We have an interesting development in Robin Land – we’ve realised that we are on the boundary of two territories and that there is a robin visiting from each of them. We have what we call the courtyard robin and the garden robin and, whilst the border is fluid and both robins intrude on to the other’s territory, the house appears to be a definite dividing line.
The felling and canopy lifting work at the woods by the Rollright Stones continues and it generates vast amounts of logs and brash, so it’s been decided that building larger mounds and structures is the way to go. As ever, Karl has been creative in his use of materials and the structures he makes are becoming larger and bolder in design. It’s fascinating to see this previously unknown aspect of his personality emerging.
Snow was forecast for the 15th of January and Karl looked forward to seeing the woods under a layer of sparkling white; I stayed at home that day. Where we live, there was no snow at all and Karl saw none on the journey to the woods, but as soon as he turned into the driveway, there it was. Not a lot, but the light dusting and bright sunshine were enough to create a beautiful scene. All pictures are clickable to enlarge them.
I read in the Witney Gazette that the Rollright Stones were ‘one of the few landmarks in Oxfordshire to see a dusting of snow’ that day.
The mounds stood out very well indeed and here are some more pictures for your viewing pleasure.
In the making of brash mounds a time can come when you look at the sheer amount of material to be moved and decide that there is simply too much of it and that a new approach could be in order. This has happened in a couple of areas of the woods – in some parts, the brash is so thick that the woods are completely impenetrable.
What to do? You could build a dozen or so mounds but there were some big tree trunks in there and they also needed something doing with them. Some of the larch logs have been stacked to make habitats and sitting places, but larch doesn’t burn well – it spits and the burning of it leaves a tarry residue in chimneys – and nobody seems to want it. Because of this, Karl decided to make something other than a mound shape and instead built around one of the felled conifers to enclose it.
Being British, it’s been a bit warm for me, to be honest. That said, it means we’ve spent more time sitting in the garden and not just sitting, either, but cooking there as well. It was on Saturday that we lit the outside cob oven again and cooked pizza. That oven has been great this summer and it’s been worth the faff of building it for being able to oven-cook without heating the house up in the process and there’s also the added bonus of being able to show off now and then.
Just by where we set up the table, there is an old tree stump in the lawn. It was there when we moved here in 2009 and we decided to leave it. Tree stumps are good habitats for beetle larvae, wood-boring wasps and whatnot and we saw no reason to dig it out. It gets tripped over now and then but not often.