As you travel through life, take time to smell the wild flowers.


Heron lifting off from North Pond.

When I am on the marsh I expect to see or do something worthwhile. If this doesn’t happen I am disappointed.

The North Pond has two sections: the main section to the north and a smaller, shallower section to the south. Yesterday evening I stood in the long grass alongside the southern section of the North Pond, scanning the surface of the water for signs of animal life. Flowering Rush swayed in the breeze, and ripples moved gently across the surface of the pond. As my eyes focused on the ripples, I saw a large heron standing in their epicenter, it appeared as if by magic, only to lifted off as soon as our eyes met. I hadn’t realised how effectively the heron’s grey and white plumage performed as camouflage. I was amazed that I had seen the ripples first and not the heron standing in the middle of them. I managed to photograph the lift-off, more through reflex action than good judgement.

Butterfly Bush.

As I pick my way through the thick vegetation, I can’t help but marvel at the many varieties of flowering plants I see growing on the marsh, and even more so at their intriguing names. At this time of the year, I probably see new blooms at each visit.

Selfheal, liverwort, woundwort, ragwort and many other strangely named plants might sound like ingredients used in the middle-ages by sorcerers and witches, and this perception might well be true. Nowadays, though, they are just pretty wild flowers, to me at least, but I guess they might still be still sort after by herbalists.

One of the definitions of wort is: “Small plant.” Many of these wort plants are old-time remedies for illnesses, as designated by their names. Liverwort was thought to be a remedy for liver problems, because it had a resemblance to liver, allegedly.

Currently, yellow Evening Primroses are one of the more striking marsh blooms.

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