Walk or a hike?

My route

“I’m just nipping out for a walk. Won’t be long”.

Two hours later. “Every muscle in my body is aching, apart from the ones in my feet. They have just gone numb.”

I thought it would just be a gentle stroll up by the airport. Turned out to be a seven mile hike all around it! Still, there was plenty to see along the way to keep me occupied.

Since the opening of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, now called the Broadland Northway, a route I have walked in the past in that area has changed quite a bit.

In fairness they have made elements of it walkable and there’s a good and, by what I have seen expressed elsewhere, a much used cycle path.

I ended up doing pretty much a whole circuit of Norwich Airport via roads, cycle paths and bridleways. There was just one section along Holt Road that didn’t have a footpath and I need to check the signage there as I seem to think that for part of the walk the blue signs suggested that it was a pedestrian route back towards Norwich.

The untouched country lanes are full of wildflowers and birds. I saw my first Yellowhammer close to the airport runway and found a nettle almost bent double under the weight of Common Peacock caterpillars.

In the areas that were redeveloped for the new road there’s little yet in the way of wildflowers, but if it is left to get on with it i.e. not constantly cut back, there will eventually be some lovely areas for wildlife to flourish and nature lovers to walk.

Update

Following on from yesterday’s post about wildflowers, I am grateful to those of you who identified the mystery flower for me. It is sorrel – Rumex Acetosa.

According to the Reader’s Digest Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Britain, sorrel was the most prized English vegetable in Tudor times. Apparently it was a favourite of Henry VIII who no doubt had it served several ways during execution banquets.

I fell asleep amid the flowers

Catton Park

The clear sky to cloud ratio was very much reversed today with, as my mother would have said, just enough blue to make a cat a pair of trousers.

The warm unbroken sunshine of the past week or so has finally given way to much cooler air and the promise of some, but not a lot of, much needed rain in the days ahead.

Even on the cloudiest of days Catton Park can be a wonderful place for great discoveries and mystery.

Today I focussed on the wildflowers.

Below is a gallery of those I saw today. If anyone can help me identify the last one I would be very grateful. You can leave a comment below.

I wish had had the sort of brain that could remember all the names. Sadly this isn’t the case, which is why I’ve spent the best part of a two hours looking them up!

POSTSCRIPT
Thanks to a couple of people on Twitter who identified the mystery plant as being Sorrel. You can read a little more about it on my following post.

Grand Bug and Pest Hotel

Grand Bug and Pest Hotel, Norwich

The doors finally opened this morning on the Grand Bug and Pest Hotel.

For many years now I’ve had a rotting pile of wood waiting patiently for stag beetles to move in. Seven years on, I still wait, but to be fair it can take this long and very often longer.

So I decided to dip my toe in the bug hospitality pool and I’m already regretting the image that conjures up.

I trimmed back some trees earlier this year and rather than burn or throw out the branches I decided to build a place for bugs to holiday away from the hustle and bustle of the dangerous traffic round the front of the house.

Mr Gustave

I’ve already had some bookings. The first was from Mr Gustave, an inch worm. He’s sent me a picture so that I will recognise him when he arrives, which, going by his current speed, will be late August.

Interestingly I’ve also had some enquiries from a Mr Robin and a Mrs Wren who want to know when the first guests arrive and if they could book a table in the restaurant.

I’ve explained to them that local licensing laws only permit residents to eat in Zero’s Restaurant. I suspect that won’t put them off visiting though.

Madame D. will be checking in on Friday and has asked if we offer and larvae monitoring service.

I can see that I’m going to have my work cut out running this place.