First hints of Spring

Hello everyone.

Well, it seems that another week has gone by without any news from me. I'm sorry about that, sometimes it just feels a bit forced to write about what I've been doing, especially when work is pretty much the same thing every day.

That's not always strictly true, but it sometimes does drag, as you would imagine. This morning was one of those minging, drizzly days where you just want to stay in bed, not have cold water dribbling down the neck of your waterproof. I was out signing off a site where the machines are now working, to try and keep members of the public from walking on there. I had just had enough, every time we move to a new place I have to mission round putting up all the signs, and there are loads of them. Cold hands, wet, muddy, miserable. Could be worse though, at least I get to bomb it around in the mud in my little van. :-)

Then at lunchtime the sun came out, and it put a new light on everything. I was doing more checks on after - thinning volumes, and was walking in a really nice bit of woodland. Suddenly I felt lucky I wasn't stuck in an office, and am pretty much in charge of myself when I have a job to do.


Next week I'm hopefully going out with one of the Wildlife Rangers. These are the people who manage the deer, rabbit and squirrel populations to make sure they don't get too high and seriously damage the young trees. There are already so many down here that it's difficult to get the trees away, and they suffer huge losses after planting.
Some people obviously think that hunting is cruel, but if you think about why they are doing it and see how professional and respectful of the animals they are, it seems to make a lot more sense. Add to the equation that all the meat is stored in a larder and sold on to game dealers, rather than going to waste. It's all part of what we do here, and the forest would not survive in a healthy state if some sort of control wasn't maintained. We are, after all, the last of their natural predators.

Last week, when Grace was down, I got some meat from the rangers. Staff rates - of course. Half a muntjac cost me only £8.00! Some amateur butchery ensued - but the results weren't too bad! It tastes good, which is the main thing. I got 2 haunches, the saddle, and lots of little bits which I turned into burgers.


Grace and I also went out with a German researcher lady who is doing her Ph.D. in Zoology at Norwich. She's counting the number of deer in the forest to see if they have a detrimental affect on other species. I volunteered to go and help by driving her truck while she counted and recorded the data, and dragged Grace along with me :-) . All of this was done at night, so we got to play with cool stuff like thermal cameras and night vision goggles to spot the deer. I spotted a deer poo which was still warm and steaming. I also had to drive the truck through the trees in the dark with no lights, which was fun.

While we were out the other day, we saw the first few snowdrops poking their heads out from under the leaves. It made me think about the Spring coming soon, and reminded me that everything will be warm again soon. I'm so glad things go in cycles.

See you spoon,

L x



  1. a) what a lovely Tremella mesenterica

    b) what a lovely Muntiacus reevesi

    c) watch out for raw burgers/ lady builders feeding you aftershock

  2. he-he, thanks Martin.

    Is that fungus named after mesentary?


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