Marbles

Mick George delivering two inch limestone

Mick George delivering two-inch limestone

Had a week off- not really a holiday but a break from work is better than nothing, although I did have to turn up as some lorries were booked to deliver stone and skips. First to come was a lorry full of limestone to make a hard surface at French’s corner- this public footpath, although only 50m or so long, was an absolute mire this winter and so we are going to put some two-inch limestone down to make a harder surface. Oddly, it took me ages to find some limestone, seems all the quarries are closing down.

Clearing the hay away

Clearing the hay away

Handy little trailer

Handy little trailer

Left the forestry team clearing up the grass we had mown the week before- time to get this down to the Farm to feed the cattle ( two jobs in one- nice clean area for the scything festival and full stomachs for the cattle).

Mick Georges 20 yrad skip

Mick George’s 20 yard skip

Clearing away the old tanalised stakes

Clearing away the old tanalised stakes

Just before lunch the 20 yard roll-on roll-off skip turned up- we needed this to get rid of all the old tanalised fencing stakes ( wondered if we would get rid of all that wood?)

Hideous

Hideous

Broke the day up a little and painted the farm barns at Cobbs Wood. Shane decided he needed a hood (‘cos he was splashing black paint everywhere)  and so used an old poly bag – shame he didn’t look in the PPE cupboard, there were plenty of welding hoods that would have done the job.

Much the same the next day

Much the same the next day

Full up

Full up

By Thursday the forestry team had filled the 20 yard skip- there wasn’t much left to dispose of so had guessed the right skip size (mind you, it did have to be stacked properly). The skip costs about £120 and then £50/ton for wood. Must be a good five ton in that skip.

Gutter repair

Gutter repair

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White chickens spotted with paint or are they spangled Hamburgs?

More painting on Thursday and for the first time we let the silver spangled Hamburgs out. Wow- they liked that! And what a good job they do scratching up the yard, making it a lot cleaner. Wasn’t long before the hens found somewhere else to lay their eggs – I eventually found their secret hidey hole though. The chickens put themselves to bed and all I do is lock the door at dusk.

Poppies

Poppies

The lime avenue

The Lime Avenue

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Dead lime

An evening walk around the Park revealed a few more dead trees, especially those that were planted in the very wet holes this winter, and unfortunately a few I thought would pull through had eventually succumbed.

Lime flowers and red tailed bumble bee

Lime flowers and red-tailed bumble bee

Bramble flowers and honey bees

Bramble flowers and honey bees

What’s most enjoyable about this time of year is the lime blossom- the scent is heavenly as it hangs in the evening air as thick as treacle; so much so the bees find it irresistible and the trees hummm with their activity. Honey made from lime blossom nectar has a very distinctive, light flavour- throughly recommended. Also out in profusion were the bramble flowers; most of the bees on these flowers were honey bees.

Plenty of pesky geese about

Plenty of pesky geese about

Renovation of the folly

Renovation of the Folly

Renovation of the folly

Renovation of the Folly

On the walkabout I passed the Folly- over the next six months it will undergo a thorough renovation which should be completed by December. (Mind you this is a costly exercise.)

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Bee orchid

Pyramid orchid

Pyramid orchid

Around the Folly were a huge amount of orchids: bee orchids and pyramidal orchids which come into flower much later than the common spotted orchids flowering here a month ago.

Jack-a-lantern

Jack-a-lantern

Marbled white butterfly

Marbled white butterfly

With the hot weather came the butterflies and the most beautiful of them all was the marbled white; only recently established at Wimpole it has blossomed and in certain parts of the estate you can find hundreds of them fluttering around the hay meadows.

Evening sessions

Evening sessions

As the Wimpole Scything Festival approached we spent a few more evenings mowing in front of the Hall.

Mowing the big plots for the weekend

Mowing the big plots for the weekend

Even started to mow the quarter acre and eighth of an acre plots for the competition but the weather was a bit unsettled…

Bucketing with rain

Bucketing with rain

About Sadeik

You may ask why "Sadeik" well it means friend in arabic. Worked in Jordan a lot doing tree surgery you see. I have worked in forestry since I left school with a two years in Telecom. Went back to forestry and tree surgery as it may not have paid as much but was far more interesting and dangerous. Spent a lot of years mountaineering, caving and canoeing too. At 29 I went to Bangor University to study Forestry and soil science then did an MSc in Water engineering all very interesting. By a quirk of fate in 1995 ended up helping sort out the woodland and park at Wimpole, funny thing was then I only intended to stay six months or so, but 18 years later I'm still here learning all the time. That's the best bit, if I wasn't able to learn something new every year I would not have stayed and as you get older you realise that the grass is not so green in the next field after all. In fact my patch is getting greener while much of the rest is getting browner.
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2 Responses to Marbles

  1. Gavin Seiler says:

    Could the wood have not been used for firewood?

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    • Sadeik says:

      Not really as most of these stakes and other wood have been traeted with chromated copper arsenate, nasty stuff and if you burn it on a fire heap it leaves an asenate residue in the ground. There are other treatments which can be found on wiki so here is the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_preservation but it is a mine field. I now prefer to buy sweet chestnut timber as it does not need to be disposed of in skips but can be burnt or just left to rot.

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