Please see the photo gallery above for some of our February/March highlights.
In order of display:
Wren enjoying the sun
Winter fruiting fungi
Snow capped Birch Polypore
Peacock - first butterfly of the year!
Sunlit Silver Birch against a grey sky
Shadows along Lime Ride
Yellow-horned Moth (photography by Jonathan Wallace)
Young Roe buck
Walking through the snow
Jay swallowing monkey nuts
This time last year, we were in the midst of ‘The Beast From The East’. Heavy snow, the wood cut off to vehicles and cold weather all month meant that it was far from spring-like. Twelve months on and it's a completely different picture (so far)! Whilst we had a brief smattering of snow at the start of February, it soon melted and it has since gone on to be remarkably mild. Nature has responded accordingly.
Here are some of our recent ‘best of’ moments:
It doesn't take much effort to be in awe of the beauty of a snowy wood. What did take some effort though, was picking a photo as we had so many to choose from! We went with the one above of walking up Lime Ride.
We have a winter gang of pheasants who come up to be fed in response to our whistle. There is always just one male and up to ten females (last year it was seven females). The male often stands erect and proud with his neck outstretched in the middle of the girls. They ignore him and carry on feeding, leaving him to strut away whilst trying to keep his dignity! Soon though, the girls may start paying him a bit more attention as they will be dispersing from the feeding site to breed.
Also coming up to feed are three jays – caching monkey nuts scattered on the ground. Their cheeks and throats bulge as they cram in as many nuts as they can carry before flying a short distance away to bury them underneath the fallen leaves. We've never seen jays so close up in the wood before – they usually keep their distance from us. Stunningly beautiful birds!
Sunshine has been in abundance recently. One sun; two different effects - shadows and reflections:
Lime Ride has been accentuated by the low angle of the sun creating long shadows along the row of lime trees.
Equally stunning have been the reflections of the trees in Middle Ditch; just a short distance away from the lime trees.
The dangling yellow male catkins of the hazel are now flowering. Splendid when hanging in the sunshine and swaying in the wind. As they are wind pollinated, these ‘lambs tails’’ are designed perfectly to release their pollen by movement.
And finally, we just couldn't resist this gorgeous little wren taking full advantage of the glorious weather by basking and preening on one of our log piles. It looked to be in bird heaven!
Quite often, just as winter is ending and spring is commencing, it is a waiting game. With the exception of our fantastic birdlife, we get a bit fed up with the dormancy of the wood and the seeming lack of action. This year has been different. By the end of February primroses had begun flowering, bats and butterflies had been out flying and we almost trod on our first frog of the year (but luckily we didn't)!
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