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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

My regular readers (all half a dozen of you) will know that this year a wander across Tottenham's finest parks ( a personal opinion, naturally) Downhills Park and Lordship Rec has become part of my weekly routine. It feels like no better way to track the seasons, as every week so far has revealed the ways Nature is winding down for Winter. 

Today (29th September) is, as any fule kno, Michaelmas Day (depending on which calendar you're using) and also the day when the devil, chucked out of heaven by Michael, landed on a blackberry bush on the floor of Hell (well, brambles are excellent security) and was so enraged that he spat, widdled and cursed the fruit of the blackberry bush making the fruit inedible after this date.

Judging by yesterday's berries on Lordship Rec, the devil landed a day early this year.

Michaelmas was also the day that for the medieval farmer signalled the end of the harvest and time to prepare for winter and indeed, judging by the dead heads on the flowers and the empty seed pods, the birds and animals are doing just that. Flower dead heads, of course, remain shelter for insects so leaving a few means they have a home for the rainy days of October.

If parks full of decay and detritus leave you a little melancholic, there is still colour and life to be found. Although the female bumblebees have all gone to bed for the winter a long time ago (good plan), the males are still hanging in there (although they won't last the winter) enjoying their last days on the ever lovely Michaelmas Daisy (one of my favourite wild flowers/weeds).

There's also lots of pretty berries on the trees - firethorn in Downhills

and snow berries in Lordship Rec

and the fungi are fabulous (IDs on these most welcome in the comments).

The lake was full of birds yesterday, although the skies were grey

and the bold as brass Downhills squirrels were busy preparing for the winter too, not really stopping long enough to snap their picture, although I did try!

Leaving no conkers for the rest of us!

Feels like my autumn ambles will be winter wanders soon!

Tags for Forum Posts: autumn ambles, nature notes

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Great photos Liz! I don't think I've seen snowberries before.

I like Michaelmas daisies too - we have some in our garden.

Thank you! - tThey're the last thing to bloom in the year really, although the St John's Wort is still putting out flowers and nasturtiums are still having a go. But the appearance of the Michaelmas Daisy for me signals the end of the summer and the nearness of winter.

Liz - thank you.  You always remind me to take the time to stop and enjoy the small pleasures around me.

One of the things I most love about having a dog is it means I am so much more aware of the passing seasons.  I love this time of year especially.  

Walking around your neighbourhood and noticing interesting stuff makes you feel more connected.  Be it an interesting pattern in a door frame or conkers on the ground.

Lordship Rec in particular gives you that sense of vast open space, sometime lacking in an urban environment - sometimes the cloud formations are stunning.  Today it was beautiful - and the view of Alexandra Palace almost sparking in the autumn light was for me the highlight of todays walk!  I was however remiss is capturing a picture and just opted to enjoy it instead!

Not every moment can be captured by a photo. Yesterday I spent about 10 mins trying to photograph a very colourful hover fly that I'd not seen before. After numerous failures and one blurry photo I opted to just stand and watch him go about his business and appreciate his amazing dark orange and black abdomen ( I do sometimes wonder what the other park users think of me standing in the bushes staring at flowers haha)

Great photos thanks for posting! Did the devil widdle on raspberries too? I'm hoping to enjoy at least one or two more handfuls in my muesli, before the frost sets in.

I'm no theologian but I don't think there are raspberry canes in Hell :)



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