Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Year five begins

This window box project was started on 4 November 2005, so today we are entering the fifth year.

20091104 Wbx 003

Over that period the box has travelled to Islay in Scotland and Bill Oddy's garden in Hampstead; it has featured in many magazines and papers and has given me a great deal of pleasure and interest.

There is no reason why it should not go on for many more years, though the plastic seems gradually to be getting more brittle and breaking down. I hope, however, to find something into which it can fit lock, stock and barrel.

Today I collected four insect species by sweep netting over the box: a bark fly (Ectopsocus petersi), the springtail Entomobrya nivalis and two flies - Lyciella rorida and Geomyza balachowskyi. The Ectopsocus and the Geomyza are both new records for the project.

The biggest surprise though was a fine crop of toadstools around the base of the rush plant.

20091104 Wbx 006

They are, I think, glistening ink-caps (Coprinellus micaceus) perhaps using the underground part of the sallow log as a medium on which to grow, though they seem to be more associated with the decaying materials at the base of the rush