Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Spring at Gibside 11 April 2012

The weather forecast had been dire but, for the morning at least, the rain held off and there was even a little pale sunshine. Spring is underway at Gibside and the woodland floor is coming alive with Dogs Mercury, Wood Sorrel, Primrose, Wild Garlic and Golden Saxifrage. Bluebell and Greater Woodrush, too, are beginning to flower and, in some of the darker parts, patches of Toothwort are coming through. Toothwort, a member of the parasitic Broomrape family, is a pale drooping plant that feeds on trees and lacks green – having no need to manufacture its food.



Distracted occasionally by the flowers and a Red Kite circling over his mate which was sitting on a nearby nest, we were checking to see what use smaller birds were making of the recently installed nest boxes. Many had clearly been visited, and a few held delicately crafted nests of moss with down-lined cups.

Ramsons (Wild Garlic)
Our work was cut short by heavy rain. It may be spring, but it is April.
                                                                                                                                     Steve Wootten

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