Friday 29 April 2016

Pythagoras' theorem

A small section of our garden is known as the Wildlife Triangle. It isn't full of snakes with slide rules, nor koalas with calculators, there's no square hippos' nose and not so much as even a log table (sorry). It is just a triangular bit of ground, about 50m², that we pretty much leave to let Nature take its course.

In reality, it is full of dochans, thistles and nettles, which are left over the Winter to provide a bit of shelter for any creature desperate enough to need it.

Last weekend, I gave the triangle its annual mowing, gradually reducing the height of the mower blades until bare patches of soil were visible. Yesterday evening, in the calm just before sunset, I nipped out to scarify the area with a grass rake, removing any dead grass and breaking up the top surface of the soil.

Then, in a change to the advertised programme, I broadcast 100g of wild flower seed (cornfield annuals) and 20g of seed from flowers which are useful to pollinators and beneficial insects. As the light faded, I tromped up and down the plot, each footstep touching the previous one, to ensure that there was a good contact between the seeds and the soil.

Today, I suspect that the local pair of Linnets that frequent our garden must be feeling like they have won the lottery, what with so much free food just laying on the ground, ready to be hoovered up by a hungry finch or two.

In time, I hope that the biodiversity of the triangle will increase to greater than the current four species (dochan, thistle, nettle, Linnet), but I wouldn't bet on it.

On the plus side, whilst working in the West Mainland this morning, I heard my first Willow Warbler of the year. So, despite yesterday's snow, this phenological sound bite does make me feel that Spring has properly arrived.


Enid said...

Keep writing... I miss Orkney and your interesting wee scribbles keep me connected.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Hi, Enid, and Welcome!

'Interesting wee scribbles', the blog's been called much, much worse :o)