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Moseley Bog Friends' Blog 18/11/2015

Posted: Monday 23rd November 2015 by Joe.P

Trees covered in ivyTrees covered in ivy

These blog posts are sent in by Mary Girvan of the Friends of Moseley Bog & Joy's Wood to give a personal perspective of a day in the life of a volunteer. She also does the twitter feed for @mosbogfriends.

Today we got absolutely drenched. The kind of soaked to the skin dripping, sit on a dog towel to get home drenched. The morning was dry at least, which was better than the forecast, and despite today's task being more boardwalk cleaning, we were in good spirits and happily chatting away as we scraped the leaf litter off the walkway and poked the compost with the mini hoes re-exposing the gaps between planks.

For variety and to give your back a rest, there were brambles to clear from the side of the boardwalk and ivy from around the trees, but nothing quite straightens out your back after a while of hoeing, than a good old backward stretch with a loud uurggh.

A flock of long-tailed tits came close to listen to the safety talk. Paul our Reserve Officer said "if you make this noise they'll come towards us" and started to do "fshwt fshwt fshwt". Sure enough they gathered onto the closest branches. As we worked we had some nice encouragement from the passersby "Sterling Job" "Fabulous, because it ices over in winter".

At lunchtime we just sat down where we'd been working, on the edge of the boardwalk where a small bridge peels off left and the brick path then leads to steps up to the viewpoint and meadows. You can't beat sarnies and a warming cuppa in the outdoors. It started to drizzle at just as we were enjoying cake - leftover from the Ecopark, victoria sponge with blackcurrant jam, and cream on top - delicious. The rain didn't seem to matter. 

As we started to work again the heavens opened, and great pools of water developed on the boardwalk where we hadn't yet opened up the gaps between the boards. It was quite satisfying to see the water drain away as you forced the baby hoe into the gap, creating mini Niagras. Paul stalked the boardwalk, like a man demented, splashing his way through what was now a series of lakes, extolling people to take cover. The three young volunteers from The Halifax ran giggling under a pine tree, and cut themselves some low branches to hold over their heads like tropical umbrellas.

We ventured out again as the stair rods turned back to normal rain but must have looked a bit of a sight as the next passerby said "Oh you look like you need a cup of tea and a sit down". So we did, huddled around the cracked willow that looks like its hair has flopped over and its arms stretched out and we had more cake and a cup of coffee in the rain, picking spiders out of our hair - they were just trying to keep dry.

Mary Girvan 

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