... with apologies to John Masefield.
I was in dire need of a walk along my beloved North Downs at the weekend, so parked up in Mickleham and went on a circular walk that took in Mickleham Downs, Juniper Bottom, Juniper Top, Box Hill, Norbury Farm, the river Mole and Norbury Park.
This is 'The Gallops', the flat top of Mickleham Downs. On Sunday it was a fragrant mass of Marjoram, Clustered Bellflower and Harebell. There is Cut-leaved Germander here, although I've yet to stumble across it in this particular part of Surrey.
I took plenty of pictures of fungi which I will revisit and try to identify in the coming days (or weeks). The pan-lister was lurking somewhere under the surface.
I arrived at Norbury Park with some anticipation, as last year there was a fallow field full of wild flowers, including plenty of Henbane. My visit yesterday revealed that it is now grassland being munched by a herd of milking cows.
Who out there knows their knotgrasses? I reckon this is Cornfield Knotgrass, found in the same corner of a field that is forever Norbury Park Farm (second poetic reference in the post - keep up...)
Last, but not least, I wound up at the Banstead Countryside Day, organised by the Downlands Project and held in Holly Lane adjacent to Banstead Woods. Over 100 stalls were manned by enthusiasts of all sorts of country persuits, from wildlife groups, arts and crafts, purveyors of food and local political green activists! I said hello to David Campbell and the gang on the Canons Farm Bird Group stand and was delighted to meet, face to face, John Peacock, he of Banstead Botany Blog. After several years of blog comments and email correspondence it was good to actually meet him. He said I looked just as he expected me to, but as to whether he was expecting a Hobbit or George Clooney, he would not say.