Monday, 25 August 2008

Moths count

When you mention moths everyone I speak steps back in horror or amusement at the idea of spending an evening catching, counting and looking at them. Yet so few know very little about them and often their view of them is just about those that they find in their houses. Sadly there is a huge variety of creatures out there and plenty to learn more about them. So, late one sunday night we went out with 3 moths traps to see what moths are around at this time of the year. Sadly all year the moths haven't wanted to appear in the traps - the weather and changes in seasons have a lot to answer for. We found many of the Underwing family (the Large and the Lesser Yellow Underwing, and the Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing and Copper Underwing), along with Brimstone, Flame Shoulder, Silver Y, Square Spot and Common Rustic, Flame Carpet and the delightfully named Cetaceous Hebrew Character. For a full list of species found on the meadow this year click on here

Hard days work

We have just had our second hay rake. It was hard work as it was so wet, but necessary, and thankfully the weather held and was really quite warm as well. It was lovely to see some new faces come along to help and hope they'll come back again to do some more work again. Its so important to do this so that we'll get an even better display of wild flowers next year accompanied by more insects to pollenate them and make the meadow a lovely place to be.

Friday, 22 August 2008

An evening walk in the meadow

I took a walk this evening before it got dark to see where they'd cut the meadow for the hay rake on sunday and spied a wonderful sight - 2 young foxes playing in the new mown hay. It seems the place they are attracted the most is the pile of stones dumped there years ago. Its now a great habitat for small mammals and grass snakes, and all sorts of bugs so no doubt a great hangout for fox cubs. Even though it was a bit chilly as well, the sky was clear and red tinged, there were quite a few bats flying around feasting on insects.

An excuse ...

... to post some more of Suzie's pictures (we have hundreds of them showing the huge variety of things that can be found in the meadow). On a sunny day you can see some of the dragonflies and damselflies that live around the meadow; more so after the rain the other day and once the sun came out you could see them dancing together over the puddles the rain had left behind. At times like this there is nothing more beautiful than watching shimmering flashes of metallic blue and red hovering over water reflected on the ground. To be honest its a good excuse sometimes to get your wellies out and spend an hour or so walking through the meadow to see what you can find for yourself. If you want to find out more go to the dragonfly society's website.

So far so good ...

... the grass in the meadow has just been cut today and the forecast for Sunday 24 August is for light showers so it should be fine and we will be having our hay rake.
Meet up at 2pm in the car park at the top of Radyr Road or make your way over to the meadow above the changing rooms if you come along later.
Its a fun event, and great way to keep fit and help us regenerate the meadow, which is vital to help increase the variety of flora and fauna for next year and also be part of the conservation programme on the park.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Moth counts and hay rakes

Watch out for posters for the next conservation work day on the meadow, which is Sunday 24 August and we're hoping to have a hay rake again. If you're not too tired with that then come along again at 9pm and we'll be off to count moths again. Learn all there is about moths to show people that they are an important, varied and fascinating part of our wildlife. This event will show you how easy it is to find moths, and the amazing variety that can be seen in just an hour or so.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Nature detectives

Today there was a bug hunt in the meadow with about 30 little nature detectives (and their minders). Thankfully, the weather held as the meadow has been getting quite a lot of rain over the past few days.
Still its looking glorious even though some flowering plants are 'going over' as the summer begins to come to an end. However, many have commented that the meadow appears to have been more colourful this year so hopefully with a lot of hard work in the autumn clearing scrub we will get an even better show next year and for longer.
If there are any budding nature detectives out there 'here's' the place to go for some thing to do in the meadow. They have some great 'spotter sheets' that you can run off, or if the weather is too wet to come out to the meadow then why not try these 'puzzles'.