15 April 2009

a walk in the woods

If you turn north off the Mile End Road by the Regent's Canal and walk through the park, there is a short avenue of trees, like a little wood, that runs along the backs of the houses in Clinton Road. Young boys hang around on top of the mound on one side of the wood and young girls sit gossiping on the benches on the other side. In the wood, you'll find a solitary cowslip, euphorbia robbiae and grape hyacinths.

And if you are really lucky, as I was today, you'll see butterflies basking in the late afternoon sun. A blue butterfly to quick to catch. A majestic peacock lurking in the nettles.

And most exciting of all, speckled woods - a male and female perhaps - enjoying the dappled sunlight and guarding their territory.



I would have skipped the last few hundred yards home if I'd had the energy. As it was I just smiled to myself like a fool.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know you must know it well but Tower Hamlets cemetery is particularly busy with cowslips and stocks at the moment. Took my childrens' grandparents there a couple of weeks back and they (coming from Shropshire) were astounded at how early everything was - the combination of the southern climate and the protective walls. We were there again last week and I once more got to wondering about what children are threatened with now that St Clements has closed down. In my childhood aberrant behaviour was met with 'carry on like that and the men in white coats will be taking you off to St Clements'. Less sensitive days! I am a complete child about butterflies and every year use my children as an excuse to buy some painted lady caterpillars and watch them grow before releasing them in the garden. Don't know what I'll do when the kids grow up. Best wishes, Joan

emmat said...

You are so unbelievably good at finding the countryside in the city. Amazing. I love this blog!

Liz said...

This post almost had me skipping.

kristina said...

How lovely. And the fact that it's in the city makes it even better: a mini escape to the country!

K x

colleen said...

I never even knew you could buy butterfly larvae! Now there's a thought...

Anonymous said...

We get our painted ladies from a company called insectlore. Five caterpillars arrive in a little pot complete with enough food to keep them going until they turn into chrysalides. They grow exponentially over a couple of weeks and then climb up onto the ceiling of the pot and you can see the transformation into chrysalides. You then have to transfer them to the butterfly pavilion where after about a week they hatch leaving a stain of red 'blood' (actually excess colouring) and then you can watch them 'blow out' their wings. You can keep them in the pavilion for a couple of days and watch them feeding on bits of fruit and sugar water before releasing them. We first came across the kits when one of my children had them in their reception class. In the first instant you have to buy the pavilion but after that you can buy the caterpillar refills. They are not cheap - about a tenner for five caterpillars - but as a once a year treat I think it is worth it. Hope this doesn't sound like too much of an advert! Joan

60 Going On 16 said...

Spring in the West Country is always a little later than it is on England's easterly side. Nevertheless, this has been the best spring I've experienced in 11 years of living in Devon. Butterflies and fat bumble bees are hovering and the hedgerows are full of life, with clumps of primroses and other wild flowers in bloom. And the dogs have acquired their first ticks! Hastily removed, of course, and much sooner than we would normally expect to see them - so time for the anti-tick preparation . . .

PrincessPea said...

I love seeing your images of London - you give such beautiful glimpses into areas of the city that are totally unknown to me. Thanks for sharing them!