What to look for in the woods: August

August

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Possibly the most iconic habitat our beautiful woodlands never fail to delight me. I am at home there. Everywhere there are mysteries, hidden treasures around every corner. But how do you look for.....what's the best way? 

Most will view at eye level, occasionally looking up and down.  Do try this...Find an agreeable spot and lie down, look into the canopy, the home to numerous of our friends, a place where countless animals and insects spend their days. Enjoy the sounds, the rustle of the leaves and birds that, perhaps, you would not otherwise see.  Another way is to look down... having remembered what's ahead!  Move slowly, look carefully, you might miss it! Those who have attended our tracking and awareness courses will have greatly gained from this. 

The woodland floor is like a newspaper....full of news!  Turn over the leaves, lift dead wood, seek out the countless life forms that exist at our feet. I particularly like the springy green moss, full of moisture. Sooner than we think Autumn will be here and these treasures will be concealed for months. There is plenty going on in August. On the edges of our woodlands, adders are giving birth to live young whilst within the wood the eggs of grass snakes are hatching.  There is still a variety of fungi, including mouth watering mushrooms and other foraging to be had, not least succulent blackberries and elderberries. 

I will be searching for the magnificent male Stag Beetle. After up to seven years beneath the woodland floor its brief life above ground will expire this month. It is usually at dusk when they are seen and their whirring erratic flight best observed. 

Published on 1st Aug 2016

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