Nature Walk

Nature Walk

 

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!

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Giant Hogweed also became apparent very quickly, and the notice by the lake interested me.

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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.

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Thistles were almost everywhere, some still mauve and others fluffy with flying seeds.

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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.

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I liked patches of yellow daisy-like blooms ….. Yarrow, Sow Thistles , Hawkweed?

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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.

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Colour shades deepened if you turned a fraction higher or lower with the camera!

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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!

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Across the other side a cormorant stood and shouted on the bank…..

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….. 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.

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We saw what looked like wild damsons ripening …..

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…Sloes fattening up …..

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…and were these wild crab apples?

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Despite the fact that many Brambles were still in blossom, we collected enough blackberries from the lakeside to have with cooked apples for supper.

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Flowering dock looked magnificent.

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My abiding memory however, is the soft swathes of mauve and cream in the fields where once waved flakes of snowy Cow Parsley.

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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.

 

Anne 27.07.2015.

7 Responses

  1. Beanstew says:

    Lots of different plants, Anne, and beautiful in their own way – but not so spectacular as that massed cowparsley to the human eye. I also saw lots of thistles and lots of purple vetch – but the winner on my walk was the shoulder high flowering grass. If I were you, I’d be back picking some damsons when they are ripe. Would you get into trouble for doing that?

  2. gertie says:

    I don’t know Sheila :scratch: I saw some beautiful fluffy dark green asparagus-like stuff that would look great as a foil for roses or other flowers too, but I know you are not supposed to take wild flowers, and wondered if that counted; we did gather some blackberries without a second thought after all :scratch: We were impressed with the swathes of pale straw and purple, but it was not so immediate as the cow Parsley I admit. I wonder if I needed to get into the grass , ie off the path ….. maybe that grass was shoulder high too B-) If I had a big garden I would definitely include grasses :yes:

  3. Lovely, as ever, Anne :rose: Grass flowering is very beautiful indeed – so many different types and I like to leave as much as possible long in my garden :good:

  4. Allan says:

    Nice assortment of plants Anne, Always looks better natural like. :good:

  5. gertie says:

    Mmm, me too Jane. I noticed that some grasses in the barmy basket that over-wintered bloomed this year…very pretty :yes: I have little ornamental grasses in odd spots, but they seem cowed by the shade :rake: ….. think they need open, sunny SPACE…DON’T WE ALL!! :lol:

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