"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A Walk Along the River Blythe

D and I visited Brueton Park,Solihull, last Sunday planning to take a walk along a public footpath which takes you along the banks of the River Blythe. It is a lovely walk especially in Spring and one that we have done several times in the past when I used to do a Plantlife survey there.

The car park was full of cars - somehow managed to get a space as someone was leaving! Brueton Park looked very busy

but once you turn off along the public footpath you leave the crowds behind and we only saw a few people during the whole walk.

At this time of year the woodland and banks of the river are covered completely with Ramsons (Wild Garlic). I don't think I have ever seen as many plants of this species in one location as here.

Sadly, none of the photos do justice to the scene that greeted us. The bright sunlight bleached out the flowers - I probably should have adjusted the white balance but it is the one camera feature I have trouble controlling and trying to change it in the past has made the photos worse so I just left it on the auto setting.

River Blythe

Patches of Bluebells among the Wild Garlic - what a heavenly combination :)

The footpath meanders through woodland with the river on the right hand side.

Wild flowers seen along the walk included Cow Parsley, Garlic Mustard, Buttercup, Red Campion, Yellow Archangel and

we also spotted Dandelions, Speedwell, Primroses, White Dead-nettle and Purple Toothwort.


The path finally leaves the woodland and continues to follow the path of the Blythe with fields on each side. Sadly, at this stage the M42 is visible and audible not too far away.

This field was full of Dandelion seedheads - could have done with the zoom on the Canon bridge camera but, although I had recharged the battery, neither of us had remembered to replace the camera card! :(

Oak is in flower.

Last time we visited these fields were a mass of Buttercups but we must have been earlier this year as they are only just starting to appear.

Into another patch of woodland where Bluebells outnumbered the Wild Garlic.

Country names for Bluebells include Wood Bells, Ring o' Bells, Adder Bell, Blue Bonnets, Blue Trumpets, Granfer Griggles and Wild Hyacinths. Folklore suggests that the bells ring at dawn to call fairies to return to the woods. Beware also if you walk amidst these flowers as fairies may enchant you away! Starch in the bulbs was used to stiffen ruffs in Elizabethan times and it was also used in book binding and to attach feathers to arrows.

D was rather fed up at not having the Canon so I said he could use my Olympus dslr on the return journey so the remainder of the photos were taken by him.

For fans of the "Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady" Edith Holden mentions seeing various species of birds and flowers by the Blythe, marsh and stream at Widney Lane which is very close to the area where we walked.

Bird-wise highlights of the walk included several sightings of Treecreepers. There were quite a few species of butterfly on the wing too - Orange Tip, Speckled Wood, Small White and Brimstone.


Midmarsh John said...

That looks to be a beautiful country walk.

Ragged Robin said...

Midmarsh John - Thank you John and yes it is :)

Deborah RusticPumpkin said...

It all looks so perfectly, quintessentially English springtime! I loved the folk lore about bluebells.

Pam said...

How lovely, it seems like quite an idyllic place to walk :)

Ragged Robin said...

Deborah RusticPumpkin - Thank you. You can't beat a walk in woodland at this time of year :)

Pam - Thanks Pam - yes it is lovely there :)

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

The ramsons were stunning at the cricket match I was at the other day. Never seen so many.

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks for the comment. Yes I saw the post - they looked stunning :)

Countryside Tales said...

Your photos convey the beauty of the woodland very well. It feels like a special place. We've had a family of tree creepers nesting in the oak beside the house in a tiny crack in the bark. I've been watching them feed the babies. Delightful x

Margaret Adamson said...

I always love joining you on these walks as there is such a lot of beautiful things to see. Love all the wild flowerstrees and river. I am sorry these days I do not have the same time to comment on all your posts due to recent events but I appreaciae you posts and your comments on mine.

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks CT. Too be honest I find it hard to take photos of woodland - always so difficult to capture the scene and atmosphere and light. Unbelievable that the walk is only about a mile from Solihull town centre - great news re: your treecreepers :)

Margaret Adamson - Thanks so much Margaret. No need to apologise re: fewer comments. We all have times like that - in fact am struggling here too as still bogged down in dealing with my mother's house and the relative that lives there! Always enjoy your posts too :)