Saturday October 2nd
: The Friends took part in the Stoke Bishop Open Day, a much appreciated and well attended event organised by Malcolm Ravenscroft.
In the afternoon Guy Watson took a group of attentive visitors for a guided walk around the Reserve. This being an autumn visit, Guy's main theme was the Reserve as a food source for wildlife. Clockwise from the top left the photos show spindleberries, checkers (wild service tree), hops, old man's beard (Clematis vitalba), cherry stones nibbled by wood mice, and sloes.
The Morrises set up the display stand in the Village Hall, which Carole looked after throughout the day, with help from Lynda and Jane from the Committee. A number of visitors to the display were recruited to the Friends.
In the meadows we were greeted by the horses who were clearly hoping to vary their diet. They can't have seen the notice warning us not to feed them, or perhaps they just don't care.
We walked down to the end of the lower meadow and admired the ancient anthills and noted the reed beds, relics of a more fluvial past.
The walk ended at the lake and we left, knowing a great deal more about the Reserve than we had when we started.
This is Merlen trying to make closer acquaintance with a bacon sandwich, forgetting for the moment that he is a vegetarian.
Click to enlarge
In the woods we saw fungi, including a specimen of the beefsteak fungus. We also saw a hornet, which proved difficult to photgraph. Guy reassured us about their relatively benign nature, though someone who had previously suffered a hornet sting seemed less enthusiastic.
Ganoderma fungus Horse's hoof)
Wiki photo: Rosenzweig