Out and about today to deal with some collapsed laurels at Swanwick Lakes, but first I had to get the truck fit for the road.
Around the office grounds I found several sets of tracks, there were lots made by rabbits, a couple of sets from fox and some of cat, one set I liked especially, just where did the cat go? Alien abduction perhaps?
And no it did not jump off to the left, the tracks just stopped.
Having got the truck cleared and started it was off to Swanwick Lakes, the reserve was looking very good with picturesque scenes at every turn.
We were not there just to look at the view however, there was work to be done. Usually it would have been volunteer day at Swanwick but the car park and approach was very icy and it was decided to cancel, we were joined by one member fo the Beechcroft team though. We have been clearing cherry laurel bushes from the woods Swanwick on several of the recent tasks and today it was some of the ones that the Education Team had wanted to keep that had to go, the problem was the weight of snow caught by the large leaves.
The weight of the snow causes the branches to crack, laurel seems very prone to cracking and the grain is often twisted making the job of felling them much more difficult than their size would suggest.
We were under strict instructions not to fell one particular laurel stem though and despite my dislike of laurel, I am happy to comply with this request, on historic grounds. It was apparently carved by a Canadian airman during World War II and initialed and dated, I put some snow in the carving to make it show up better.
I was surprised by the almost complete lack of any scar tissue around the carving, it looks much fresher than the date would suggest, but I am assured it is genuine. We did not see much wildlife on the reserve, a goldcrest flitting about the laurels and a calling great spotted woodpecker was about all I remember, although the almost constant use of the chainsaw may possibly have had something to do with the lack of wildlife.
Back at Beechcroft Rob spotted a great collection of icicles on the wisteria on the outside of the office.
Off to snowy Farlington tomorrow.