My Old Stomping Ground

For a change of scene yesterday (6th) I walked around what, in the 1950’s, was a forbidden playground (‘over the lines’), now the eastern end of Attenborough Nature Reserve. Sand and gravel were still being extracted, barges ferrying the material to the works which have only very recently been demolished to make way for a housing development known as Chaucer Mews which doesn’t sound like ‘affordable’ housing to me. The ponds resulting from the extraction process are pretty much as I remember them as a youngster but the banks and islands have greened up considerably.

A solitary moorhen makes its way across this secluded pond.

A mallard pauses in its own ‘ring of bright water’. It is probably a male having moulted its distinctive plumage and entered the eclipse season. A pair of cygnets feed under the watchful eyes of both parents.

This bumble bee was to busy gathering nectar from some rather splendid thistles alongside the River Trent.

If it had not moved I might have missed this tiny (2cm) toad on the path. It was taking advantage of the damp weather I am sure.

This year I have become more aware of the succession of wild flowers as the weeks go by. Rosebay willow herb (left) has the alternative name ‘bomb weed’ from its propensity to rapidly colonise bomb sites during the 2nd world war. The right hand picture shows yarrow, one of the smaller ‘umbellifers’ (like cow parsley, hogweed etc.) and the mauve heads of knapweed.

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