A visit to East Park

Clock tower and flower beds

Work will soon begin renovating East Park, thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. The striking clock tower in the distance above will once again be getting a clock.

Bandstand

The bandstand is currently in a sad state of disrepair.

Camellia flower

Blooms on an impressive camellia bush by the lodge at the entrance.

The avenue

The avenue of mature plane trees forms a tunnel even when their leaves are gone. This view looks back towards the lodge, which is pictured below.

Lodge, East Park

Patch of Danish scurvy grass

And finally: to disprove my recent posts which have been talking about Danish scurvy grass as a plant which is spreading only in thin strips along busy roads, there was a patch several yards across in East Park.

Bee on a leaf

Bee on a leaf

Quite a number of bees were hovering on a bare patch of ground on a bank by the Staffs & Worcs canal – probably they had a nest there. This one stayed resting on a leaf, warming itself in the sun, long enough for me to grab a picture.

Violets on a bank

Violet

These violets grow on the same small stretch of sunny bank as the lesser celandines which were pictured yesterday. Every spring the two sets of plants flower at about the same time.

Web along a twig

Web along a twig

This web closely followed the lines of the twigs it was spun on. It showed up by the water which was condensing on it from the cold mist.

Lesser celandines coming out

Lesser celendine

Lesser celandines flowering at a sheltered spot by the Staffs & Worcs canal. Both pictures were taken on cool, cloudy days, the bottom shot a couple of days before the other one.

Lesser celendine

Lock gate workshop Open Day

Open Day

Not actually wildlife, but the work which goes on to maintain the places we use where wildlife also thrives, here the canals.

Open Day

All the lock gates on the British Waterways system are built at a workshop at the end of the Bradley arm of the Birmingham canal, which now leads only to that workshop, though it was on the original, Brindley, main line.

Open Day

The workshop had an open day recently. These pictures were taken then.

Open Day

Open Day

Open Day

More pond life

All images from the same small pond featured on Tuesday.

Tadpoles and a water snail

A water snail between two recently hatched tadpoles.

Water snails

Water snails

Water snails

More water snails, feeding on the build-up on the pond lining.

Snails and frogspawn

Snails feeding on frogspawn or the nearby vegetation.

Tadpoles, snails and frogspawn

Tadpoles, spawn and snails.

Tadpoles, snails and frogspawn

Tadpoles and frogspawn

Troop of glistening inkcaps

Troop of glistening inkcaps

Inkcaps are a set of mushroom species which shed their spores by deliquescing – it appears their caps are disintegrating into a black, sometimes gooey, mess. Different sections of these clumps of glistening inkcaps were showing different stages along that process. The most recent fungi in the foreground above, though towards almost complete disintegration to the left of the third picture.

Troop of glistening inkcaps

Troop of glistening inkcaps

Danish scurvy grass by a roadside

Danish scurvy grass

A plant which in recent years has become visible as a white ribbon directly next to roads, usually busy ones. Danish scurvy grass is a plant which can tolerate high levels of salt in the soil where it grows (a halophile).

Winter gritting leaves such salt levels in the edge of verges. It is possible that the seeds also spread in car tyres. So this tiny flower is now becoming common in early spring, often found in a band only a few inches wide.

Most of the patches I’ve seen have been right by very busy A-roads – not comfortable places to stop to photograph. These were on the edge of the small village green at Seisdon.

It was a dull and chilly day when I was there, so the flowers are only half out.

Danish scurvy grass