Weekly Walk, 2nd December

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Most of the leaves have now blown off the trees, and for the first time for some weeks I didn’t spot any new fungi; the weather may be unseasonably mild, but I think this means it’s winter.

I did two walks this week, although yesterday’s was in the company of two local historians, Steve Grindlay, and also Martin Spence, who’d written about the history of the Croydon Canal, but didn’t know of it having gone through what is now our reserve.  However, talking to people, it’s hard to focus on what there is to see of the natural world.

Earlier in the week, there was a lovely photo from the reserve published by Ema in our Facebook page

With no new species, my thoughts turned to the fundamental ecology – how much energy from the sun, carbon dioxide from the air flows through the plants, animals and soil in the wood, how much is absorbed, and how.  I guess this is standard stuff for university ecology students, and someone will have estimated fairly well what is typical of a bit of woodland in our particular climate.  But I was also thinking of relating this to things I saw today, such as some holly berries.  What happens to them?  Some, in a nearby garden I look over from my bedroom window, seems to get stripped by pigeons – may that’s what happens in the reserve.  To get an idea of when this might happen, I mean to photograph the same bit of holly for the next few weeks to see when it goes.

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