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Got back from our southern African adventures on Friday and despite the sleep deprivation, I decided to make a quick visit to our bit of woodland. Its not quite the size of some of the reserves we have recently visited!!!! Kruger was the biggest, it is approximately the size of the whole of Wales which measures  1,948 528 million hectares……….. Even some of the smaller ones, that we visited  like Tomjachu is 526 hectares, so my  2.5 hectares is a bit on the small side. However it is in my mind my own little reserve.Ninewells50

A month away and it changes quite a lot, the vegetation has obviously grown up quite a lot, especially the bracken and brambles. The brambles are now well into flower and I was hoping that they might attract some interesting insects. Friday was a bit windy so that could be the reason ther was not much about. I did see one butterfly, a Meadow brown and a few bees, some looked like honey bees but others were of the bumble persuasion.Ninewells10

Some of the trees I have planted look OK, the Hazels are doing fine but once they get past  the protective  guard then they are fair game….. Several have been eaten. The beech trees are doing OK but some look quite yellow.  Eventually they may get established but at present some have quite small yellow leaves and do not look that healthy.Ninewells9

There were a few new flowers up there including St John’s Wort, Self heal and also some Vetch.

It did not look to me that there had been that much rain which might account for the somewhat lack luster appearance of some of my beech trees,

There were some nice looking swathes of pink/purple grasses which I think were common bent grass ( Agrostis tenuis) but could have been Creeping bent (Agrostis stolonifera)   Also  the two  rushes Juncus effusus and Juncus congomeratus were showing quite well.Ninewells6

The foxgloves were still in flower but past their best, buT I did notice some St Johns wort, Self heal and Tormentil. Also there was some nice honeysuckle in flower on the far side.Ninewells11

So that’s the update on my private game reserve!