Nature's stained glass
In the far corner of Highbury Park is a wonderful sight indeed: the Crocuses are out in force. When the sun shines it goes straight through their delicate lilac petals and lights them up like stained glass. They positively glow, and look absolutely stunning. Hoverflies hang, jewel-like, in the air above them, and there is a gentle buzz from within of Honey Bees furiously gathering the last of the pollen and nectar for the winter season. The flowers nestle amongst fallen leaves, which become fiery orange when the sun shines; their vibrancy seems to further underline the delicacy of the Crocuses.
As I took photographs, two Jays swept right in front of me. A generally secretive kind of bird, currently the Jays are more noticeable as they scour the ground feeding on acorns. Their importance as distributors of oak trees can’t be overstated. To find out more, click here.
The Grey Squirrels are also stocking up on the bounty the trees have provided, from acorns to sweet chestnuts.
It’s good to see lots of children out and about too, gathering conkers with their parents, as it encourages them to engage with nature. I have to admit, I fill my pockets with conkers too! There is something about the sheen of smooth conkers that is irresistible to me. They look like highly-polished gems they shine so bright, with a wonderful pattern on them like water-marked silk.
Scamp gets bored of my conker-gathering though, so she headed into the stream for a little paddle. She didn’t notice the little bird watching her from a branch above, but I did. Its pale lemon chest was set of magnificently by its grey back, and it bobbed up and down proudly, as if showing off. It was a chiff chaff, of course – something I often hear but rarely see, so it felt a real treat.