Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Rabbits are not so smug now

I went up to the plot to find it very wet after the weekend's torrential rain. There's water standing in many fields around the village and the cold is not helping shift the water. The sap should be rising in some trees now which makes a big difference to the wet ground, but winter wheat is waterlogged and not growing at all well.

Plants growing is the main way water gets moved out of a lot of the ground. They suck it up into their leaves so some water molecules get an electron stripped from it by photons from sunlight to start the generation of sugars, mostly from water and fresh air (CO2). The water that keeps its electrons is passed out, alongside some oxygen from the broken down water molecules, in a process known as transpiration. This sucks yet more water from the roots, which dries the ground a bit more.

Once I had decided the ground was still to wet to walk on or even dig over I looked at the rabbit hole behind, and under, my compost bin. I looked abandoned. There were no new dropping and no sign of digging. I filled it in with the pile of soil the rabbits had dug out, adding a few big rocks for good measure.

As I did this I heard a familiar sound, the keewik of a buzzard. Across the field there is a copse and sitting on a branch there was a buzzard, quickly joined overhead by another one. I'm hoping they nest there and then they can feast on their favourite food: rabbits. They would also take rats which would also be a good thing for us plot holders.

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