Excitement mounting about our emerging bulbs

The mild winter weather – well, so far anyway, has meant our early autumn bulb planting is producing healthy results.

All of our garden pots and planters received part of the bounty of purchases at RHS Wisley. We planted Daffodil ‘Red Devon’ and ‘Saint Kaverne’ in the front garden, and scattterded Crocus ‘Giant Yellow’, Iris ‘Red Ember’ and ‘Eye of the Tiger’ in our many pots.

Excitement mounting in my breast. Here are some photos of the front garden, and a couple of our pots.

The Maultway sarsen stone is not a king stone

On a recent visit to see the state of the large saren stone on the Maultway, I talked with some of the project engineers, who said they’d heard it called a king stone.

It is not true that it’s a king stone. I have no idea of the source of this misinformation. A king stone, or coronation stone is an ancient Sarsen stone that is believed to have been used as the site of a coronation of an Anglo Saxon Kings. See Wikipedia for the Coronation Stone in Kingston upon Thames. The Stone of Scone is another such stone.

I know of four sarsen stones in Surrey Heath. I feel sure there are more.  Should you want to know more about sarsen stones, such as what they are made of, where they can be found, and more, then see the detailed paper Sarsen Stones and Erratics of the Wessex Coast. I’ve written about them too, and the moraines that deposited them in our countryside, see HERE. [Note: not forgetting Speedicus Triplicatum’s comment on the move of the one in Brentmoor Heath – see his comment in the article HERE.

Here are photos of the four local sarsen stones that I know of.

A changed treescape

The area in Lightwater where I live is blessed with many mature trees. Many of them are of less common varieties, about which I’ve reported on in my Tree of the Week series.

I really must stop with the whole something of the week series. Tree of the week has reached the magnificent number of three.

There are – now were – three large evergreen specimens not too far from me, about which I’d intended to write about. Two are now been cut down and the other severely pruned.

I’ve not enquired as to why the trees were removed, it could be that they blocked the light to a number of properties. Lovely though the trees were, homeowners must be entitled to remove and or prune the trees. In the years that we’ve lived in Lightwater, these trees have grown substantially. Sadly, I’ve not any photos of them earlier than 2008. I hope the homeowners have plans to replant the area.

Mushroom-tastic heathland and woodland walk

It won’t be new to you, dear readers, that I venture outdoors for constitutional walks in our heathland and woodland.

You’ll also know of my predilection at writing about mushrooms. I’m no expert about identifying them, although my wife is, and we have, in the past, been wild mushroom picking together.

On my walk yesterday I looked out for mushrooms, as I normally do, finding only one. That one was rather special. It may have been that the leaf fall hid mushrooms from my gaze, but I couldn’t fail to miss a specimen of Cauliflower Fungus – Sparassis crispa. It’s an edible species, though a bit large for me to take home, which turned out to be a good thing as my dear mushroom loving wife said she wasn’t all that keen on the variety. Her favourite, almost without exception, is the Penny Bun. Click on images to expand.


Counting leaves in a neighbourly way

Yesterday, we were drinking tea in our conservatory. I watched the leaves fall from an oak tree in our neighbour’s garden.

Counting the falling leaves, approximately of course, I noted with some most unneighbourly glee that in a gust of wind about 100 fell into their garden and about a dozen into ours.

How it all changes. Doing the same today, a gust delivers about 100 leaves into our garden and just 10 into our neighbour’s garden.

Maultway sarsen stone examined by County archaeological team

The future location of the sarsen stone in the roadside verge on the Maultway has been a concern for many people, as the viewing figures on this blog have attested.

I’m delighted that Archaeologist commented on this blog, with,

A response from Surrey County Council has informed me that there is an archaeological team at the site, who will examine the stone prior to and during being moved and, as already noted, given that it is of interest and importance to the local community it will be retained nearby.

It seems that expert advice is that the stone will be retained nearby. Hopefully again in a new position by the roadside verge. All this got me wondering about how the stone got to be here, and similar ones in our borough. I’ve located some sources of information that might be of interest to readers, some quite detailed too.

It’s widely accepted that the moraines of ice sheets and glaciers in the last ice-age – between 11,000 to 115,000 years ago – are a probable source. A moraine is the debris, consisting of large boulders to small particles, pushed to the front and sides of glaciers.

The extent of the ice sheet over the UK in the last ice age appears to be open to academic debate. So, it may be that as the ice sheet melted, melt water carried the stones to us.

Here’s more information about the subject

Hoping the Maultway sarsen stone is moved and not damaged

The road junction reconstruction underway at Red Road and the Maultway has uncovered a large sarsen stone that lays in the land on the Maultway near the junction.

I’ve no idea of the depth of the sarsen stone. It’s certainly large, not as big as the one at the top of Curley Hill in Lightwater, though much larger than the one by the four bronze age bowl barrows in Brentmoor Heath, West End.

I’d like to see the sarsen stone moved to the edge of the reconstructed road, and not broken up.

I’ve written about sarsen stones in detail HERE, and HERE. They were mostly deposited in their current location during the ice-age. Losing them would not be good, to put it mildly.

Here’s a photo of the Maultway sarsen stone mostly covered by vegetation, and one of it now recently uncovered.