Denso Tuesday 9th June 2020
This was my second visit to Denso during lockdown. On the path from the main road to the reserve most of the ground flora was finished colour being replaced by higher growing elder flowers and wild roses. I was prepared for the natural changes but apprehensive of those due to more visitors and the lack of regular voluntary maintenance on the site. With relief, I found no litter nor wanton damage. As expected Himalayan Balsam is thriving; I made my small worthless contribution to its demise and saw that others had done the same.
The river was at the lowest level I have ever seen. A pair of Mallard were swimming around and a family of six young Canada Geese were learning to find food for themselves. It was noticeable that, headed by dad, they were all facing upstream and were in the same place when I left as when I arrived. The lure of water in the hot weather has resulted in new paths down the river bank, useful now as passing places but perhaps a hazard for the future. The carrot family competed along the banks. Some Cow parsley was hanging on, Hogweed grew at a good height, the invasive Ground Elder looked beautiful and Hemlock Water Dropwort was nearer the water. Sadly the latter, pretty but poisonous, has the upper hand this year particularly around the pond. Much of the pond is covered by the risen Water Soldier preparing to flower. Reed Sweet Grass was opening, there were new clumps of Hop Sedge and the welcome sight of more Water Plantain leaves . Tadpoles of differing ages were entertaining children, flies and beetles were on many plants and one damsel fly made a visit.
I had seen nothing new in flower however, in compensation, a kingfisher appeared just as I was leaving. On the path back to the car I had time to look closely at flowers, rather than cones, on the Scots Pine.