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It has not just been us enjoying the mild autumn!

Aphids

What a difference a year makes. And boy aren’t we pleased it is better than 2012. I don’t think it has been the Indian summer that was headlining some of the tabloids on the quiet days, but it has definitely been quite pleasant for a reasonable amount of the time. We are not the only animals to be enjoying the autumn, with the barn owls at Chishill bringing up the last of their brood and enjoying the drier conditions which have favoured the short tailed voles that are their most frequent food.

At our second site, Shelford, the pond has a small area of bulrush. When I was there last week this looked to have a covering of sooty mould, but on closer inspection it turned out to be thousands of aphids. This highlights further how the dry, mild and relatively calm autumn has been appreciated by more than us. It also highlights the potential for virus spread from other aphid species through our crops. If the aphids are doing well then there is probably BYDV and Turnip Yellows viruses hitching a ride and also with the potential to do well, if unchecked!