Thursday, 5 September 2013

Water, Water

Making the most of these few days of warm sunshine and before the weather turns nasty tomorrow, we have taken the opportunity to have a couple of longer walks.  Yesterday, we took ourselves around Shipley Park and through the village of Mapperley, on to Mapperley reservoir and a stop at the picnic site for coffee before returning via Mapperley wood.  The reservoir was quiet yesterday and the only commotion was caused by the young Great Crested Grebes which were constantly pestering their long-suffering parents for food.  The water was still and calm and dotted with Yellow Water Lilies (Nuphar lutea).  Only a few flowers were to be seen breaking the water's surface, but they still looked good.
Almost everywhere there is standing water around these parts, you can be fairly certain to find Water Mint (Mentha aquatica).  The reddish stems and highly scented leaves of this wonderful plant, are topped with clusters of pale purple flowers which when viewed close-up, are simply beautiful.
Also growing and flowering in the brooks, streams and wet ditches hereabouts, are the tall and stately Great Reedmace (Typha latifolia).  Often erroneously referred to as Bulrush, it is not in fact related to the rushes at all.  The rhizomes of these plants are edible, as are the stems when peeled.  However, the plant has the ability to absorb pollutants from the water in which it grows, so unpolluted water is essential if you are going to give them a try.
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