"Listen the wind is rising, the air is wild with leaves. We have had our Summer evenings, now for October eves!" Humbert Wolfe 1885 - 1940
October has arrived. We have been blessed with lovely cool and dry weather the last few weeks. We can definitely say we have had an Autumn so far. The trees are going through their lovely colour changes and their show has been prolonged by the good spell and the absence of any high winds. However, in an unexpected twist to our project, during the dry spell the wetland shrank and actually dried up! (Remember that we had small ponds appearing back in July after wet days.) The area of wetland coverage in September was 208 m2, it fell to just 58m2. Such is the unpredictability of our lovely Irish weather. Interesting to note that our weather station recorded zero rainfall for a whole week lately - I don't think this happened during the Summer!
Since our last update we have been busy with some interesting investigations including soil testing, earthworm count and mapping the contours of the wetland.
We are currently in the middle of mapping the contours of the wetland. This will give us a rough guide to the shape of the land. This is one that the children have found tricky to grasp, but when we have it finished and the 'dots' are joined it will make more sense. We have devised an elaborate system to find our levels using a laser, spirit level, some clamps and a timber stake which we improvise as an engineer's TLV pole.
Mr. Long bought us some proper clinometers last week to allow us get a better measure of the Oak tree.
When we were working in the field mapping the contours, one of the children spotted what looked like small red worms wriggling about in the mud where the wetland had dried up.
For the next few weeks we will be busy with:
At the time of writing we are in the middle of another dry spell which is forecast to last a few more days. Looking ahead to November, it is unlikely I will be able to say the same about the weather then, but you never know!