After the dreadful weather yesterday which prevented us from taking our usual walk around the parkland and forced us, instead to take an afternoon walk into town (not a pleasant experience), it was nice to get out again this morning, despite the threatening clouds. We did manage to get a walk around the old Theme Park site, gathering more Blackberries on the way. And quite a 'haul' of blackberries there were too! It seems the rain of the last few days has really swollen the fruits and the warmth has ripened them nicely.
The Blackberries were not the only plants to be in fruit. Amongst the undergrowth of the trees around the area, are a number of Lords and Ladies (Arum maculatum), ripening into bright red, beacons in the darkness under the trees.
HERE). Well, the fruits of their labours are now clear to see. The berries are very poisonous, although they are so unpleasant to taste, that it is very rare for anyone to eat enough of them to do much harm. They contain sharp, needle-shaped chrystals of 'saponins', which irritate the skin of the mouth, tongue and throat, causing swelling and resultant difficulty in breathing, pain and stomach upset. All that, from such a beautiful plant..
Returning home with a bag full of Blackberries, we started to climb the path back around Shipley Hill. Difficult to imagine that this area was like a scene from hell only about 60 years ago, when it was the site of extensive, open-cast mining works. It looks a lot better now, even in the dull weather.