Documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

THE UNDERPASS - AN IRREGULAR POST

Woman hurries past railings where there are small plants at the foot of a brick wall.

It's gloomy. It's cold. Shivery cold. We wrap up and rush by. Not stopping to notice the flowers at our feet.

Busy intersection with lots of traffic lights and cars.

Everything's grey. Traffic lights about the only cheerful sight around.

The highways department - local council - county council . . . don't know! Some department . .  has planted bushes across the bridge. They are thorny and currently leafless with the remnants of red berries here and there. When trees on the left come into leaf, the atmosphere of the place will change.

Cars and lorries and buses and bikes cross the pedestrian underpass.

People walk on the slope leaded to the underpass. Plants in a raised bed at foot of bank of right.

If we want to cross, we must walk down. Past the bushes the council has put there to hold up the bank. Where ivy and teasels and cleavers and seedlings have found places to go.

In the underpass. Murals on leaf, lights on right, grass glimpsed through opening beyond.

Through the tunnel - grass at the other side.

Thistle high on the bank of grass.

Where there are thistles and things. (This picture is clickable. As well as thistles and grass and moss I've found in it buttercup and groundsel, daisies and what may be dead-nettles, a long leafed plant that might be plantain but I'm not sure. There's clover and possibly pimpernel - or maybe the beginning of cleavers. And several seedlings of something. There may be more. If you find them - say!)

A pink an white daisy with half opened flower.




There are daisies in the grass.

Single plant of grass grows from the wall beside the underpass path.
I mention  grass - but there are lots of other plants too.

And grass growing on the wall.

White and grey lichen on top of red brick wall.
This lichen may be Lecanora campestris.




Lichen too.


Close up of the lichen.




The black cushions in white cups are its 'fruiting bodies'.
Overall view of the road, the entrance to the underpass and grass where the thistle grows and daisies flower.




It may be dull. It may be February. It may be noisy and trafficy and not exactly scenic - but there's lots going on around town.





(All photos taken on 27th February 2013.)



29 comments:

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

lovely walk - all that was missing was a bit of moss.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Moss mentioned! Thanks for examining.

Tim said...

I always enjoy your posts about plants in urban places. Did you watch the Wild Things series recently?

Mark Willis said...

One day you must take some photos of the people watching you taking photos like these. I bet you get some very strange looks sometimes!

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Tim. Glad you like the urban posts. No, didn't see the wild things series.

Hello Mark. I spend a lot of time crawling or crouching on pavements. The best thing is not to look to see if anyone's looking. That way, one avoids self-consciousness. Also, I try to avoid conversations - especially on days like yesterday when I got colder than I've been in ages.
Because I crouch down a lot (not bend) I've developed strong calf muscles. If I want to move back a bit to get a better focus, I hop backwards while still crouched. I imagine that reverse-frog-hopping-movement startles people from time to time!

Tim said...

It was a series about plants in Britain over the past 50 years using maps from the BSBI surveys. It's still available online if you want to watch: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/wild-things/4od

flightplot said...

What an interesting post. It's surprising what we walk pass every day and really don't notice.
Flighty xx

Down by the sea said...

It is so cold at the moment I haven't wanted to take many photos! It does looks so grey around the traffic lights hopefully in a months time everything will look so much greener. I love the image of the daisy and the lichen.Sarah x

sharon said...

lovin the lichen

Pat Tillett said...

Nature always finds a way! Great photos! You have a really good eye...

Donna said...

I loved seeing that daisy and then that lichen really had me staring....what a fab picture

elaine rickett said...

Since I have been reading your poists it has made me take notice of the little things that we often pass by without noticing - nature certainly has a strong will to survive - anywhere.

Hollis said...

I also really like your urban botany posts and am inspired to try similar things once the snow is gone and plants start appearing. I especially like the grass-in-brick photo, btw, neat perspective.

DougPhoto2009 said...

Urban botany. Clever perspective. May I piggy-back on your take. Look forward to looking more closely during my neighborhood walks.

seniorhiker said...

