Category Suburban nature

Will they ever learn?

Three parakeets eating crab apples. Peck, spit, peck, spit. Maybe this bit will be nicer? Or this bit? Or even this bit? Or perhaps this one? Or that one? Or the one over there? Now look you lot. They’re sour goddammit. They’re always going to be sour. GIVE. IT. UP.

Suburban High Noon (#ThumbnailNature)

Suburban high noon. Grass alleyway between garden fences. At one end, a fox. At the other, two crows forage all casual-like, their nest in a sycamore overhead.  Fox inches forward. Stops. Starts. Watched every step. Nah, not worth it mate. He turns and lopes away. I breathe out gently.

11th August 2021 – Gipsywort instead of Yellow-legged gulls on Rainham Marshes

I went in search of Yellow-legged Gulls and left instead with a photo of the purple-pencilled flowers of Gipsywort, which I found growing alongside the boardwalk. Finally nailed a Willow Warbler with confidence, so progress on my birdsong and call journey. Oh and there was a good showing of by a Marsh Harrier too.

26th July 2021 – Love a crow

Crows nest in the wood opposite our house but this year a pair choose one of the oak trees in our communal garden. From our back bedroom window I can see them building their nest as the leaves aren’t properly out. That nest soon disappears into the green. There’s not much evidence of them, or […]

19th July 2021 – gorging on the birdiest of all birds

A male Kingfisher is sitting on a fence post, preening in the early morning sun, until something in the water below catches his attention. After bobbing his head a couple of times, he slices through the lake surface and emerges with a silvery prize. A squadron of Swifts skim across the water’s surface, calculating their […]

12th July 2021 – It’s sooo sticky…

I’m just back from a week in Wales and the excitement of seeing unfamiliar plants was almost too much to bear. On a pavement plant walk around the fishing town of New Quay (no, not that one!), I found this Rock Sea-spurrey with gorgeous pink flowers and unbelievable sticky glandular hairs which meant the whole […]

29th June 2021 – “Tree Wheat” in Cardiff

I have time for a couple of hours of pavement plant hunting before I catch my train back from Cardiff to Paddington. Common Limes line the west side of the Taff Embankment and many of them have a mini-ecosystem of lichens, mosses, ferns and other plants thriving on the river-facing side of the main trunk. […]

Pavement weeds – article in Mar/Apr 2021 Resurgence & Ecologist magazine

If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I spend a lot of time getting excited about pavement plants in suburban south London. Earlier this year, I wrote this article about urban plant hunting for Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. I heard recently that, after reading my article, a teacher has started taking her class out […]

24th May 2021 – Top job LB Southwark for #NoMowMay

So this is how the story goes… In September 2020 I sent this photo to my Ward Councillor, Cllr Catherine Rose, who is also the Environment lead for Southwark Council. It shows what a triangle of verge near our house looked like after after Southwark contractors mowed it in August 2020. I said I thought […]

17th May 2021 – achingly beautiful wood millet

Coombe Lane tram stop in Croydon is not the most obvious place to stop and look at plants but, I do, and I’m rewarded by finding what I’m pretty sure are Wood Melick and the Wood Millet which is pictured here. Close up the Wood Millet flowers are achingly beautiful, with each of the anthers […]