Sunday, 18 June 2017

Mad dogs and Englishmen

Yes, out into the heat we go - things to do, places to see!

On Friday we walked into the city centre from my flat - a lovely walk down the steep hill to the Avon Valley Path, then following the river into the city. It takes 50 mins or so, but is so beautiful, particularly at this time of year with the water crowfoot flowering. In fact, this aquatic plant (a type of buttercup!) is actually quite rare, only being found in chalk rivers, of which the UK has the majority of the global habitat. The rivers are unique in being groundwater-fed through the porous chalk aquifer, retaining a relatively stable temperature throughout the year, and slowly releasing water into the channels. Quite amazing. And I've never seen it flowering along this stretch quite so much - so thick in places it looked like you could walk across to the other side of the channel. The walk back was still beautiful, but it had heated up even more, and of course required us to climb the steep hill we had descended.

And then today we had decided to do a family walk to celebrate Father's Day - Dad had requested a walk on the Plain, but it being 30 degrees (phew!), we headed to Langley Wood NNR instead. It actually brought back memories of walking through Mediterranean pine forest from campsites in the South of France to the beach. It was very hot and humid, and also very full of mozzies! Nevertheless, the cool, ferny undergrowth, lit by dappled sunlight, was beautiful to stroll around, with numerous butterflies flitting in the glades. The foxgloves, in particular, seem to be amazing this year.

If the weather stays like this, the beautful lush greens of this time of year will soon be replaced with scorched vegetation, so get out there while you can and enjoy the botanical spectacle!

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