Mud-luscious and Puddle-wonderful

It obviously rained quite a bit in the night; the large puddles in our driveway had reappeared over night. Farleton Fell was dusted with snow and beyond that Scout Hill and Warth Hill were white over. The wind however has finally dropped a little and at times today in the sunshine it felt almost mild (but only almost).

Two brief trips today, both to Eaves Wood with Sam in the buggy having a nap. There was plenty of cloud about, but for the most part I was lucky and walked in sunshine, with only one brief hail shower as a remnant of the last couple of days’ weather.

Near Eaves Wood, on a road side verge I found some of the white violets I have been looking out for:

In the wood, the wood ants were out and about – the first time that I’ve seen them this year.

This is on the fringes of a nest which encompasses an old tree stump. This is the centre of the nest:

Higher in the woods, between a path junction and a ruined cottage, is another nest, the biggest one I know of:

I left the buggy next to it to give some idea of its size. It’s about 3 feet tall and maybe 8 feet in diameter at its base. The slightly darker patches in the picture are massed piles of ants. On warm still summer days there can be so many ants here that you can hearing them moving. After standing on the mound to take some close-ups, I had the same itchy feeling that you probably have now after looking at the last two photos. Especially on my shins. At first I thought that it was purely psychological, but then I realised that in fact I did have several ants crawling up my legs!

By the path along the lower edge of the wood a large Birch tree had been felled.

The remaining trunk of the tree was still trying its best to nourish its upper branches though and sap was pouring out of the cut surface:

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Mud-luscious and Puddle-wonderful

3 thoughts on “Mud-luscious and Puddle-wonderful

  1. I’ve never yet in all my walks and wonderings come across such a nest Mark.. I never realised just how big they can be as well.
    That’s interesting about the Birch tree and the rising ‘Sap’ My mate Pete is going to start tapping in soon from brewing beer or wine.. I’m not sure which.

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    Sap brew? Sounds interesting – please keep me posted of the results. Would this be Pete of Parrotts Perch blog?

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