We had a lovely day of sun, rain, sleet, mini-hail pellets, strong wind, and more sun as we walked about 9 miles around and through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens in London. Spring is well on its way here, with an assortment of wildflowers blooming and a flush of new green leaves on the trees.
A kind of Harebell was blooming under the sycamores along with some daffodils.
There are dozens of Harebell (Campanula) species worldwide. The most common ones have a circumpolar distribution, from North America through Europe to Asia.
Tulips and other spring cultivars brightened up the landscape as well.
Expansive lawns of precisely groomed grass were remarkably free of birds, dogs, and people. Who wouldn’t want to walk, run, or roll on this lush carpet? It’s possible I wasn’t supposed to be walking on it…
A stray Wood Pigeon wasn’t finding much to nibble on among the dense carpet of grass stems. This is the largest pigeon in the UK, about 1.5 times the size of the common pigeon that we see in the US. It’s rather attractive…for a pigeon.
Mute Swans are the native swan species of Europe. They were introduced to the US where they enjoyed great success in depleting submergent vegetation. Their populations increased so rapidly (10% per year) that they are now treated as an invasive species in the US.
Male swans get quite aggressive toward each other at this time of year.
The Brits have great affection for their swans. Killing or eating one is punishable by death (a law still on the books, but it hasn’t been enforced lately), and injuring a bird or collecting its eggs is liable to get you a £5000 fine and some jail time.
some other notable images from today…
The amazingly expansive chocolaterie in Harrod’s department store. This is just one of more than a dozen such counters. Food is biological, right?
An intriguing glass sculpture that resembles masses of polyps and marine worms hanging in the entrance of the Victoria and Albert museum. I forgot to ask them what it was supposed to represent.