walk on, past

On Thursday, after I’d voted (and I’m not going to talk about the election result because it is just too depressing), I ended up taking a long walk through the woods on Hampstead Heath, which I hadn’t done for a while.

One of the drawbacks about going to classes two days a week is that I seem to have less energy for walking as much as I did last year — chronic fatigue means I have to balance what I want to do against what I have to do, and walking for pleasure often gets left out of the equation. Because of this, I haven’t been walking as much as I’d hoped and planned to this year. I usually walk to my printmaking class, but although I had great intentions when I started the drawing class that, since it’s in the afternoon, I’d have enough time to walk there too (it’s in a different place to my printmaking class), I never seem to have enough energy to do that, and I’m pretty sure if I did walk down there it would make me too tired to focus on the class (as I’ve mentioned before, it’s a pretty intense class).

All of which means that I’ve hardly been in the woods on the Heath this year (although I have been up on Parliament Hill a few times), and Thursday’s walk reminded me how much I’ve missed it. I did take photos when I was out on Thursday, but I recently came across these photos I took last year (which I had uploaded at the time but not got around to blogging, because that was when I ended up taking that impromptu blog break for a few months), so I thought I’d post them now. I always find something very soothing about being on my own out in the woods, and I think these pictures capture that soothing atmosphere so you can share it, too.

Vale of Health, Hampstead Heath, spring 2014

Hampstead Heath, spring 2014
I can never tell if this is wild chervil (aka cow parsley), wild carrot (aka Queen Anne’s lace) or hogweed
(which is poisonous)

Hampstead Heath, spring 2014

Hampstead Heath, spring 2014

Hampstead Heath, spring 2014
it’s a bit confusing that baby coots have red beaks like adult moorhens

Hampstead Heath, spring 2014
don’t know what this plant is, but it’s got pretty leaves

Hampstead Heath, spring 2014
cleavers, aka goosegrass, one of those multipurpose plants: eat it, make dye, stuff beds, use as a sieve…

Hampstead Heath, spring 2014
garlic mustard, aka Jack-by-the-Hedge, is tasty in soups, salads and stir-fries

bluebells, Hampstead Heath, spring 2014

bluebells, Hampstead Heath, spring 2014

bluebells, Hampstead Heath, spring 2014

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4 Comments to “walk on, past”

  1. Lovely photos, Anna; you’re right, they have a very tranquil, serene feel to them. xxx

  2. You are absolutely right when you mention how rejuvenating a walk in the woods can be. I find that looking into the greenery completely relaxes my eyes. I feel the weight sliding out of my body. Thanks for these.
    Sorry about your election results… I think lots of people went walking in the woods to get help get over it.

  3. The photos are wonderful! I feel rested just looking at your walk. So many beautiful flowers and creatures… I so agree with you – such walks relax and energize us at the same time, and I love them, but just like you, don’t walk as often as I would like to. In fact, I went for a long walk last week, and I too love taking pictures – and I thought of posting such photos and writing about my walks and how I love them… great minds? :) I hope you’ll find a good solution for you, Anna, and walk more often (and me too), and I hope the next election will be a better one! xxx

  4. Lovely photos. Woodland is my favourite habitat, especially if there are mountains around too. Very trAnquil and beautiful it all looks. Love the wild flowers at this time of te year. My first thought was it was Lady’s lace, is that the same as Queen Anne’s lace? Ooh I’m intrigued by the garlic mustard. I just brought some back from the allotment in a bunch of flowers. I didn’t know you could eat it…hmmm…yep, you’ve got to pace yourself and stay well. Xxx