Butterflies, Birds and Berries

What a sunny week it has been! Over the past weekend myself and Mr.H went for many long walks - some were just our regular canal side walks and some were more fun - we went bird/butterfly spotting and also did some summer foraging. We both enjoy walking a lot and foraging was a great way to explore and experience the place where we currently live.

We have been living in Enfield for a few years now. The Lee Valley Regional Park which stretches an incredible 26 miles along the beautiful banks of the River Lee is very near our place. Wandering through the green paths was not only a wonderful way to beat the heat but also gave us a chance to spot some lovely butterflies. These colourful beauties were a pleasure to the eyes, but they were too quick for me and I could not photograph many :) Here are a few that I did manage to capture in my lens. I think the first one is Red Admiral, not very sure though. I am fairly sure the second one is Comma. If you think I have identified these wrongly, do let me know the correct name/s.




We spotted a wide variety of birds too: Chaffinch, Magpie, Raven, Blackbird and Starlings. I could photograph none of them. I managed to capture a few but was not happy with the clarity of the pictures. So, instead I will leave you with pictures of the bird print dress that I wore :) This beautiful dark bird print day dress is from JustFor5Pounds*. It's light-weight, has a comfortable fit and is perfect for Summer. Since I received this, I have worn it many times both during daytime and also as evening wear. The bird pattern is lovely. The dress has a black elasticated waistband but I preferred to just fold it up a little as I like it that way. You can check out this dress here.



Foraging was also a beautiful experience. Not only did we enjoy the beautiful landscapes and the company of birds, butterflies and bees but we also learnt a lot about local plants and their nutritional and medicinal benefits. You can go on group foraging tours or if you plan to do it on your own like we did, then make sure you have a good identification book or guide on hand. You must be really careful what you pick and eat. On our first foraging walk, we just identified all the different types of fruits growing around. I took lots of pictures and then came home and looked them up on the internet. On the second foraging tour, we tasted some of the berries :) Of all that we tried blackberry was our favourite. I think the reason being that we are accustomed to eating these regularly and we like it :) It was so much fun picking the berries. They were so ripe that the berries come off the plant as soon as you hold them. While most were sweet some were very tart :)





The berries that I foraged

Foraging is a wonderful learning experience as well as fun. But there are some rules to be followed:
- Always check with your local council where you can forage and where you cannot.
- Pick only what you are sure you will use. Do not strip a plant of all flowers/fruits. Leave plenty for the birds and animals and other foragers as well.
- Have a good identification guide on hand. Do not eat any fruit you are unable to identify. Not all fruits are edible.
- Wear good walking shoes and clothes that cover your hands and legs. Gloves are a good idea as many plants are thorny. It will also prevent your hands from fruit stains.

Have you ever gone foraging? Do you have any tips or suggestions? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas so do leave a comment below.


“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
- Abraham Lincoln
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