Thursday, 30 April 2015

Build it at Cresswell and they will come

The sheer rush of late spring is now in force along the Bay. The green flush of new grass and herbs are overtopping the scraggy debris from last year. “Build it and they will come, as the film” famously puts it and certainly the tadpoles have arrived. These tidtads area few days old in the new ponds dug in the corner of the field just on the Cresswell village side of Blakemoor Fram, by the track where many a bird watcher parks. The tadpoles have aligned themselves, strangely reminiscent of aquatic musical notes, along the underside of Flote grass (Glyceria fluitans) leaf blades. The tadpoles still huddle together for protection although the new ponds are still fairly uninhabited by more malicious wildlife. So long as the ponds do not dry quickly (and this corner is a fairly safe bet for staying wet) they should do well. New or temporary ponds make a good refuge from fish or many of the larger invertebrate predators that take a while to colonise. The frogs have got in quick. The new ponds are already markedly different to one another. One is filling up with straggling amphibious grasses as it dries out. Others remain nicely flooded and with varying amounts of Celery leaved buttercup (Ranunculus scleratatus) and Flote grass beginning to establish, classic colonists moving out across the bare substrate.
The adjacent oil seed rape has exploded into bloom, smartingly yellow on the eye and with an evocative wallop of mustard perfume if you walk close by. Well worth doing. It is the smell of late spring turning into early summer, a raw blast of scent and colour. Not every-ones’ favourite but very evocative, a modernist ruthlessness to the colour, smell and wall of stems in contrast to the rough half land, half pool of the untidy corner

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