Sunday, 25 June 2017

Being observant

I often wonder if it's just me that notices certain aspects when I'm out walking. I'm not the most observant of people, but I appear to be able to spot when a sound or sight is out of the ordinary in an urban setting particularly. The sound of a calling peregrine from the roof of a converted church in Winchester, or the yellow flash of a grey wagtail foraging for insects on the river in Salisbury town centre.

With this hot weather, it's made walking a tad knackering! Last Sunday - for Father's Day - we abandoned the planned Salisbury Plain walk (baking!) to a cooler amble through Langley Wood NNR. The foxgloves were amazingly tall, and the clouds of mozzies accompanying us very annoying, but it was the dappled light highlighting patches of ferns that I noticed. Standing still to photograph them, however, would have resulted in being bitten!

And then on Wednesday I walked into town for the annual eye MOT. This was probably the hottest day of the week! The walk in was calm, reasonably breezey, and particularly beautiful. So many people wander passed the carpets of water crowfoot without batting an eyelid, not really appreciating the beauty or the rarity. The walk back was sweltering, but did feature ducklings, cygnets and baby moorhens. I marvelled at the fact that the water crowfoot was flowering (albeit not quite as profusely) in the very heart of the city - how many people just pass it by without looking?

And just before I began my great climb of the hill back to mine, the hedgerows were alive with banded demoiselles. These dainty damselflies were mating and fighting each other for position on top of the bushes. I'm not quite sure why they had chosen there, so far away from the river, but again, I thought, how any people would have stopped to look? they're stunning close up, but of course, they weren't going to hang around for me!

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