15th November – sun-brushed reeds on Rainham marshes

Breathe deeply, all quiet, big open space, sun-brushed reeds. Well almost quiet, if I ignore the high speed trains belting past and the clanging of a bulldozer echoing across the estuary.

The volunteer on the gate of Rainham marshes reserve was apologetic about the one way system in operation but it means I barely see another soul for a couple of hours. I needed something different today and this is just right.

I’ll never tire of watching rippling reed beds. At this time of year the blue-green and chrome yellow contrast is a delicious eyeful. And I love the depth and how it seems to drag you in, whether you’re hoping for the anomalous pattern of a bittern, pinning down a cetti’s call or just marvelling at this extraordinary habitat-creating grass.

Whether you’re a botanist or birder, some plants deserve extra appreciation and attention, forming the structure of some of our most precious ecosystems. My current top five other than trees would be Common Reed, Ling, Spagnum Moss, Marram Grass and a saltmarsh species, probably Common Saltmarsh-grass. What would yours be?

One comment

  1. Ling and marram grass, yes, but as a bee watcher I would put a vote in for vetches and peas.

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