Monday, 11 August 2014

Phoenix Trail

Today's attempt to wear out Bug Mad Girl and Little Brother was a bike/scooter ride along the Phoenix Trail . It was overcast and windy, so there were no butterflies flying, but sometimes that means you can look at the other things around you.

There were masses of sloes and blackberries - it should be a bumper year for the birds (and children)! A few blackberries are starting to ripen, but most still seem to be green, so we need to wait a week or two for those. I may be tempted to rustle up some Sloe Gin for the winter, but the Sloes aren't ready either. You're supposed to pick those after the first frost, but you can cheat and pick them early (as long as they're ripe) then freeze them briefly and defrost them, before you use them.

#100DaysOfNature #Day19 Sloes
We saw some Common Toadflax, which is very pretty. It has flowers that look like Snapdragons with a spike hanging down from each flower.

We also saw some Everlasting Pea, which is a relative of the Sweet Pea. Looks so out of place seeing Sweet Peas climbing all over a Sloe bush. We saw this bright pink one and a paler pink one. I'm not sure if this is 'wild', or somebody threw some seed down and it has taken off. There are also lots of Hollyhocks all along that part of the Phoenix Trail that must have grown from seed that somebody threw down there. They've been there for years, so seem to be thriving there and look very pretty when they're flowering.

Then right at the end, the sun came out and three Small Tortoiseshells appeared and fed on the Ragwort around us. They were being blown around in the wind, but didn't seem to mind too much (just glad of a bit of sunshine I think!)

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