March 9th 2017 – Haibun

Two Hour Walk

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Morning outside my window another glorious sunny day. House sparrows chirping, woodpigeons cooing. Lilac, silver birch, sycamore, cherry, field maple, horse chestnut, elder, yew, holly, and common ash buds swelling, not long now before leaves burst out, shouting spring!   Paradise, my front garden, open doors to all four seasons. One alarm clock without a snooze button. Up, down for breakfast, dishes done, ablutions completed, domestics tended, PC on. Word press momentarily sorted, shopping down. Wife perks up, suggesting, I should go out and have some fun. Twas already on my mind, but I thanked her with a cheeky peck, checked my cameras, all in order, donned hat, walking boots, a light coat just in case winter shows its face. Time 3 PM, or there about, told all where I was going, “Backies Wood”,  waved goodbye, and was on my way.

spring surprises
shrub small leaves in full bloom
bees buzzing none seen

Backies woods not yet entered, bugs tapped from grasses, atop stream bank. Moth larvae, quite a few. Springtails, two species, numerous too. A single aphid, no doubt many more, left undisturbed, to rest, sheltered from the night time chill. Spiders many, but very nifty, just the one, camera greedy. Flies too, they were flighty, just the one, got tangled, set it free, waved its wings, like look at me. I did just that, and it was gone, I didn’t flap there is always tomorrow. Again, heard a bumblebee buzzing, a Queen this time of year, seeking a hole to accommodate its nest. This bank top sorted, made off into the woods, always worth another visit, always something new, a habitat so full of surprises.

stream breeze making smiles
spring daytime winter spurns
tiny ripples twinkling joy

In the woods cameras at the ready. All tapped from moss. pigmy woodlouse, thousands, tiny flies, two specie, one shot. Two millipedes and a small centipede, also tapped from moss. The bracken bug, just the one, tapped off mother fern. Beetles, rove, leaf, ground, and a really tiny one the tray with one of the so called inconspicuous  ladybugs, which is also a beetle, from, bramble, and moss. Spiders, five different species photographed, there were more, a bit to quick for me though. A bark louse, one of the most common ones, found in almost every described habitat, this one was tapped off holly. Several birch catkin bugs, member of the quite extensive ground bug group. Some more springtails, tapped from moss, bramble, and some rather withered grass. Files; there were a lot active in small swarms, probably winter gnats, also a good few tiny ones, which could be considered as phenotypical. Birds; numerous woodpigeons, a jenny wren, and this one was giving me a right telling off, to close to it nest, maybe? A robin, fliting about in the undergrowth, a pair of marsh/willow tits checking out a crack willow for bugs. A few blackbirds, one with a white cap, (worth noting, a good few of them at this locale are white marked, some more than others giving the a distinct pied look).

springtime wood breathing
wildlife all excited
wrens busy scolding

 

Out of the woods now, on the Romeny Drive stretch of the Backies Pike Drain. quite lively. My first lesser celandine this spring, they are abundant all long, and on both banks of the drain, this however is the only one in bloom, strange, if only they could talk. A birch catkin bug tapped from overwintered grass, along with a damsel bug, albeit not from the same clump. A bit further along, and again tapped from grass, a weevil, two rove beetles, and flea beetle. The weevils were abundant, the flea beetle, the second one of the session, the firsts found in the woods. Stygnocoris fuligineus, a ground bug, a first for me, and probably the county, VC53 regardless. At only 2.5 mm, could easily be overlooked, or viewed with the naked eye, mistaken for an Orius, (Anthocoridae). species. Next a plant hopper, Stenocranus minutus, tapped from grass, but normally  associated with reeds, usually abundant, but the recent inclement weather has probably held it back, in as much that it is still in hibernation deep at the base of grasses. To end the survey of this stretch of the drain the seeding heads of the two UK burdocks, lesser and greater.

mismanaged Pike Drain
banks and stream desecrated
local extinctions

On the way home down the Witham Academy side of the Pike Drain, and an amazing end to my days foray. This time I am going to let photos do the talking.

Little Egrets two
Spring sun shining all day
Daffodils in bud
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© Mick E Talbot 2017/66

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