Friday, June 20, 2014

Ive just been back

For the 20 odd years that I've lived just over the border , in  North Yorkshire I've revisited

a road verge every year. Last year I missed them or they were grazed off by the ponies , this year the gypsies have left gaps in the verdure so they are there to delight . Common Spotted it might be but there is nothing common or spotted about them as far as I'm concerned.
I was doing my second Plantlife walk last week of my designated km square and met the dog walker I had first talked to in 2013. She remarked that children who live in Inner Cities  dont enjoy  wild flowers

Ive been brooding on that one .

Many of the  children who live around me never even seem to be outdoors in the summer, the TVs are on as I pass. (This is not a blanket statement. Some children were out at half term enjoying games running around the houses and alleys). When I taught in Inner London , in Wandsworth we didn't have any
grass, just a playground,and had to walk the children to the Common for "Nature Study" but this was rare, once a term if that. Children in Bridlington at my last school had a wonderful field, picked daisies if they wanted and found lots of weeds which they soon found out were wild flowers. Urban spaces are not devoid of wild flowers at all , they are everywhere. Children  and adults dont  recognise that they are of  interest whilst they are out and about. (IMO).

I have had to learn to open my eyes . In cracks of pavements, and where the road edge meets the pavement are the best places to find a small member of the Campion (and Carnation )family. I have just discovered it . Each flower is the size of a match head. Its called Pearlwort and is surely another treasure  of the roadside. 

Reuben found my hand lens the other day, so that's a beginning , even if hes just found Photobooth on my laptop- at least he's looking!


  1. Just spent a few days with a curious 4 year old . We sat in a patch of white clover and she peered hard to try and see where the Bumble Bee could possibly get nectar . She peered in every flower she came across, especially curious about a foxglove. Today we spent the afternoon in a huge park area towards the centre of Northampton, Abingdon Park . Here she scrunched lemon balm leaves ,enjoying the scent , lavender, curry plants for the nasal senses . listened to the flow of water, the screech of a peacock,felt yew leaves but not holly . In the park there were all sorts of things to be experienced . My hope is that a large group of teenage Sure Start Mums would have curiosity to pass on to their youngsters . After about 4 hours in the park the youngster did try her CeBeebies computer game though when she got home !

  2. We must all , young and old never stop looking. Its so good when we get Mother outside to look at the garden and see too her interest in plants she still recognizes.

  3. We all , young and old do well to take an interest in the natural world around us as we do in the unatural world around us the TV and displays and objects around our homes. We recognise and discern when a floor is dirty or our hair needs a brush , and need to rekindle a Ray Mears sense of the outdoors to!