Sunday, June 29, 2008

One week later

After a week in Italy, looking at staggeringly beautiful architecture, drinking birra alla spina beneath sun umbrellas in the seething sunshine, eating wonderful food and drinking rather nice wine, it has been something of a change to come back to London!

Yesterday was gorgeously sunny so I picked up my poor over-worked camera and put it to use in the RDW.

Since I began the blog I have been frequently staggered how much difference a few days can make in the park. There wasn't much bird life around yesterday, but the plant life was absolutely rampant and hugely rewarding to see - the greenery is so bright, the flowers are everywhere and the fruit is just beginning to emerge, with cherries and blackberries the most prevalent.

The Yellow Flag irises have been replaced by a profusion of purple on Globe Pond and elswhere, and the vetches are proliferating in vast amounts all coloured with various different shades of mauve. Everything looks as though it has very much enjoyed the recent mixture of rain and sunshine. The Buddleia globosa has gone over, each of the bright orange marbles now a dry rusty brown colour, but its leaves are still a deep happy green.

Because it was such a nice day there were lots of people over there enjoying themselves and there was a really festive atmosphere.

The heron was on his usual perch overlooking the Downtown Pond (currently under threat from planning applications by Barratt Homes), and a huge terrapin in Globe Pond was creating quite a stir with the local children. All the chicks on the ponds are growing up, but are still in that in-between stage where they have not yet grown out of their adolescent fluff and into their adult uniform.

I knew from the state of my much-loved garden that there had been a lot of wind and not much rain, but I was amazed at how little water there is in some of the ponds - and there was none at all in some of the channels. Downland Pond, in particular, has lost a considerable amount of water while I've been away, leaving behind a muddy beach.

I could hear what sounded like live Caribbean music playing somewhere not far away, but I never did find out what that was all about.

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