Saturday, 21 March 2015

Brush Hill ant hills, buds and wildflowers

I went up to Brush Hill this afternoon to take a look at the ant hills. I'd noticed a few weeks ago that many of them were being dug into by something, maybe a badger, so I wanted to see if any more had been damaged.

It didn't look like many more, if any, had been dug into. However, I did notice something strange that just adds to the mystery... the soil ripped out of several of the damaged anthills contained a large number of seed heads. I saw seed heads next to almost half of the damaged anthills.

A huge number of seed heads were in the soil dug away from the anthill

Close up of the seed heads, which included knapweed

This anthill had been dug into and it looks a lot like the culprit was
looking for something specific

close up of the left hand side of the digging - again you can see seed heads
I don't know why so many seed heads would be in an anthill, unless something had stored them there, then perhaps a badger had dug into the anthill to get to the seeds. But what would store seed heads in an ant hill? I wondered about a mouse, but would they store that many seeds? It's all a bit of a mystery!

Then I had a look for buds and found plenty, along with some lovely lichen that made for some very colourful branches.

It really won't be long now until everything bursts into life. There were lots of plants growing in the woods.

dog's mercury

cow parsley

Lords and ladies

A few of the other things I spotted today ....
capillary thread moss
lateral cryphaera

some old and slightly sad looking jelly ear

orange lichen
orange lichen, growing on one side of a tree trunk

red spots on a tree branch (maybe fungus?)

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