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Archive for June, 2012

For the first time I have seen a young parakeet begging for food from its parent in Abney. They have been quiet for a while during incubation, not wanting to draw attention to the nesting sites, but at least this one is back at full volume. The fledgling was just round the back of the trunk, and having seen the bird it was not going to cooperate by coming into shot, but it was there. I’m told Springfield Park (Stamford Hill, about a mile away) is inundated with these birds. I hope their numbers don’t rise too much.

Link to bird photos in Abney Park Cemetery

 

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A beautiful flower, I haven’t noticed it in Abney Park before today. With a bit of luck it might spread. It is much favoured by butterflies and particularly moths.

Link to flowers in Abney Park Cemetery.

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For many years I have seen a yellow streak appearing on logs, but it hasn’t developed and it has faded back into the wood. This time it has begun to develop into the spore producing structure of a slime mold, about 3mm high, before being returned to the feeding state following heavy rain. So far it has happened twice, so I have hopes it will finally complete its cycle. In the meantime I only have photos of the developing stage, which I couldn’t identify, but Trudy Fleming recognised (thank’s Trudy). It comes in a variety of colours, the yellow I have seen, also white, pink and blue.

Link to species notes.

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds found in Abney Park Cemetery 2012.

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The chapel was given the once over this week. A wonderful platform, capable of being raised on its arm to 150 feet by manipulation by a remote control device, was off loaded from its lorry and shunted into place on Wednesday. I have my fingers crossed the results will be useful.

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At 9am in Abney this morning it was almost like dusk. This rain is reducing light levels considerably. It was difficult to take photos due to the long exposures needed without a flash. Yet the plants are far more lush than I remember them. They seem to like the wet conditions. I took a couple of photos with long exposure and with flash in a path that usually has a light, burned out area along the path and dark shade that registers almost black. Suddenly there are colours.

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A great crop of these has blossomed on a particular elder. This elder has supported the fungus for many years but has now broken in the recent winds. The common name is due to the superficial similarity in colour (pinkish flesh tones like caucasian sunburnt skin), shape and wrinkling in the underside, to human ears. The jelly part is due to the flexibility and elasticity of the growth, again ear like, sort of. It expands by inflating cells with available water. In dry conditions the water is lost and the cells shrink until the growth is almost invisible, waiting for the rain to come allowing expansion once more.

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2012.

Link to species notes.

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Right down at the front of Abney, by the visitors center, is a flower bed with a type of scabious flower. The buds caught my attention, but the flowers are proving to be so beloved by the bees that they are sleeping on them. They are large enough to shelter the bees from the rain, and high enough to catch the morning sun. To whoever put these plants in well done, they are doing great service.

Link to photos of Abney Park Cemetery 2012.

Link to photos of flowers in Abney Park Cemetery.

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It is a fantastic year for Hedge Woundwort. Its purple flowers grow on spikes, and although they are small they have wonderful markings and are worth a closer look. At the moment that may get you muddy knees, but if you pick your cluster of flowers that might be worth it.

Link to photos of Abney Park Cemetery 2012.

Link to Photos of Flowers in Abney Park Cemetery.

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On Monday I took a look round in the rain. The amount of rain was impressive. The ground was saturated. Surface water was flowing rapidly towards the north boundary path and the main flow was via Elm Walk which was a series of shallow pools. The lowest area in Abney is the north boundary path, and it was Wellington boots required to walk along there. The south of Abney remained accessible.

There has been debate as to repairs to this stretch of path, but the density of mud as the water sinks in, is going to be a constant problem. If the surface is made less porous the water will have to go somewhere. Raising the path may flood the area beside the path. The recent wood chip patches look as if they are the best solution. The wood chips absorb water and prevent mud splashes.

The path today is different again. There are some almost floating areas of woodchips, but it is much improved.

Link to photos of Abney Park Cemetery June 2012.

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The high wind on Friday, combined with the softening effect of all the recent rain making the ground more pliant if the roots start to shift, and the trees being in full leaf so having a greater surface for the wind to effect, makes it likely that there are some trees fallen in Abney. They don’t all descend to the ground when they fall. Some lodge on close trees and remain teetering on the edge of falling until something gives way or a further gust of wind dislodges them. The cemetery therefore needs a professional once over to ascertain if it is safe. Such a check won’t happen at the weekend. Sorry everyone, I am on the outside like everyone else. Monday may see it open once more, but don’t count on it being early opening.

And after the dry weekend when we can’t get into Abney, the rain will be back next week when we can. Just to remind myself that it can be sunny in June, here’s a photo from this morning in Clissold Park, the other end of Church Street of old St. Mary’s Church…..

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