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.
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.