Last Sunday really lived up to it’s name, glorious sun-shiney weather all day long. Thanks to a certain someone waking up at the crack of dawn, mewing and demanding tummy rubs, we had an early start to our day (so much for a nice long lay in)….as it was such a nice day we decided to head out and go for a good long walk, and wandered up to the UEA as it’s really beautiful there this time of year.
The walk from ours is pretty sheltered, we avoid the bigger roads where possible and once we get to Waitrose it’s just a turn off the road and suddenly we’re walking along the riverbank and across the wetlands and marshes that lay either side.
I love seeing buttercups and always do the “do you like butter” test…it seems like a really good Spring for them this year, everywhere there’s golden yellow blossoms, like a scattering of sparkling sunshine across the ground.
Maybe it’s a good year for yellow flowers in general, along with buttercups I couldn’t help noticing the abundance of dandelions that have sprung up everywhere this year…we’ve had loads more than normal in our garden and I’m seeing them on verges everywhere I go…..grassy banks almost covered in tiny suns, yellow and sunny and instantly smile inducing…..the walk to the UEA was no different, the dandelions were everywhere……
It seemed to be a day of yellow…we walked past this lovely fallen tree, bark all gnarly and covered in moss, and we were struck by the amazing and vivid coloured fungi that was growing underneath….
I clambered through some rather vicious nettles to get closer for pictures…the fungi looked like yellow spray cream, or insulation foam…..it was an amazing colour and it looked almost velvety…I’ve no idea what it was but it looked jolly impressive.
The ground round the UEA changes no end, so one moment it’s quite wet and marshy, and then you get what I think of as heathland or common land, where it’s all dry and scrubby and there’s gorse and broom growing. Low down though were huge areas of what looked like a variety of red dead nettle,but it smelt quite minty….not sure what it was (and realize how lacking my knowledge of local wild flowers was…last year I tried to learn the names of the wild flowers growing on the marshes behind where we live).
Scattered around it was some Birds-eye Speedwell…..we’ve had quite a lot of this growing in one of the raised beds this year and it’s also sprung up near the compost bin. It’s such a beautiful and delicate little flower, a gorgeous blue with tiny striped petals.
This is a view across the UEA lake….it looks like a little island but it’s just the other side of the river bank…..it’s a lovely walk and we ended up strolling all the way around it……in the Summer it’s nice to pack up a lunch and take a breather on one of the benches dotted around…..there’s often lots of ducks in the water, however on Sunday the world and his wife had taken their dogs for a walk and they kept jumping in the lake so the ducks were keeping out of their way.
The catkins on the trees are looking amazing right now….these ones look spikey but actually felt soft and rubbery….I love their piney shape.
Other catkins are moulting, blossoms all whispey like dandelion clocks…..tiny birds were flying up and away from them, gathering the softest of linings for the insides of nests…….
The word catkin is old dutch for “kitten” or “puss” so the fact these tiny kitties are surrounded by fluffy bits makes me think of our own furry puss-cat at home (he hates being brushed and while I’m holding him trying to sort his coat out, my boyfriend will be shovelling cat treats into Bernard’s mouth…it’s a bit like the engine driver shovelling in coal on a steam train)
It only seems a couple of weeks ago that the horse chestnut trees were bare, branches tipped with fat sticky buds, glistening and shiny like hot cross buns…..all of a sudden the leaves burst open and the huge blossoms appear like a magicians trick…as if by magic….one moment nothing and then …tah dah…a bouquet of flowers……the blossoms on this old tree were so beautiful, tiny flecks of pink amongst the milky white petals….a few fat bumble bees were buzzing softly, nestling into each part of the flower before tumbling off all dusty and pollen drenched.
And more yellow flowers, this giant buttercup like plant is in fact a marsh marigold, lovely and golden yellow. A couple of ducks were nibbling away at something underneath it in the water but as we walked by they quacked and swam away……This was definitely a day for buttery yellow flowers.