Shamed into taking another decent walk in the wonderful South Norwood Country park, which we have visited but twice only since we saw there, the glorious masses of Cow Parsley in early Spring, we went this afternoon. This perfect, little Mallow [Common Mallow, ‘Malva Sylvestris’, I think.] met us right by the entrance. A good start ,I thought, fumbling in my bag to extricate my camera, which then needed a renewed battery!
Giant Hogweed also became apparent very quickly, and the notice by the lake interested me.
Ever since I wandered into Gertie’s Garden, hacking at rampant growth, and boldly clearing out irritating tendrils of exuberant honeysuckle, I have felt, with the onset of adventurous little spiders trying to block each and every pathway, that Autumn is not so very far away. Weather hasn’t helped either.
In the Country Park familiar flowers have supplanted the Cow Parsley; and I was struck by its bee-friendly aspects.
Thistles were almost everywhere, some still mauve and others fluffy with flying seeds.
Never before had Common Stinging Nettles looked so darkly majestic to me but I was sad to see no butterflies today! Already, however, flowering Teasels were attracting bees , and made up for the lack of Lepidoptera.
I liked patches of yellow daisy-like blooms ….. Yarrow, Sow Thistles , Hawkweed?
But the overriding colours were soft mauves of various types of Willow Herbs , Teasels and thistles. These contrasted with swathes of pale-coloured dry grass.
Colour shades deepened if you turned a fraction higher or lower with the camera!
The little lake was full of birds, and a young couple set up a feeding frenzy with bread at one stage. Black headed gulls were especially feisty!
Across the other side a cormorant stood and shouted on the bank…..
….. and we watched a bright-eyed young mother duck hopefully lead her family of fluffy ducklings towards the food source, then turn away when she realised it had all gone.
We saw what looked like wild damsons ripening …..
…Sloes fattening up …..
…and were these wild crab apples?
Despite the fact that many Brambles were still in blossom, we collected enough blackberries from the lakeside to have with cooked apples for supper.
Flowering dock looked magnificent.
My abiding memory however, is the soft swathes of mauve and cream in the fields where once waved flakes of snowy Cow Parsley.
Fabulous park, fabulous walk; … and thanks to a lady called Sheila, who reminded me of the Cow Parsley and prompted me to go back and look again for something new.