First a weather update after 7 weeks of almost no rain, it has finally rained, probably not enough but it has.
I have put in some sweet peas given to us by J and planted the rest of the courgettes and a couple of Squash and some purple sprouting broccoli.
When I am tired and working in the wood or by the veg beds I will go and sit on a seat made from an old felled tree trunk under a field maple given to us by our late friend Sue. Having cleared the grass, goosegrass, bindweed and buttercups from under thew redcurrant hedge I did so.
But not for long.
My legs were stinging and on standing I found I was crawling with red ants - in my wellies, in my pants. Fortunately there was no one to see my leap about. The ants had made a nest in the rotting trunk. And I lifted the plank on the top of the log to find a toad, seemingly totally unbothered by the ants.
In June the woodland is a wonderland of colour, paths winding through waist high red and white campion, pignut and buttercup, woundwort and sunlit grasses. It is full of tree seedlings (which need to be removed) and ones I have missed - hawthorn, hazel and holly. Later the wild angelica flourishes and the not quite so welcome hogweed.
And at the far corner is a rough lawn, a glade of sunshine with an old beam as a seat - no ants. A good place to meditate - if I ever find time to get around to doing it. Quite what to do with this area I am not sure - a piece of sculpture? Or is that too pretentious for a wild place?
All the wild flowers self seed and I will cut most of it later in the year with the scythe when seed is set. Originally I raked off the cut plants but last year I just left it lying on the woodland floor - and this year the flowers seem better than ever - so - hooray - I shall not have to do the raking - one of the tougher jobs. The scything is about rhythm, the removal of stuff laborious. The wood is a haven for birds and animals, badgers, foxes, rabbits, mice and, of course, grey squirrels have been seen there on my video cam.
A little lower down is a very different area planted with the white birches, more open but just as beautiful in its own way.
ps. Another denizen of the wood sunning himself on my shed.
And this rabbit got more that it bargained for from another bunny.
Suddenly I decided I had had enough of a large broom bush on the lower banking so it is now on the bonfire heap. It was crowding out other more choice shrubs. Of course as I have cut it back hard it will not regenerate from the stump unlike some plants.
It is time to try and tame the wilderness, scythe in hand . . .