It is incredibly dry in the woods. It is stll May but already drier than it would be at the end of a Corynephorus normal dry summer and the rainfall deficit is more than in the historic dry year of 1976. That means that the paths in the woods are filled with dry dust, and it is like cycling through powdery snow in places, with a need for similar techniques. There have been a lot of heathland fires as well. A lot of the nature areas are really drying out and this must be having a big impact on the wildlife. I think it must be for that reason that we had a woodpecker (photo!) in the garden yesterday, eating the peanuts and fighting off the sparrows - presumably less caterpillars and others insects than usual, as normally they only eat seeds and nuts in the winter. The dry weather must also mean that the paths in the woods are suffering more from erosion than usual, but in itself that is not necessary a bad thing as some of the specialities of the Veluwe are plants like Corynephorus (photo on the right) which need open sand. But as mountainbikers we should be careful not to go into the 'forbidden' areas round Wolfheze as the nature will be quite vulnerable there at the moment, and above all not to go of the paths in areas where there are delicate lichen communities.

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