Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Summer Time...

... and the living is easy.
The living was certainly very easy this morning as we took a very warm walk around the lakes of Straw's Bridge.  Several families of Mallards were sunning themselves around the water's edge.  This proud mother has succeeded in raising her brood of nine youngsters to adulthood.  all look large enough to look after themselves - indeed, they;re all bigger than their mother - but, like most youngsters, they seem reluctant to leave the security of their mum's side.
With mum on constant alert, they can relax in the sun.
Towering above these slumbering beauties, a beauty of a quite different kind has begun to show its colours.  The flowers of the Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) have started to open in the sunshine and there are few more delightful to look at.
An invasive weed in some parts of the world, they can be a bit of a nuisance when they turn up where they shouldn't be.  Their ferociously spiny stems, leaves and flower buds all combine to make it a rather less-than-approachable plant, but one which rewards closer inspection.
Glorious!
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