Seeds and Beans
Thursday, May 12th 2016
The Thursday Volunteer group were in at Foxglove today and had a lovely day for it. The warm weather over the past week means the grass has been growing well. Today, for the first time this season, we dusted off the strimmers and set to work, strimming all the way from the main gate, up the driveway to the Field Centre. The mowers were out too, helping make the place look tidy. The Information Shelter also got a good scrubbing and weeding. It is now looking much better and is ready for a coat of preservative, which we hope to do in the coming weeks.
The last couple of weeks we have spent some time trying to raise the water levels below the middle pond dipping platform. The water has risen well but there is still a bit to do as the dams leak due to being made of simple wooden planks, packed with stones and natural mud and sediments from around the reserve.
After a few minutes work, it becomes very difficult to see through the murky water and make much progress, so this has proved to be an ongoing, but quite fun project.
One of my favourite flowers at Foxglove is just starting to emerge. It can be found in one of the ponds about half way down the Scrapes.
This is Bog Bean, with its delicate little star-shaped flowers that appear fluffy or fringed. Although pretty to look at, the flowers have an unpleasant smell which attracts flies and beetles. Bog Bean has had medicinal uses in the past (to treat Tuberculosis and arthritis) and is still used today in some herbal remedies. It is also edible, but is apparently very bitter, and only eaten in emergencies! I think it is best left in the pond looking pretty!
Jacky was very busy today with a much needed indoor task. All of our seed comes in large sacks, which are usually far more than most visitors want to buy. So someone has to weigh out the seed into smaller portions for sale. By the end of the day we had a large pile of neatly bagged seed. All profit from the seed we sell goes to help cover the enormous cost of keeping our hungry birds at Foxglove fed, so remember to come to us when your supplies are running low.
Thanks to everyone who came to help out today.
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