Home again for the weekend after a pleasant few days in Lincolnshire helping my Dad to celebrate his 70th birthday.
On Saturday I took the kids out for a brief walk. Where did they want to go? Woodwell of course.
For the usual sport with sticks and the pond.
Sam slept, for a while at least. I listened to two birds singing call and response from opposite sides of the clearing. I eventually located one of the birds and I think that it was a wren – it was certainly very small – but it was constantly on the move, and silhouetted against the sky . Grey has high praise for the Wren’s song in The Charm of Birds.
Today it was cold and overcast, but we managed a happy hour at the local playing field even though it was raining by the time that we left.
Amy and Ben played happily together whilst I pushed Sam on the swing and then in his pushchair. I took him for a tour around the small field whilst he was dropping off for his afternoon nap. Beneath a wall at the top of the field were several vigorous clumps of a hairy plant with small blue flowers.
It’s quite common in the area, but always in the lea of a wall or otherwise close to habitation. My Reader’s Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain tells me that it was probably introduced from France or Spain in the Middle Ages and that it is often found near the sites of Medieval Abbeys, where it was grown as a source of red dye. Apparently the name comes from the Arabic al-henna for the henna shrub the roots of which also produce red dye.