Saturday, 12 November 2011

Unexpected Pleasures

Maiden Hair or Ginko

Many of our little adventures are planned in advance, this need to be because of time or rather the lack of it, but some of my favourite moments of discovery are completely unexpected; like the eerie fog that descended over the park as I cycled home from work last week.

Is That A Park Pixie Next To That Tree?
Today was another one of those days.

Quinces Outside the RSH

While my daughter was learning to dance, my son and I whizzed off to grab a bagful of quinces that I had spotted the night before outside the RSH hospital entrance.

Quinces Smell So Nice and Spicy
On the way down the road I spotted a lovely bunch of mistletoe growing on a small rowan tree in the verge in Highfield. We didn’t pick any (best to wait till nearer to Yule) but I took some fairly good pictures of it. 

Kiss Me Quickly! xxx

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant and often grows very high up but this bunch was set at about head height. Despite all the fecund associations the berries are poisonous, so don’t let any fall between your lips while you kiss.
Like Beautiful Little Oriental Fans
Further on in Portswood, we were brought up short by the startling colours of some yellow/green leaves of a Maiden Hair (or Ginko) tree.

Tasty Peartree Green Snack Pears

Later on we stopped off at Peartree Green to forage a few of the Mayor’s Pears to take home. As we drew up I noticed a large bird sitting in a tree.

Don't Blink, It's A Peregrine, I Think...

At first glance I thought it might be a fat Kestrel but on closer inspection (I had binoculars in the car) it revealed itself to be that speedy prince of prey, the Peregrine Falcon; I have seen one of these birds before but never in Southampton.

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