A Day Spent Coppicing.
Sunrise: 08.17 Sunset: 04.07
I am walking through the north marsh carrying a rucksack full of tools and four cameras: a 7D with a 150 -500mm lens attached, a 500D with a 60mm macro lens attached, a camera trap, and an iPhone camera. I used only my iPhone to take photographs today.
Brilliant sunshine, and a temperature of 6 degrees Centigrade promises a good shrub clearing day. Someone is crashing through the dense island undergrowth; probably a fisherperson, who shouldn’t be there, looking for a suitable fishing spot on the river bank.
The cattle are following me in extended line.
No sign of otters at the Living Otter Holt.
Something has rifled the wasp nest low down in the rotting trunk of the northern lightening tree, and the cows have finally knocked the remaining Chicken of the Woods fungus from the tree.
No sign of activity in the hollow under the southern lightening tree.
The North Pond water level has dropped sufficiently to allow some of the willow stands close to the pond banks to be coppiced, if I am quick about it.
Earlier this week I spotted the north marsh fox’s head poking above the long grass as I approached the area I am working today; I didn’t see him this morning, though.
The pile of brash that refuses to burn stands about 3 metres high and will be even bigger by the end of today. The willow, alder and silver birch growing in this boggy area drip water when I cut them. I have tried on four days to burn this brash pile, but have failed each time. I can get a fire going, but it eventually dies. I will just have to wait until the pile dries out. The trouble is that there is such a lot to do, I will have moved to another area of the marsh before it is dry enough. I have started making log piles now. The cattle like the large brash pile, though: they use it at nighttime shelter.
The cattle are creatures of habit, too. They are confined to the north pasture and the northern corridor at the moment, but at 3.30 pm they arrive, at least when I am working here, and start nibbling at the brash pile and getting in my way.
Yes, it has been a good day on the marsh.