You may notice that, in some years, the Lake & Grounds area have relatively few posts. However, the photographic record was maintained and you can expect new material to be added when time is found. This means the new posts may appear anywhere on the site and not just in the current year's page. The best way to ensure you miss nothing is to visit the What's New page where you can find how you can subscribe to our newsletter.
I had moved on from taking photos of the Swan and newly hatched cygnets to take photos of the boardwalk and bridge that now allow us to cross to the Poor's Allotment. These were structures we had requested Roger and his team build after they completed the rebuilding of the decking behind the house It was to serve two purposes. We wanted to keep the path alongside the dyke on our western boundary as dry as possible, and we wanted to give ourselves access to the opposite bank so we could keep the vegetation there in check.
I collected the camera early this evening to see what had been going on over that last week. It's been strapped to a tree on the path behind the Ruston Bench all week, directed along the main path towards the turns that take you to the Ruston Bench or behind the Reed Bed. On Tuesday at 04:51 a pheasant is proceeding down the slope. That night a muntjac is seen in the same area, happily munching on any tasty vegetation it can find. there's six videos all told.
We've been very distracted this month. The decking has been replaced behind the house and geese and swans have nested. Checking back, it turns out I only took one of my standard lake view photographs. This was taken around 08:15 on 23 May, a week later than the most comparable photo from last year and, as always at this time of year, the interest is in the lily growth.
The wildlife camera has spent a few days mounted on a crack willow on the lake bank pointed at the path that runs round the back of the reed bed. It caught a roe deer! This is no muntjac that visit the grounds almost daily. The beginnings of his antlers show it's a male taking a stroll round our grounds at 05:49 this morning.
It was just over a year ago I reported a mystery creature. The mystery is now solved! Go back to 6 May 2018 and you see a wide ground-hugging creature walking away from the camera. With the image captured last night a 23:20 there can be little doubt that what we saw last year was a badger. It's also possible that we have found the answer to the mystery burrowing that took place in February.
Today I retrieved the the first video captured by a new wildlife camera. there's been a long gap in the inclusion of video on the site. That's because the old camera became rather unreliable. The new camera is capable of taking higher quality video and, supposedly, has better infra-red lighting. Perhaps the first thing I learn is that placement of the camera is key. Here there is too much foliage in the foreground and that appears to make the background darker than is ideal.
There are three pictures this month, taken on the 2nd, 19th and 25th. Each is taken a little later in the day, the first at 07:38, the second at 07:46 and the last at 08:06. It is still a surprise to me how much the light can change in the impression the light makes. We start, as always at the beginning of April, with only the large willow in anything like full leaf. Unlike last year the reeds completely hide the daffodils that you can see easily in 2017 when the banks behind Ruston House had their three yearly cut back.
I am at a loss to know what creature might have dug the ground in this way. There were some claw marks in the mud, but I'm not expert enough to tell whether they might have been made by a fox, an otter or something else. An otter seemed a very unlikely candidate to me! Surely, if one wanted to reach the other side of the fence they would simply have taken to the water and swam round the fence.