Weekly walk, 4th January, 2016

Pond from the north

I missed the last two weeks in December thanks to my family Christmas, so now back after a break of three weeks, I’m struck by how much the vegetation in the pond seems to have died back.  It’s possible someone has been in cutting it back, maybe from LB Lewisham ahead of getting the new bridge / walkway installed, since I saw a clump of sedge where that will be looking very much as if it had been cut.  On the other hand, even without any harsh frosts, plants may have their own seasonal rhythms for dying down.

I also noticed areas where ivy, which would normally provide ground cover, was showing just stalks, and elsewhere leaves evidently nibbled by something.  I wonder what.  Just because ivy leaves are poisonous to us humans, it doesn’t mean they are poisonous to everything.  I suspect it may be slugs and snails, since with this mild weather they will still be about, and there’s not so much other vegetation for them to eat.

There was also a lot of noisy aerial action, with crows and parakeets shouting at each other, occupying their different trees.  I looked up a collective noun for crows – apparently it’s a murder of crows – but this seems pretentious.  Maybe someone should try inventing a collective noun for parakeets, if we want to make a gesture of accepting them as an established part of London bird life.

After some fairly clear directions, I was given what seems to be the recommended book for fungus recognition at Christmas, and after posting this I will try to identify more of the ones I saw today, and uploading them to iSpotnature.org.

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