I walked home from Garrarus today, a stroll of between 15 and 20 minutes which turned into an hour. Truly, even on a walk that is familiar, there is so much to see. After the spring of dramatic rains and now a hot spell everything is starting to bloom. There are Daisies everywhere, common but pretty in the sun under the watchful eye of the lion-headed Dandelions, who are like bouncers on ladies night or maybe middle-aged chaperones at a teenage disco.
I spot some late Primroses, shy in the shadow of a grassy stone wall. Providing some pink and purple are Forget- Me- Nots and Hairy Violets-or maybe only common ones but hairy ones sound more appealing. They remind me of pansies who in return remind me of Mexican Bandits. “I will keel you effa you toucha my seester!”. There is red and white Clover, Common and Kidney Vetch.
The Bramble is flowering. Fiddle-Headed Ferns are still unrolling their spines, in a slow leisurely sun salute and the twisted Hawthorns reveal themselves not to be gnarled grey witches after all but young girls in green dresses dotted with creamy white flowers.
The ditches are running wild with grasses and nettles, their Dock Leaf tongues hanging out with the effort. The Ribwort Plantain is everywhere. I didn’t know what it was called until a few minutes ago but it’s what we used to have mock sword fights with when I was young.*
As well as the flowers, the neighbours are out in force with the weather, trimming the ditches, sweating in the heat but still ready with a smile and a chat.There are Buttercups glowing in the dense green and the Wild Garlic, elegant and pure, nod their heads in well-bred politeness. The Common Ragwort towers above it, rougher, unkempt.
They put me in mind of the mysterious ditch trimmer who silently appears, outside of the drama in the collection of stories about the village of Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres. Often he is caught in a line or two, as the main characters drive by, silently contemplating some treasure he has uncovered in the ditch as if it was Yoricks skull:a porcelain bowl, a rusted tool. But my neighbours are more animated and even a toddler is pitching in with his colourful wheelbarrow.
Coming home I can’t resist taking a shot of a lily in the flower bed. Not my favourite flowers, too groomed, too elegant, but still the smooth line of their petals, like the neckline of an expensive silk dress, plunging down to a slim green stem is visually compelling and of course speaks of Georgia O’Keeffe.
And then I am home, after a twenty-minute walk that took over an hour. There is always something to see.