A Walk in the Woods

Bluebell wood

A few months ago I was dismayed to hear someone on the television, allegedly a wildlife expert, say “I hate grey squirrels” and then proceed to character assassinate this creature who never asked to be introduced to this country and is just trying its best to survive like the rest of us.  It is not evil.  The problem is that it is more adept at living, reproducing and therefore colonising this land than our native Red Squirrel.  Unfortunately.  It may be an anathema to our fauna, and often to gardeners, but to “hate” is emotive and counter-productive.  This is especially true when espoused by someone who should know better and has a fair amount of influence.

I spent a large enough proportion of today digging Spanish bluebells out of Max’s garden.  Much has been written about this interloper, often snarling, bitter texts.  There have been those who defend this Iberian import, but mainly the reviews are toxic.  Unfair perhaps.  True they are thuggish compared to our natives and hybridise at the drop of a hat, a very real threat.  But I don’t hate them, even though I have ached my back removing them today.  They are just doing what they are programmed to do.  Yet again another problem caused by the “oh so clever” humans.

After work, actually a little before “after work”, Max’s Dad asked if I would like to go for a walk in the woods.  How could I refuse?  So we did.  As you do.  And I am very glad I did.  It reminded me how much I love this habitat.  We need to protect it.

Sumptuous carpets of bluebells:


Interspersed with orchids:


And stitchwort:


And nature’s sculpture:

It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it.

22 thoughts on “A Walk in the Woods

  1. Agree with your points.. especially, as you note, these creatures/plants are merely there but for human interference. That said, as someone who also had dug out masses of Spanish bluebells, (how DO they get so deep???), I can understand the concern for the native spp.

    Lovely photos.. as usual : )


  2. Bluebells of all types seem to be having a good year, the Blackpool Mill walk from Hartland Abbey was a delight last Thursday, orchids there, too. Wonderful time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely woodland walk. Oh, the joys of having one that isn’t half-an-hour’s drive away! But, inspired by you, I’ve spent today digging out about 2 square metres of Spanish rockery invaders that I’ve been putting off years. Once I’d got them out the soil level was 6″ lower! And my back aches and tomorrow I’ll have to hump half-a dozen bags of topsoil back in! Ta muchly!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful walk! We’ve experienced both sorts of squirrel. The red ones tend to be reclusive – they keep to their own part of the woods; whereas the grey squirrels are highly entertaining with their antics, including building a nest in a Hawthorne tree last year. I have to confess I’m coming close to hating dandelions, though. Four years of digging them up and there are more of them than ever. Any suggestions are welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t encourage them as such but, if they grow in areas which I have yet to “sort” for the summer, I leave them be. You may have noticed that the bees love them. I just keep a cigarette lighter in the shed and, in the morning when I’m hunting down lily beetles and any snails that have snucked somewhere for a daily nap, I just “light” any heads that have turned to seed. A quick conflagration and the seed head’s no more. Tho don’t try this if the dandelions are growing next to an oil tank, gas tank or open bucket of paraffin. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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