Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Return to the river

Having spent what seems like ages suffering from a torn knee ligament and a weekend (and two days of holiday) decorating the bathroom it's nice to return to the river to see what's changed:

The Ock meadow and surrounding area have been cut (this was actually done in June), so the caterpillars shown in a previous post probably didn't have chance to pupate:

The Himalayan Balasm has started to produce seeds and is ready to wreck havoc further down stream.
A rather beaten up and bedraggled Painted Lady butterfly:

And of course the obligatory - if somewhat out of focus - water vole:


  1. Hooray for the vole! I understood water voles didn't like Himalayan balsam, and banks full of it drove colonies out. Is that a misconception on my part?

  2. Hi Kate,
    The problem with Himalayan balsam (from my understanding) is it's sheer rapid growth and its prolific seeding.
    As a result it out competes all other vegetation - in some places nearby it is quite literately an eight foot forest. So the water voles (and moorhens and warblers) loose their habitat and their food supply.

    Fortunately, the local green gym do a good job of clearing out a lot of the balsam, but there are places they can't reach.

  3. Glad to hear someone's doing something about it. When I go up to Manchester/Bolton, Himalayan Balsam's everywhere, apparently uncontrolled.