Sunday, 27 January 2013

A Stroll down The Twistle

The Twistle is a twisting road forming the western boundary of Byfield and, with the sunshine clearing away the last, stubborn patches of snow (what a rapid thaw it has been!) Chris and I decided to walk its length. Here and there bunches of keys (technically samaras) clung stubbornly to Ash twigs. The Ash is an atypical (to my mind) member of the Olive Family, and looks little like its relatives lilac, privet and Forsythia. Some of the roadside hedging, including quite a lot of Elm, had been savagely cut back with a heavy-duty flail but in two or three years the scars will be just a memory.
Ash keys, Byfield, 27 January, 2013

 A little further on our walk we crossed a cutting of the old S.M.J.Railway (The Stratford upon Avon and Midlands Junction Railway), the old track bed noisome with rubbish but now full of flood water. 
Litter-strewn track bed of the S.M.J.Railway
Aubretia in a limestone wall, Byfield, 27 January, 2013

And so back to the village where, having braved all the recent weather, Aubretia Aubrieta deltoides, was in flower, hoping to attract the attentions of an early bumble bee. With the thoughts of insects in mind I gathered a few leaves of Cherry Laurel, Prunus laurocerasus, before we made our way home. These leaves are laced with cyanide in the form of hydrogen cyanide. This will knock out insects (and kill them if left too long) so I use it to subdue specimens whilst being examined. Sometimes an insect examined and left for dead will have recovered a few hours later and I have to re-catch it from the windows of my study.

Not the most exciting of walks perhaps but it blew away the cobwebs and built up an appetite for our evening meal.

No comments:

Post a Comment