Saturday 28 May 2016


View of Todd's Pit from Visitor Centre
Todd's Pit - 15 September 2015

I have now documented Milton Country Park for just over a year. I started taking pictures of golden reeds in wintry sunshine in February 2015, and ended photographing frost etched vegetation in March 2016. After thirty nine posts, and over 200 images, it is time to look back over the last fourteen months.

This review of the year is organised in four sections which are roughly based on the perception of the seasons. One thing that this project has taught me is that the natural world does not neatly parcel itself up according to man-made divisions. These sections have fuzzy boundaries and their time frames overlap each other. For instance, I have included fruit in the autumn section even though a lot of it was ripe in August, when there was still a lot of summer flowers around.

I have split this review into two parts: in this post, spring and summer; in my next post, autumn and winter.


Cherry Plum Blossom
Cherry Plum Blossom - 23 March 2015

The main feature of spring was the successive waves of white tree blossom which engulfed the park. It started with the cherry plum and blackthorn, followed by apple, hawthorn, and elderflower. Herbaceous plants also contributed to the whitening of the park.  In particular, cow parsley at the northern end of the park; and jack-by-the-hedge and  comfrey in and around the woods at the southern extremity.  This is a time of rapid change.  None of the tree blossom lasted more than a week or two; and, at the same time, as the leaves came out on the trees, the park was transformed from brown to green in a matter of weeks.

Hawthorn bush in front of massed hawthorn blossom
Hawthorn Blossom - 20 May 2015


Yellow Irises - 26 May 2015

Summer is the time for summer flowers. It started with the yellow irises blossoming around the margins of the water and ended with the blooming of bulrushes and the reeds. At the start of the summer, rosebay willow herb made a prominent display on the banks of the 13th Public Drain alongside Remembrance Meadow. Later, as the yellow irises faded, their place at the water's edge was taken by purple loosestrife.  Other noticeable flowers included ragwort around the children's play area, the large white flowers of convolulus, and the purple water mint.  But there were also some big surprises, including a patch of poppies on the access road, and a single white orchid.

Rosebay Willow Herb - 30 June 2015
Next: Review 2

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