Flowering season 2017
info: in the southeastern part of the forest, called ‘Keldergat’, trees have been felled this year (wood extraction). Trunks and crowns are lying in various places in that part of the forest and there are piles of firewood along the trails. From 1 March to 30 June however, the wood extraction stops (“schoon” time) and the loggers are not allowed to continue their work. “Schoon” time comes from the German “Schonen” meaning ‘save’, ‘protect’. The “schoon” period helps to protect the vegetation (spring flowers), to ‘save’ and not to disturb the nesting birds.
Permission for professional photo shoots, with or without models, or film recordings must be requested via the box office. In the Hallerbos you must always stay on the paths, also when taking pictures and filming. The soil and vegetation are fragile and very sensitive to trampling. The use of drones is not allowed in the forest.
The light, transparent beech leaves give a frail green light in the wood. The bluebells have withered and are forming fruit. Spiked rampion, yellow pimpernel, ramsons, sweetscented bedstraw en false lily of the valley are some spring flowers that are flowering. On the banks of the ponds, yellow flag is flowering. The first galls can be found on some trees, as on the upper side of the leaf of the lime: the red horn-shaped galls, ‘nail galls’ of the mite Eriophyes tiliae. Small red knots of the mite Aceria cephalonea on the upper side of the leaves of the sycamore; and on the underside of the leaves the spherical galls of the gallwasp Pediaspis aceris.
In the forest edges and on sunny places flowering bluebells can still be found. But in the wood, where the beeches are almost fully in leaf by now, the bluebells have withered and form fruit. Meanwhile spiked rampion has come into bloom, it is a beautiful, graceful spring flower that blooms in the second half of spring. The flowers of bear’s garlic form a beautiful white carpet on the moist, calcerous slopes.
Young beech leaves fill the canopy above the bluebells, so the sunlight can barely reach the flowers. The bluebells are withering and starting to form fruit. Squirrels feast on beechnuts and seeds from the pine trees. Bear’s garlic is flowering abundantly. On open spaces, butterflies flutter around looking for nectar. Birds fly on and off with food for their youngs. Little by little, calm descends again in the wood.
More and more young beech leaves fill the wood by the day. That makes it harder to observe the birds. The sunlight will be able to reach the bluebells for only a few days more. After the weekend, the fairy-tale time will be over. The bluebells that have been flowering for some weeks, start to wither. Bumblebees pollinate the flowering bluebells. There were a lot of beechnuts last autumn, this is clear from the many young seedlings, and also from the many mice tripping through the wood. And these in turn make sure that a lot of owlets can be fed by the tawny owls.
Parking 2, 3 and 8 can be reached by car again this weekend.
After Sunday’s summery temperatures, the high beeches have started to come into leaves. That means that the end of the magical time is in sight. There are more leaves every day and so there is less sunlight on the flowers. Until the end of the week, and with some luck also at the weekend, it will stay beautiful. If you visit the wood: please stay on the official paths to take pictures and do not make the damage, caused by previous visitors, even bigger. There are now innumerable bare patches and empty spaces where flowers have been trampled. So much beauty that has been destroyed forever. Incomprehensible. There is clearly something lacking in the manual for smartphones and other digital cameras, a line about taking pictures in nature: Do not destroy nature.
Deep purple-blue and transparent fresh green are the two colours that fill the wood. Under the high beeches that have not come into leaves yet, bluebells delight in the sunlight. A brambling waits for hotter weather to migrate to the North. He clearly indulged in beechnuts this winter. The finches are going to stay a bit longer. If you prefer to enjoy spring in the wood in a quiet way, come on weekdays. It will probably be busy in the wood on Sunday with the forecasted summery temperatures. This is the last weekend of the free shuttle bus. Click for more information. Enjoy all this beauty from the official paths please. Do not leave them at all, not even for ‘only a few steps’ when taking pictures. This is how you help protect the wood.