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An Essex Wildlife Garden Update!

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PondDragon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PondDragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2017 at 11:02am
My feeling is that with a large heap, it probably doesn't matter if it's still in the hot phase when the snakes want to lay so long as the snakes can access cooler parts where the temperature is more suitable. The larger the heap, the more stable the temperature's going to be.
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2017 at 11:49am
Yes I think this could be it, some mix between generating heat in one part and a cooler section so that somewhere in between the conditions are likely to be ideal. 

I've ordered one of these:


I thought it would be prudent to measure the current temperature of my invert heap to get a base line idea of the core temperature and how stable it is.

In all, I think I'm moving towards the idea of the double sided heap, one side renewed each year and heat producing, the other left over from the previous season, then it is very likely that somewhere in the heap conditions will be ideal.


Edited by GemmaJF - 14 Aug 2017 at 3:12pm
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2017 at 3:37pm
So here is Plan A Smile


It might seem like a lot of effort, but from the currently available data the narrow band of ideal temperature that has been established relates to much higher success regarding the percentage of animals that actually hatch. That must be worth a bit of effort to give them a fighting chance. Wink
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Suzi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2017 at 11:11am
This is all very interesting stuff. I have my heaps covered in plastic always, to keep cats off and to keep moisture in to keep the heap active. There is very limited time to remove the compost as slow worms are in there, either hibernating or breeding. If we want to get any out then April is a good month when the slow worms are active. Any that get lifted out we place in another bin.
Suz
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2017 at 12:44pm
Thanks  Suz, have been pondering how to still accommodate slow worms within the scheme and particularly when to to remove material with the least disturbance to them.
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2017 at 1:20pm
Just an update on the grassies, one sub-adult yesterday and what looked like one of last years young just now today. Both fleeting sightings in the pond. Despite sitting for an hour with the camera last night, still no pictures!
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Tom Omlette View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Omlette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2017 at 7:14pm
go out without your camera gemma...you'll see loads lol! very interested to see the results of your experiments

tim

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2017 at 11:54am
That's exactly what always happens of course Tim! Go up to the pond with camera, not so much as a dragonfly appears. Go up there for a coffee with no camera, well you know, it is full of life LOL

Compost temperature gauge arrived today, so I will start getting some core temperatures of the compost as it is now. Will be interesting to see the results.
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2017 at 4:23pm
Ha finally! Changing tactics by going up to the pond for a coffee and pretending I really did not have a camera with me at all:





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Iowarth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2017 at 5:23pm
Just goes to prove ..... they know you know!! Wink
Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)
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