Sunday 14 August 2011

Garden Update - Management time

For many weekends this year, I have been working in the 'formal' garden - building structures, laying slabs, painting walls, doors, building  and finishing furniture for the outdoors - which is why you have seen so few images from me.

Now it is looking fabulous but given the workload, I am glad that 60 %  of the garden area is made over to wildlife that pretty much manages itself.

Today was the start of the end of season 'management'.  I have started to cut back the grasses and flowers now that most of it is in the seed stage.  I use a petrol strimmer that is set up with cutting blades rather than the traditional string - this cuts rather than mashes the vegetation and leaves it as cut straw.

I will leave the 'straw' to dry and to drop any seeds for future years for next week or so.

I have cut about 1/3 of the area, so that the insects, butterflies and birds have a constant food source in the rest of the garden.  I will cut another 1/3 in about a months time and the rest a month later.  I have not been good at this management before so I am hoping that this will make a difference for later years.

While having a good tidy up around the pond, I was pleased to see dozens and dozens of frogs from the tiniest froglet to very large females who probably weren't too chuffed at me clearing so of their habitat.  Once again, I only cleared 1/2 of the vegetation around the sides to ensure that they have places to hide and feed.

It was delightful to see my first Common Darter of the year.  Usually, we have seen dozens by now but this year has been noticeable by the complete absence.  With plenty of warm sunshine, we had good numbers of butterflies as well.

I put the moth trap out last night and recorded probably the smallest catch ever - very few and nothing new or special.  Why so?  Well it was full moon and I think that a bright moon source is probably sufficient to overcome the lure of the moth trap lights.

Sightings of Sparrowhawk are increasing all the time - I guess we are seeing this years juveniles adding to the numbers.  As I type this, one has just flown by the window lit in beautiful orange sunset light.

Still no sightings of Wonky Wing, so I think my post of last week was correct - sadly.


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