Thursday, March 5, 2015

Afton Marsh at Night

A few nights ago I left the Trailcam out next to a pool surrounded by trees at Afton Marsh. I was quite pleased with the footage:

It looks like a dog Fox and vixen spent much of the night, on and off, enjoying the morsels I had put out. I'm pretty sure that the stockier-looking, broad-faced individual is a male, and the other one is certainly a vixen, as evidenced by the way in which she leaves her calling card towards the end of the clip. There's a bit of dominant behaviour witnessed right at the beginning of the sequence and the male is also seen drinking from the pool. At one point a Badger trundles by, but doesn't show too much interest in the food that is left. It certainly needs a tail trim!

The first Sweet Violets are now flowering in various places, including the roadside at Afton Marsh, the only one of our Violet species that is scented, hence the Latin name, Viola odorata. The Reader's Digest field guide to wild flowers points out what I think is the most fascinating piece of information about this flower:
'In less sanitary days the flowers were strewn on the floors of cottages and churches to sweeten the air and conceal the musty smell of damp - even though the scent of Sweet Violet is lost almost as soon as it is detected. It was, indeed, this very property that made it so effective: the flower produces with the scent a substance called ionine, which quickly dulls the sense of smell, so that not only does the scent of Violets vanish, but other odours too. This can be proved by sniffing the flower until the scent is lost, then holding it away for a moment before sniffing again: the scent will return until the ionine does its job once more.'

This afternoon I disturbed a Woodcock on the reserve, the first one I've seen here.

1 comment:

  1. Nice video clip and interesting information of the violet.