Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sixth anniversary of the project

Today was the sixth birthday of the project and the area really does look different from day one, though many of the plants are probably the same.

20030918 Metre  15 September 2003

20090915 Metre 004 15 September 2009

I wanted to record something new by way of a celebration and managed to find some small, round microfungi on fallen leaves from the box. They were Mycosphaerella buxi, like small white drum tops with a brown rim.

20090915 Mycosphaerella buxi 015

Flowers now include only some closed up smooth hawksbeard, a late heath speedwell, square-stalked St Johnswort and one white herb-robert behind Midsummer Pond.

The trees, not surprisingly, have grown to some size and in a few more years the area will be a coppice with one birch standard.

Butterfly Rock is its usual tapestry of moss and lichen, somewhat refreshed by recent rains. Surprisingly two small Crepis capillaris plants towards the northern edge of the top plateau have survived the long dry summer. Do they get moisture and sustenance from earth formed by the lower plants, or have they sent questing roots down the north face into more fertile ground?

20090915 Metre Butterfly Rock 008

The medlars are falling: it is almost autumn again and I wonder if the Metre and I will travel together for another six years ... or more.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

More than one rose?

Granddaughter Ellie came to the Square Metre with me today and here she is jumping over the yew log to show me Wilson (who lives in Medlar Wood) cupped in her right hand.

20090906 Metre & South View 008Since my earlier assault the brambles against North Wall have all grown up by half a metre of so with new primocanes. I cut them all back including, inadvertently, the wild rose which has slowly been gathering strength since I moved it from the centre to the corner of the Square Metre itself on               1 November 2004, nearly five years ago. It has another cane left, so it should be alright and would, in any case, sprout again.

It is, I think one of the dog roses (Rosa canina aggregate), but I have recently noticed what looks like a field rose (Rosa arvensis) near the north east corner of Butterfly Rock. I will have to wait a year or two before I feel certain.

Sean Saul-Hunt has put a new log of wood across the Square Metre to place the now almost vanished birch of White Log. The newcomer is cherry-plum wood (Prunus cerasifera) and as a non-native I am not entirely happy with it, but it might stay.

Something had turned the doll’s head over since my last visit and I think we are getting regular visits from deer, who might be the culprits.

There is still no sign of the two seedling oaks in Medlar Wood and I guess the oak mildew must have killed them.

Before we went Ellie insisted on taking a picture of me sitting in front of the bramble hedge.

20090906 Metre & South View 012