digitally, but I just don’t have the time to keep up that pace, so I thought I’d try to do a summary here once in a while.
So the highlights of July on our daily walk have been…
But being concerned that the horse-chestnut trees already seem to have gone into autumn mode – they’re all like this, is that normal or are they ill?
Ok, you’re probably wondering why I’ve put this picture here. Well, until mid-July the whole lane was a mess of huge, dangerous pot-holes (which it has had for as long as I’ve been walking this route) Then one morning two weeks ago, as the dog and I stood clear of a fast approaching Audi, we watched him hit a particularly big hole and blow out his front tyre. I stopped to talk to him and he said the council should sort out the road - oh yes, I thought, and pigs will be sprouting wings any day now, but just look what happened a week later!
Mind you, it was a very patchy job to say the least, as you can see by the amount of water still filling the holes after the mid-month thunderstorms…
Can you see the squashed traffic cone in the hedge – it used to mark the biggest hole. You’d still be foolish to drive, walk or cycle in those puddles.
Talking of rain, we’ve certainly had our share this month. The lane becomes a fast-flowing stream – which I love, but the dog hates…
The sky has been wonderful
But perhaps the best part of the month has been watching the fruits arrive in the hedgerow…
elderberries, not ready yet, but there will be plenty.
and blackberries, although there are still a lot of brambles in flower.
These thistles are nearly over now, but I loved their shape and texture.
The lane feels more like a tunnel now that the hedges are so high. This was the lane in February
I think I may have become a tiny bit obsessed with all this :)