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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Water in the wood

The water in the marsh at Sulehay seeps out of the old... oh, what did Ian call it? Calcinating banks?* Something anyway to do with iron. The soil must be full of rocks and chemicals used to get the iron out. Actually, I may be making this up. But Ian did say that the water may be red due to the iron.

This reminds me of the water downstream of slurry pits. Not sure why that has this red look.

Ian said the calcium in the soil or water is left as residue on the reed surfaces and remains as... sort of plaster casts of the reeds.

I took some of the soil home with me. I was impressed that even after five days in a bag, I still found something alive!

When I tested the pH of the soil it was, as Ian predicted, alkaline.

Incidentally, I also looked at what was left of the slime mold.


Back to the water.

There are also deep ponds where the quarries used to be.

That water is a long way below - and the bank is almost sheer.

For me, the right kind of water in a wood is a stream or a small river. It should have boulders in it and moss. Some trees fall across the river - but not too many of it'd be messy. The water gurgles and is clear. It comes from the moors above. There are otters and water voles and no bridges. You must clamber across. Kingfishers. There is a natural ford - well, it was made more than 2000 years ago but is not maintained.

In the wood are some glades, where big trees have fallen. The deer graze there and there are no saplings growing. Just grass and ferns and primroses. The sunlight is still dappled as the glades are not that large. When just one tree falls, a sapling does use the light, so there is regeneration.

There is a lot of dead wood and old trees with nooks and crannies. A badger sett under an elder and some brambles.

The trees are mainly oaks.

There is honeysuckle.

There is a lot of lichen and moss. It may be a rainforest.

*Calcining banks

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