The main task this week has been the annual challenge of trimming our front boundary hedge. I've left it a little later to do than usual but its not yet coming into leaf so too early for a nest site. I did come across two tiny abandoned (wren?) nests made up mainly of woven wool collected fleece shed by our sheep.
The hedge is about 200 yards altogether and a little over 6' high, and made up of hawthorn, blackthorn and dogwood. The blackthorn is very spikey and on one occasion one of the thorns penetrated the sole of my wellington boot which was followed by some impulsive hopping around. It takes about two days to complete the job including collecting up the trimmings.
We have several mature birch trees. Not the garden cultivars but ordinary native silver birch, Betula pendula. I say ordinary but they are very attractive trees all the year round. As their name suggests, they have a somewhat weeping habit and the distinctive white bark. In the autumn their leaves turn a stunning yellow and during the winter their thin, black, weeping growth on their extremities make for a fine tracery effect against the sky.
Our largest birch is right in the corner of our property and during the hedge cutting I looked at it for a while.
Here is a different birch tree nearby but pictured in October.