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May ~ by Dick

May

Bluebells

What a fantastic show of bluebells there has been this year. Strangely, the bluebells in my woods down on the south Cornish coast were about a week or two behind those 'up north' at Taddiport Wood, near Torrington. Last autumn I cut a corridor through some dense young Douglas fir in Hendra Wood and now that clearing is an aisle of brilliant blue.

Brambles

I swear those tracks get longer every time! Just spent the whole day cutting back brambles along the sides of the tracks at our woods at Pelynt, near Looe [Iron Fort Wood, Ashen Cross Wood, Trelawne Wood]. Whilst kneeling down to refuel the trimmer, I caught a glimpse of a shadow over my shoulder and looked up just in time to get a glance of a tawny owl shifting position from one larch tree to another - probably to get a better view of what I was up to. Back at the wagon, I find a note under the windscreen wiper. Its from the owners of Milcombe Wood, inviting me round for a cuppa. I get there just in time to help free a chainsaw which is jammed. Then, over a brew, we discuss options for extending and linking the network of tracks through their wood, so that they can more easily extract firewood.

Campsites

Back down to Looe; this time to meet up with the new owners of Hendra Wood. It is the first time they have actually seen the woodland. Unusually, they made the decision to purchase whilst living & working in China. Happily, they are delighted with their long distance purchase and after a guided tour we spend time discussing their plans and looking at potential locations for establishing a campsite. My colleague Rob recently wrote an excellent blog article on creating campsites, so I was able to refer my buyers to that.

New Arrival

Walking the boundary line between Fishleigh Wood and Merricks Wood at Highampton, I stumbled upon a tiny roe deer fawn. It must have been literally minutes old - it couldn't stand and its mother had not even had time to clean it up before I intruded. I beat a hasty retreat and - from a good distance - was relieved to see mum cautiously returning to her baby. I read somewhere that fawns are born without any scent, so as not to attract predators. This certainly seems to be true; my two terriers walked straight past it, not three feet away.

Posted in: Cornwall and West Devon ~ On: 24 May, 2011

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