Sunday, March 22, 2020

Social Distancing on the Heath


Mindful of maintaining my minimum of six feet of distance from other people, I took Olga to the Heath yesterday. It was a beautiful day, bright and cool, and even though there were quite a few people out, in an environment as open as the Heath it's not hard to keep more or less to yourself.

I read an article in The New York Times about walking -- whether it's a good idea from a public health standpoint. The consensus seems to be yes, as long as you maintain social distancing. After all, we still need our exercise, right? I especially liked the quote at the end: "It's probably going to be a beautiful spring, and we do need to save our own sanity."

I was surprised to see kids on the playground equipment, though -- especially in Golder's Hill Park, where there were mobs of them. That seems questionable.


I found some coltsfoot blooming on Sandy Heath.


Tiny sprouts of bracken are curling up from the forest floor, soon to become huge ferns.


The blackthorn is blooming, creating big clouds of white alongside the playing fields on Hampstead Heath Extension.


And check out this snake's head fritillary -- definitely one of the biggest and nicest I've seen! The ones in our garden don't look anything near this good. I don't understand how they grow in wild places without getting devoured by slugs.

Anyway, we had a great walk. It was nice to do something that hewed to our old routines, and allowed us (me & Olga) to enjoy the natural world. (Admittedly, Olga's method of enjoying nature is chasing it.)

16 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I'm going to go and chase Nature soon myself. Driving down to Wirksworth in Derbyshire for a long walk in the area - keeping well away from other people. I hope that I am not being irresponsible. Soon it may not be possible to ramble like this. I will cherish every footstep.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Thanks for sharing all the beauty!

Marty said...

Never heard of the snakes head, but it's stunning in all its purpleness.
Herds of kids on playground equipment = desperate (but foolish) parents. Hope they brought not just their kids, but fistfuls of antiseptic wipes.

Fresca said...

Walking is great for the sanity, and when it's a photo-outing, even better!
In MN ours is not a beautiful spring YET---
I should take series of photos of things at ground level on my walk today--
it would mostly be frozen ground and some patches of mud!
(Actually, there is amazing ice & water formations as the ice recedes along the lakeshore--I really will try to catch that.)

Ms. Moon said...

Do you suppose that the abundance of growing things in the wild makes the slug damage less concentrated?
Oh who knows?
Not me.
So glad you got out with Olga. We do need to preserve our sanity.

Red said...

Social distancing should be a fool proof method of not getting the virus. as long as some people ignore some of the restrictions the virus will spread. since pubs are closed here, my neighbor had his friend over for a beer. Not a good idea...visiting at home...beer okay!

robin andrea said...

So nice that you and Olga had a beautiful walk at the heath. Love seeing the flowers blooming there. Take care and stay well.

Edna B said...

I love the photos of the new plant growth. Spring is such a beautiful time of year. You and Olga be safe, and you have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

ellen abbott said...

I don't understand why people are being told to stay inside. Isolate, keep your distance, yes, but staying inside? I'm luck to have a half acre to putter in with equally large and empty lots on either side but I'm still walking the dog in the neighborhood.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you so much for taking us on your walk. The photos are gorgeous. I wish you well!

Sharon said...

Thanks for taking us along on your walk. I love seeing all the plants and the wonderful signs of spring. I took a walk yesterday too but the surroundings were quite different. However getting outside and walking was the important thing.

jenny_o said...

In our province, the chief medical officer has advised parents not to take children to playgrounds - like you said, it makes no sense when we're supposed to be keeping our distance. Even if there was no one there when your own kids were there, there could have been, very recently. And kids really don't have the ability to remember not to touch their faces for very long. Better just to take a good long walk with those little ones.

I loved that purple plant until you said the name. Now I can't get the thought of snakes out of my head!!

Aren't you glad our pets can't get this virus? Imagine if we had to worry about that on top of everything else.

Catalyst said...

Lovely pictures from your walk.

Cheryl West said...

Nature is a great refuge and I feel very fortunate to have a garden. I'm looking forward to our fritillaries but they have never looked as thick and deep purple as the one's you found.

Public playgrounds around here are covered with netting which is sad but must be done to help to keep people safe. What a change to our world in just a few weeks. I hope the weather stays good so that you and Olga can get out for long walks. Stay safe and well.

The Bug said...

Lovely photos from your walk! I heard about a great place to take a walk, but didn’t go yesterday & today is cool & drizzly. Ah well - hopefully I can go next week!

Penelope said...

Sounds like a wonderful walk with Olga. If Dave is giving trumpet and drum lessons it must be nice to get out and enjoy time with Olga.
We had sunshine today and the temperature shot up to a toasty 48*. I should have walked more than I did. I made a stealth trip to check my mail at the post office at 7:00 a.m. I suited up like a Samurai armed with tongs and plastic gloves and bags.