A dry soil and not a lot of wind: ideal conditions for timber exploitation. We are working in two zones in the forest. The zone by the side of the Hoge Bermweg (see map: orange, with the thinning cycle) will be finished by the end of this year. The other zone in the area Keldergat (see map: purple with the thinning cycle) has started and runs until the end of 2016. During the wood extraction stop in spring no trees can be felled. If you go for a walk during the week or on a Saturday, and you come along these parts of the forest, you may see a logger at work. Always be careful where loggers are working.
The mushrooms get gradually buried under a thick layer of fluttering leaves. The trees are now fully in autumn colors. The gentle temperature makes it perfect to walk in the forest.
Trees are getting beautiful fall colors. On a sunny day it is a delight to walk in the fores, to enjoy it. Falling autumn leaves make for a yellow, brown, orange carpet in the forest. Mushrooms come in all shapes and colours. Please do not pick any mushrooms. This way, everyone can enjoy this wonderful fairy tale atmosphere and the mushrooms can continue to play their role in the forest.
It is now fully mushroom time. The discoloration of the leaves has come to a standstill due to the softer nights. Even then, the forest already is in full autumn atmosphere. Fungi are very important for the forest. They clear away dead wood and leaves on and a number of species, such as the fly agaric, they live very intensely together with the trees. It is therefore very important not to pick any mushrooms. Another reason not to pick them is to let everyone enjoy the wonderful world of fungi.
Just like elsewhere in Flanders it is likely to see the Red Admiral flutter along the sunny edges of the forest. Enchanter’s-nightshade, Small Balsam and Little Robin remain the most prominent summer flowers. Many herbs are starting to get seeds. In the humid and calcareous valley Steenputbeek it is Nettle-leaved Bellflower that is most eye-catching. Along the Lorkendreef between P7 and P8 Touch-me-not balsam is flowering. Ferns and herbs between the newly planted trees are being mowed to create the best opportunities for these young trees to grow.
There isn’t much light now in the forest under the trees. Only ferns can grow in the shade. Along the edges of the paths, however, there is sufficient light for plants to flower. The most notable summer flowers are Enchanter’s-nightshade and Small Balsam. Have a close look at a little flower from Enchanter’s-nightshade: it looks like a doll, especially if the flower has only 2 stamens.
An important day for the Hallerbos. The City Council of Halle has decided that from July 1, through traffic is not allowed anymore in the Hallerbos. This translates to the situation as it was on Sundays and holidays getting a permanent character from now on. The “Achtdreven” (P8) remains accessible by car, but only through the Nijvelsesteenweg. The parking area in front of the barrier has been adapted for use by disabled people. There is also a place to turn the car, but this can not be used to park your car. Parking 5 at the hunting lodge and parking 6 at the playground can not be reached anymore. Parking 4 between Dries and Vroenenbos has been enlarged. It is much quieter in the woods now. Both for the animals and the visitors this is a really big improvement.
Bear’s garlic (Ramsons) is turning the valley of the Steenputbeek completely white. Lilies-of-the-valley get a lot of leaves, but not a lot of flowers. Other striking blossoming herbs along the paths are Yellow Pimpernel, Herb-Paris, Bugleweed en Solomon’s seal with its typical inclining leaves. The morning is the real time to enjoy the wood, when birds give their extraordinary concert.
The canopy of beech and oak is getting denser and darker. On the sunny places along the paths, however, a lot of blossoming plants can be seen. There still is the rare beautiful bluebell, but there is also Yellow Archangel, Garlic Mustard, Herb-Robert (Robert Geranium, Mountain Geranium) en Greater Stitchwort (Addersmeat). Spiked Rampion is starting to blossom as well. The hotter spaces with a lot of light attract butterflies. Speckled Wood, Small White, Peacock and the swift Comma flutter from flower to flower, enjoying these sunny spaces, looking for the nectar of the flowers, or a place to rest and to get warm.
The beautiful flowering period for the bluebells is over. They are withering and forming fruits now. Only on a few more open places, they remain nice. There are some other flowering spring flowers at the edge of the forest, such as Yellow Archangel, Wood-sorrel, Common Dog Violet en Solomon’s seal. Bear’s garlic (Ramsons) is blossoming abundantly.