Nevertheless Holly berries are ripening in the hedgerow and if they want to ripen now then now is when we have to photograph them.
This is Ilex aquifolium commonly called English Holly or European Holly. It is dioecious, which means that there are different male and female trees and you can not tell them apart until they start to flower at four years or later. Sometimes they don’t flower until they are about ten years old.
Obviously you don’t get berries on the male tree. You will only get berries on a female tree if there are some male trees nearby so if you have a Holly tree that doesn’t fruit it may just be lonely.
The fruit is a valuable source of winter food for birds and small mammals but they don’t normally start to eat the berries until there have been a few frosts to soften them. The berries are mildly poisonous to Humans causing rum tum and bum stuff at both ends.
It is a popular Christmas decoration. Did you know that? It keeps Goblins and Devils out of your house too.
We had to make two trips to the Holly to get all of those berry pictures. We couldn’t carry them all on the first trip and then as a special treat I took Fizz up Badger Alley to see how our camera was doing.
No Joy I’m afraid. No unusual monsters. There were Rats and Squirrels. A Sparrowhawk sat in the nest and plucked it’s prey. That should have been an excellent video but it was daytime and the infra red lights came on causing it to be almost a white out. There were plenty of Badgers as you might expect in Badger Alley and prowling around at night in amongst the Badgers was a little ginger Cat.
I know that it is ginger because it made a brief appearance in the daytime. I have left the camera out there because we still haven’t seen what made that nest. I am sure that it is not a Cat nest. 🙂