Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

September 2014

This months News



Nature Notes

The weather has already indicated that Autumn is on its way.  Astronomically it is taken to be the period from the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice, around 23 September to 22 December, and is the time of maturity and harvest in the temperate zones.  21 September is St Matthew’s Day and usually marks the beginning of Autumn.  It is time to close the beehives for the year – ‘St Matthee, shut up the bee’, and to prepare for the darker nights ahead – ‘St Matthew, get candlesticks new’.

Now is the time to tidy our gardens, but please leave some wildlife areas.  A whole world exists in our gardens.  While we’re tucked up in the safety and comfort of our houses, thousands of tiny creatures are hiding all over our gardens, eating, mating, hibernating.  If we are too tidy then we deny them this.  We all benefit from natural pest control, improved pollination and healthier soil (and therefore plants).  It is also enjoyable to watch and observe the birdlife on our feeders, the colours of the blue tits, gold finches and woodpeckers, the beautiful elegance of the young starlings before they take on the adult plumage.  On the fallen fruit there is the flash of colour as the Red Admiral and Peacock butterflies feed.

We need to provide nooks and crannies, hedges and log piles for all our wildlife.  The hedgehogs will be looking for hibernation areas soon and I am pleased to report that we seem to have had an increase in numbers this year and many reports from all over the village, but please don’t put out bread and milk, cat food is ideal.  In my garden I have seen several grass snakes and for the first time in several years a young toad.  The great-crested newts have done well and have all now left the pond and will be already hibernating.  Observing and caring for wildlife has helped shape our culture and language and caring for wildlife is therefore part of who we are – it is in our bones.

Did you know that the very large fat bumble bees you often see blundering about in late winter and early spring are actually queens looking for somewhere to set up a new nesting site to lay their first batch of eggs.  They will also need nectar and if they can’t find any they will die.  One of the nectar plants she will be seeking out will be the crocus.  To this end OWLS will be giving out free crocus bulbs at our ‘insect house’ making event – please come.

Grenville Moore

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Last modified: August 31, 2014