Practical Ecology

Nature Switched On

 

 

 

 


in the Pyrenees

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2010 March 13 to 21


In the upper pond I detected on the 17th the first dragonfly and the first pond skater and two days later the first Natterjack spawn. Most almond trees are now in full bloom as well as many other early spring flowers.


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The severe winter stopped abruptly in the middle of March and the almond trees reacted instantaneously.
21 March 9:06

The upper pond is full of Natterjack spawn while there isn't any  in the lower pond yet.
21 March 9:00
 
 

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But the Common snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) that I planted more than a year ago and flowered last year almost without any exception, are completely absent this year. Of the 5 planted bulbs of Scilla bifolia only 2 are flowering this year. Probably some animal or plant disease is responsible for these poor results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
  Erophila verna (white), Alyssum alyssoides (yellow, right), Senecio vulgaris (yellow, left), Veronica hederifolia (blue).
20 March 12:45
One of the two emerging Scilla bifolia.
20 March 13:04

 

 

Thlaspi perfoliatum (white) with the first flower of Potentilla reptans.
20 March 13:44

 

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The greenhouse is brown now, wrapped up in a layer of clay. I will plant soon some Ivy (Hedera helix) and other vines to climb up against the walls.

 

 

I added some details to the drain pond that receives grey water from the shower inside the greenhouse. Instead of designing and executing everything in detail I prefer to do things somewhat loosely in an offhanded way, to create just some conditions and to let me surprise by what nature makes of it.

 
The clay plaster protects the straw bales and offers anchor possibilities for Ivy.
21 March 9:11
 
  Drain pond with outlet to the vegetable garden and some stepping stones.
21 March 9:07
 

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I am not the only creature crazy about straw on the terrain. Three or four times now some animal has been making a mess of the straw flakes that I put around some plantings of Dwarf juniper (Juniperus sabina) and other plants on the central higher terrace. The badger, fox or weasel is probably going after the fleshy earth worms that are attracted by the humidity of the straw.

On the other hand, it is surprising how long the straw on these places stays in relatively good condition, being so exposed and unprotected for more than a year now. This makes me quite optimistic about the longevity of the three buildings that I erected with straw bales but without the proper wall protection that was applied to the garden house.

 

The use of straw against erosion is also promising. The hill that was built with rock and loose soil for the placement of the solar panels shows clearly the difference in the vegetation of protected and unprotected areas.

 
Straw flakes completely torn by some beast. The ones at the back were left intact.
20 March 12:59
 
Straw flakes, apparently unchanged in colour or structure, surrounding a Dwarf juniper.
20 March 13:01
 
  The zone in the centre without straw flakes is significantly less covered by grass (Lolium perenne, Bromus diandrus and Barley).
20 March 13:21
 

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In the vegetable garden I started to sow some vegetables. In an attempt to fight slugs and snails and get some better results than last year I surrounded one patch with some strips of PE sheets left over from the roof of the garden house. I spread also ashes from the wood stove behind these strips to make the barrier even more unbeatable by the molluscs.

 
PE strips and wood ashes hopefully protecting the sown vegetables (Chard and Spinach)
13 March 17:06
 

introduction
floristic catalogue
faunistic catalogue
contact
index
gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-
map
>> 2010 Apr  4
<< 2010 Feb 19

 

 

 


 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Latest revision on:  13/11/2013