Posted by: kathandroger | February 25, 2011

In the Wood.

It feels a bit like spring now. The birds are singing, the first flowers are on display, and a chap’s thoughts turn to….logging! We need to fence off an area which will be the garden to one of our new gites, and the fence posts grow in our acacia wood. Acacia is not native to France, but as a quick growing hardwood was imported from North America a few hundred years ago. It is planted, usually on poor ground, to provide good timber for burning but also for building and particularly fenceposts. Untreated, the posts are alleged to last for up to 80 years-I will check and ask for my money back if they rot before then!

But before starting cutting, I had to prevent the raging ram from attacking me. His hood works well, but I don’t like leaving him to walk into things for more than a few moments, so an alternative deterrent had to be found. An old stirrup leather fits snugly around his middle-fitted with me sitting on his back-and that, attached to a rope and a tree, does the job very nicely. He can reach the hay rack, and his wife, but not me. His fleece is so thick that the belt can’t move and damage his skin, and he doesn’t seem to mind it at all!

Logging in our wood is easy, provided the chain doesn’t come off the chainsaw. Much cussing. All went smoothly afterwards and my pile of fenceposts now only need sharpening and bashing into the ground.

The wood has a few odds and sods of rubbish here and there, and on picking up some black polythene I  noticed some red blobs on the ground….

 Close inspection revealed these bright red cup shaped fungi, which I immediately recognises as sarcoscyphia austriaca(Scarlet elf cap). That is, of course, a complete lie. Yes they are that long named thing, but I have to thank Michael Jordon and his fungi book for the identification. Besides playing basketball, he is the pre eminent fungologist in the UK, and we spent a fascinating afternoon with him a couple of years ago in Dorset. His book is lovely,but completely useless unless you already have a Doctorate in Fungi. Luckily, however, my fungi are on the front cover!

More wildlife notes. We saw a fouine a couple of nights ago, coming home from dancing. We were coming back from dancing, the fouine was running across the road! They are polecat like animals which sometimes live in attics and eat all the rats and mice, but they also like eating chickens, so I hope he stays away from La Belardiere! And this evening, whilst walking the dog, we were literally a few feet away from a bush which erupted with startled wild boar! Luckily, the dog had the scent of a cat, and completely ignored  the pigs.


Responses

  1. They also like to eat car wiring! Have caused terrible problems in some areas.
    I love the picture of Scarlet Elf-cap… small, easily overlooked…. so it shouts at you…”Oi! I’m down here!”

  2. That should read fouines like to eat car wiring!


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