Things you see on a good day

Today’s dog walk turned out to be a real surprise. I parked in one of those grotty out of town shopping areas that we don’t seem to be able to avoid and we strolled down a path we’ve taken before. As I walked I got to thinking how I used to walk nearby when I was a child. Back then there were old Devon lanes that led to miles of fields, but less than a mile and a half from the city centre. Wildflowers were abundant in those lanes, and vehicles were rare.
Then came the 1990’s and the growth of out of town monsters, an increase in major roads as the city expanded and ‘developed’.
The lane where once the only sound was birdsong, has since been widened, homes have been built that virtually fill the gap to the shops. Today’s walk began noisily as I briefly walked parallel to the dual carriageway, but I caught i flash of something out of the corner of my eye and followed it.

meadow brown
meadow brown

Soon it’s friends were fluttering around me,
small blue
They didn’t really want to pose for me, they had nectar to gather.
As they followed me down the path, I opened my eyes and stopped listening to the roar of traffic and I was pleasantly surprised.

So, twenty years on from the ‘superstore’ being built, nature was reclaiming her land. Habitats had reformed, diverse ones at that. I know there are foxes in the area, I’ve seen them late at night, climbing up the railway embankment, and the dogs can smell them and lots more things they would like to chase and sniff out.
foot bridge
I like the idea of the footbridge being walked by all sorts of creatures at night, to cross the busy roads safely. From here,
oak
to here,
slip road
until they reach here.
borders path

I learnt even more today, as I stopped to taste the blackberries, the dogs were sniffing under some young oak trees. There were fresh young acorns and oak apples beside them. I leant in close with my phone to capture them and saw the strangest thing.

Apparently they are Knopper Galls, a sort of chemical reaction resulting from the gall wasp laying its eggs on a the developing acorns. They vary quite a bit in colour and form and if you were to cut inside them, the larvae can be seen.
I suppose I was vaguely aware that oak apples were something similar but as little brown balls, they aren’t something I’ve given much thought to!
That isn’t all, when I photographed wild rose hips I wondered what this plant was attached to,
gall4
then the dogs were getting into mischief so had to dash. Well, this is a gall too, one that forms on a dog rose, called Robin’s Pincushion. I hope I’m not the last person on the planet to know about Galls!
All in all this was a very good day.I tried to use Mesh but failed dismally and had to give up before I lost my cool – it wasted way too much time, sorry WordPress and Automattic.
I’m not sure if you will manage a Monday walk post this week Jo, but here you are anyway.

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20 thoughts on “Things you see on a good day

  1. Hooray for Gilly! 🙂 🙂 I looked briefly at the WP challenge and decided it didn’t fit with what I wanted to post today (which is the way I usually do it 🙂 ) Curious about Mesh, I clicked on the link, and failed to see what the fuss was about. To my eyes there was nothing special about it. (is that sacrilege? will I be reported to the WP gnomes? I’m resigned to not having my genius recognised by FP now anyway 😦 )
    Thank you for the walk, and for all that knowledge. Gall to me is bare faced cheek or something a bladder has. 🙂 I will be posting a walk on Monday, hon, but not scheduling any while I’m away.

  2. A delightful walk, full of discoveries. The small things in life that you have to search for you have found, so many things that unobservant folks would just rush by. There are huge galls on gum trees over here but I have never seen miniature ones, they are rather like flowers. Well done capturing the butterflies they move so fast I can never get a clear photo of them.

  3. It’s amazing how many wild things can get used to living among us! Here where I live, no distance at all from Philadelphia, there are wild turkeys strutting along our streets. And several months ago a friend of mine looked out her front window to see a deer trotting down her street toward the main street of town. She was concerned about what would happen when it met traffic, so she phoned the police and was told “Oh, that deer. It goes back down to the park when it’s ready.”

  4. The things you noticed on your walk had me reminiscing about Nature Walks we took from school when I was little…..reading this, I could see myself looking at hedgerow finds then with amazing clarity…..

  5. I love the way you tell the story of this walk Gilly, and the way you notice so much most people would just not see. An absolutely delightful photo of the two dogs on a delicious path. I was very disappointed when I realised that galls were in fact a deformity: the ones you discovered look like true, albeit strangely sited, flowerings.

  6. Lovely post, Gilly. I love the way you said that butterflies followed you down the path. Such interesting photos of Gall and Red Poison. I’m not even going to try this mesh thingy. “Am I bovvered?” 😀 I’m now wondering what wild pears taste like, and whether the nocturnal critters do use the foot bridge. 😕

    1. Wild pears must be the originals like before we manipulated them mustn’t they? so probably not as sweet and I suspect more core and less fruit. I’m sure the foxes use the bridge as they are fearless and I can’t imagine any people using it at night!

  7. I love what you do with words. It is amazing how you shape your emotions and expressions into words. Beautiful pictures too.
    I’d be glad if you could visit and review my blog too. Thanks xx

  8. Nope. You’re not the last to learn about galls. Thanks for the education. 🙂 Nice pics, too, and thanks for popping on over to my challenge..

  9. What an enjoyable day, Gilly! These two butterfly shots are precious. I see the two cute doggies were having a good day. 🙂 Great post!

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