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seasons confused

18th Jul 2019

Seasons confused


There are many things that make up a season: weather/ vegetation/ species and serendipity.


Driving south a day or so ago, I wondered quite what season we are in. From the quietude of nightingales, and the drop in the last week of blackcaps declaiming territory, it is clear that we are past the first flush of summer. Yet the fact the haycutters have held off from making seeds hay is odd. Odd in the sense that I began to pass more and more fields of ripe barley as I drove south, and some of these were being harvested.  Normally, I would expect to harvest hay first.


This week I cut our little wild flower meadow. Daisies had long since flowered, and we were able to collect seed for spreading after clearing up the aftermath. Once done we put this back, along with yellow rattle to act as a grass suppressant.


The meadow supported a good number of ant colonies- hence the green woodpeckers being frequent visitors. It also supported a large bee nest. Let me explain. We cut high, so as to preclude accidental mortalities. By one tree on a mound we cut over, there was an odd pile of mobile moss. This, on closer inspection, proved to be a bee nest (species yet to be checked out). Over the next day or so, the 30cm wide and 10cm high moss cover was retouched by the bees. They seemed unfazed by my interest, and have now settled happily back into denuding all of the moss and debris on the grass floor, to extend their gently moving mine head.


The weather itself seems uncertain if it should be hot and dry (it isn't) or windy and autumnal- it might be. Either way, the vegetation is still uncertain if it is full steam ahead in the veg garden, or just wait around. Peas think it is summer, rhubarb thinks it is spring (no flower head in sight), and mildew thinks it is serendipitous to attack whatever it can.


Sometime hay will finish harvest will begin, in which case it will be summer- properly.

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