Dear Readers, what a year it’s been! It started in February 2016 with a rather disappointing revisit to the Abraham Cruzvillegas installation at Tate Modern, which contained soil from different sites in London, and was supposed to provide an idea of the diverse flora from the capital. Sadly, it was rather underlit, and none of the raised beds were labelled, so it was impossible to know where each sample of soil had come from. Plus it finished in February, just before everything started to come into flower! A most frustrating exercise which could have been both artistically and scientifically interesting. Harrumph! It did provide an excuse for a bracing walk along the Thames, however.
March was all about frogs and this poor little fox, half eaten up with mange. It was the start of my daily walk to St Pancras and Islington Cemetery, where I dropped medicated food to try and clear up the fox’s skin problem. As a result I met a group of people dedicated to looking after the cat population in the cemetery, and the other animals too, especially my friend B. To my surprise, the homeopathic medication sent from the National Fox Welfare Society worked, and I gained many glimpses of the foxy population.
By April there was some improvement in the original fox, and she had a mate. Plus, from looking at her underside, it seemed that she had cubs, though I didn’t see them while they were very small.
On the Wednesday Weed front, I found some honesty…
and some fritillaries.
May brought comfrey and lady’s smock, and a few more foxes
And by June, I think this is the first sight of a cub. Plus, we had fledgling long-tailed tits, and a rather surprising creature spotted while on the New River Walk in Islington
In July, I was off to Austria for our annual two weeks in the Alps. Where it snowed.
Though not all the time, fortunately….
August saw my first visit to Woodberry Wetlands and a trip back to my roots in the East End, to see what had happened to Stratford since the Olympic Games. I was impressed with the wildlife that I saw in both places. And the fox cubs were out and about in the cemetery.
September saw my first ever pied flycatcher, during a visit to see my parents in Milborne St Andrew, Dorset.
I had never seen so many rose hips as there were in the cemetery, either.
And the horse chestnuts reminded me of my Auntie Mary. How often the fruits of the season jog my memory, putting me in mind of people and places long gone.
And the foxes were still about, of course.
October brought a trip to Venice with an 89 year-old friend of mine, and a particularly wonderful encounter with a young vixen in the cemetery.
In November, I discovered the joys of a slow shutter-speed on my camera, and had an encounter with a grey wagtail at the Barbican Centre.
December brought a return to Milborne St Andrew, some very fine Islington cats, and a supermoon. It also introduced me to the hidden meaning of having pampas grass in your front garden.
And finally, January has brought a stroll along the Mutton Brook in East Finchley, stinging nettles and a Very Fine Cat Indeed.
So, dear Readers, what an exciting year it’s been! If there are things that you’ve liked particularly, do let me know (and yes I will be spending more time in the cemetery on fox watch in the months to come). I am also open to suggestions if I have missed your favourite ‘weed’, or if there is somewhere in London that you’d like me to take an excursion to. In the meantime, thank you so much for your support, and I look forward to your company in 2017. The world is an uncomfortable place for many people at the moment (including me) and there is much solace to be gained in the plants and animals that surround us.
All blog content copyright Vivienne Palmer. Free to use and share non-commercially, but please attribute and link back to the blog, thank you.
Thank YOU, Bugwoman, for your weekly reminders of home. Your gentle perception and attention to the details of the urban natural world are a delight. Many happy returns!
Thank you Jill, I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog 🙂
What an interesting year you have had Vivienne; I thank you for writing so sympathetically about your adventures and hope that this year will bring even more to be discovered on your journey.
I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog, Toffeeapple, and thank you so much for your comments, they always cheer me up and make me think.
What a treat, Bugwoman! How I love your journal and the wonderful photographs. With typical American enthusiasm from an American who prides herself on being understated. Your blog really ties me to the things of this world (and I need such grounding). Thank you.
Thank you, Gubbinal. Writing the blog helps ground me too, so I’m glad it helps you. The world is such a tumultuous place at the moment that it’s good to get down with the weeds and the bees sometimes.
“Jog on, jog on, the footpath way,” as the poet (who?) wrote. Nature will continue to delight and console you, and us, despite the blustering Donald.
Hooray! I rather think it will. Nature is there when everything else is going to pot. Your quote is from Shakespeare! I was really surprised, it sounds so modern. It’s from A Winter’s Tale, and the full thing is:
Jog on, jog on, the footpath way,
And merrily hent the stile-a;
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a.
Beautiful, just beautiful.
Thank you, Gert, much appreciated…
What a great year! I’m very glad I searched out your blog after reading your other writing.
I look forward to your posts so much, they do indeed bring solace. I love your eye for the ‘normal’ things that we might otherwise pass by. Thank you for sharing your time and energy and wisdom.
Thank you for reading and commenting Gail, much appreciated x