Please see the photo gallery above for some of our October/November highlights
In order of display:
Autumnal fungi in the wood
Snail on Hawthorn berry after rain
Main Ride in October
Merveille du Jour (photography by Jonathan Wallace)
Close-up of deciduous ferns turning colour
A selection of acorns
Wet Woodland - a Willow dominated section of Woodruff Wood
Woodruff Wood Work
For our regular readers, we’ll keep it brief!
Yet more rhododendron bashing – progress in its removal is slow but steady and continues to dominate our work schedule. Our winter tree felling/thinning programme which should be kicking off this month is being put temporarily on hold whilst we battle with the ‘dreaded dendrons’ (as one of our lovely customers appropriately described it)!
We are however, fitting in firewood deliveries now that the cold, dark nights have arrived and it’s very good to catch up with you all again.
An Eerie Gloom
Did you experience the highly unusual weather on the afternoon of 16th October caused by the remains of Hurricane Ophelia dragging in dust from the Sahara and debris from the forest fires in Portugal? We did – we were working in the wood when the skies suddenly turned a yellow tinge which soon darkened into an eerie gloom. The atmosphere was almost surreal and a bit unsettling but also wonderful to witness at the same time. It was so dark that we could barely see what we were doing and there was a rather hushed silence from all of our resident wildlife. The gloom lasted for a couple of hours or so after which time it lifted in a matter of seconds with light levels returning to normal.
The photo below was taken at 2pm and gives an idea of the eerie gloom which descended upon us!
The Most Wonderful Names of our Native Fungi
This is our fourth autumn in Woodruff Wood and the number of fungi fruiting this year far exceeds any other to date. No doubt the fairly mild and damp conditions have contributed towards their mass appearance. We are total beginners when it comes to fungi identification but this was too good an opportunity to miss and so we have made a start in learning some of the more common species to appear in the wood. What really tickles us is that many of our mushrooms have the most wonderfully descriptive names. Here are some of our favourites:
An Angry Peacock
No, not the bird but the butterfly!
We regularly find butterflies resting up in our log stores at night time and for those species which hibernate, these stores can make for an ideal winter hidey hole. One such species is the peacock and one individual was none too pleased to be disturbed by us the other day. Whilst loading up for a firewood delivery, one of the logs we lifted out had a peacock resting on it with its wings closed. The undersides of a peacock’s wings are dark and resemble a dead leaf – hence why we didn’t notice it.
However, the uppersides are a complete contrast in colour and this particular peacock demonstrated perfectly how it uses its bright eyespots to deter predators by slowly opening and closing its wings to flash a warning to us that we were to leave it in peace. In addition, it made a hissing noise on every wing beat as a further message telling us to go away. Needless to say, we obeyed its warnings and moved it (still on the log) to another wood store, away from our disturbance.
Merveille du Jour
To round off this edition of Woodruff Wood News, we just had to share this photo of a stunning moth with a name to suit. The merveille du jour (or ‘wonder of the day’) was identified by our moth expert Jonathan Wallace last month and the colours and patterns on its wings are mesmerizingly beautiful. Not all moths are brown and dull…..!
Woodruff Wood,Longhirst, Morpeth, Northumberland
'Passionate about wildlife & firewood'
T: 07525 841361 (9am - 6pm)
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European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
'Increasing Productivity of Woodruff Wood Woodfuel (Firewood)'
Woodruff Wood is grateful to have received funding for equipment and infrastructure to support us in the production of firewood