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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Down Memory Lane - Penton Hook Island

On the first day of our recent vacation to England, I took a wonderful trip down Memory Lane and at the same time, got to show Eric a place that holds very special memories for me.

I grew up on the border of Staines and Laleham in England, within walking distance of the Thames. I have very fond memories of many pleasant hours spent playing down by the riverside, in particular on Penton Hook Island, adjacent to Penton Hook Lock.

 As you can see from the map, the river forms a deep loop and the island was created when the lock was built across the neck of the loop. 

The lock allows boats to navigate the river with a drop of about 4 feet. 

On the other side of the island, the water flows over a weir.

At first glance, the island itself hadn't changed a scrap since my friend Lorna and I used to play over there. There's a path that goes around the whole island, with smaller paths criss-crossing it.  Lots of little beaches to play on and glades for sunbathing.

On closer inspection though, I realized that some changes have been made, and they are changes that, while I may not have appreciated them when I was younger, I can appreciate them now for the wildlife habitat they provide.

As we were reading about the wildlife that has been attracted to the area by the latest additions, we spotted a heron on the path ahead of us.

As we continued our walk, we must have disturbed him and he flew across and landed on the other side of the river, before posing for this photograph.

I'm afraid my knowledge of English wildflowers is limited to daisies, buttercups and dandelions, which were in abundance, as seen above.

 But there were also a lot of things I couldn't put a name to, such as the purple flower above.

I'm pretty sure this one is a rose of some sort, possibly Rosa canina - Dog Rose.

On a later riverside walk, we saw swans and cygnets, geese and goslings (I'll share those photos another day), but on this day, this lovely swan was alone.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Katie Redgate said...

Hi Jayne, the purple flowering plant is comfrey. It is used as a healing plant in homeopathy.

Jayne said...

Ah - thanks for the information Katie. I've never seen comfrey blooming before! It was wonderful seeing you while we were England and Eric really enjoyed meeting you too.

Carol said...

Hi Jayne, hope you had a wonderful trip and got to see family and friends. Look forward to seeing more pictures. Carol

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

Isn't it always lovely to go back to spots where you once went as a child and that today are still as nice as those days.

I know that my childhood favourite places now have a motorway and factories.......which is such a shame - all in the name of progress!

Birdwoman said...

Thanks for sharing your trip down Memory Lane with us!

Angela said...

Thanks for sharing your great pictures.