It's nice to see some greenery on cloudy, gray days like we're having here today. I very much enjoyed walking through the underpass with you.

Margaret Gosden said...

There is a very Brit feel about your last post, but this is the first one I have looked at. Thank you for visiting. I like the one of the daisy in the grass with a tinge of ruby colour in it, in which the foreground is out of focus, presumably by design. The graffiti doesn't look as strident in these photos as it might do here in the States but I suppose that depends on the place of action. For instance, that in the tunnel seems only to open up the area with its single line, colourless, drawing! PS my Apple wants to correct my spelling as I go along here!!!!

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» thanks you for your visit to San Francisco Bay Daily Photo and he invites you to link this post to his upcoming Sunday Bridges meme. Sunday Bridges publishes at midnight, Central Europe time each Sunday.

Margaret Gosden said...

PPS Where is this place?

Laloofah said...

What hardy little buggers these plants are. They don't seem to mind the dreary gray - I'd say they've given the traffic lights a real run for their money when it comes to adding some cheer and color to the landscape. And I'm sure they appreciate your noticing! :-)

Jane Marie said...

It's an interesting look at life in another part of the world. Thank you.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

You've got some great perspective going on in your photos...very interesting.

Nice to see green.

Jen

catmint said...

hi Lucy, a wonderful post - so important to focus on the nature in urban spaces - I love the bare branches of the tree, even before it grow new leaves.

catmint said...

thanks Tim for the link to the Wild Things series - looks wonderful, I have started to watch it.

Bridget said...

I love how you focus on things other people would never notice. It's amazing what's there once you actually look. Lovely post.
Bridget x.

Appalachian Feet said...

I've been reading a lot about medicinal herbs lately and it made me want to harvest most of the weeds you just mentioned. I saw cleavers sold in a seed catalog earlier! Love the lichen fruiting bodies.

eljaygee said...

Lucy you bring nature under our noses from the unlikeliest of spots. Suddenly the underpass is not so ordinary - aren't the lichen fruiting cups lovely?
p.s. am continuing tree following at my wordy blog - Tell Tale Therapy

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Flightplot. Glad you found the urban plant post interesting. I'm never sure whether I should do more town posts. I'd like to - but also know people often come to Loose and Leafy for a sense of the outdoors and a dose of Dorset loveliness.

Hello Sarah, Down by the Sea. Lichen is truly awe inspiring, isn't it? As for greening in the summer - I'm not sure that set of traffic lights will ever look bright and cheerful.

Hello Sharon. I'm glad you too like the lichen. It's an organism I've never been able to understand properly. A bit science fictiony!

Hello Pat. You are right. Nature always finds a way. Sometimes the challenge is not knowing how to nurture it but how to stop it!

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Donna. The daisy and the lichen seem to be getting lots of votes!

Hello Elaine. I think it's only since I've been doing these posts that I've noticed how many plants grow in unlikely and unexpected places too.

Hello Hollis. If you do an urban plant post, do let me know - and I'll put a link. If enough people are inspired to do the same, maybe I should have a list at the top of the blog - like the Tree Followers one.

Hello DougPhoto2009. Glad you like the idea of looking for plants in towns. Just as I've said to Hollis - if you do an urban plant post, let me know and I'll put a link here.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello SeniorHiker. That, I think, is a really important part of the joy of these plants. We are used to looking for bright colours. On grey days the very fact that things are there and growing is often enough to lift the spirits.

Hello Margaret. I'm glad you found the posts here have a distinctively geographical feel to them. This is one of the special things about blogging. We are able to get a glimpse around the world in a way we wouldn't be able to otherwise. Reading blogs has certainly changed the way I think of the U.S.A.

You ask where this place is. I'm blogging from the South Coast of England - right on the edge of the English Channel. The town in the post is Weymouth and, for all that it looks pretty grim in these pictures, it's a popular holiday destination. (Even the most beautiful of places have their down-sides!)