Did Thomas Hood describe November accurately?
“No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees;
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,-
He describes what he saw in the early 1800’s but has global warming had a part to play in the years since? Only time will tell!
As I write this month’s nature notes, it’s the last week in October, I can see an oak tree; still a glorious green! My thoughts about the trees starting their Autumn earlier than usual this year have been confounded!
Which-ever direction you take for your walks around the park this month, keep a look out for the fungi. October was so dry that there were not many about; so provided we do not have too many frosts they should be popping up all over the place. My favourite is a woodland one, Fly Agaric. This is the classic poisonous one of fairy stories; red with white blotches on the cup. Sorry I can’t guarantee there will be an elf perched on top! We do have a few poisonous fungi varieties in the UK and our pharmacies don’t provide specialist advice in the way they do in Switzerland; so my best advice is to look, take a photo but don’t pick! If you find anything unusual please let us know. So far recorded in the park are: Bracket Fungus, Honey Fungus, Jelly Ear, Puff Ball, Shaggy Ink Cap, Field Mushrooms and Fairies Bonnets. Good hunting!
On the “twitching” front, our summer migrant birds should all have flown south by now; off to warmer climes! However as the temperature drops we do have our winter visitors to look forward to. In the mean time we’ll have to put up with our resident birds. The Starlings seem to have had a good year and there are small flocks of them about. Green Woodpeckers are around probing the grass with their long beaks and of course there’s our old friend the Robin still singing its wintry song and reminding us Christmas is not so very far away!
The latest news on the University selling the Mansion site is that the “Preferred Buyer” has pulled out. So we are not about to be another educational academy after all and it’s back to square one for Greenwich University’s “sale of the century”!
We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear of any further developments.
All parks have a great history, created as public open, green spaces by visionary men and women for the people to enjoy.