Creation matters! – A Wonder-full Walk in the Medina Valley
A “wonder-full” early summer walk in the Medina Valley: living life to the full.
Wildlife on our doorstep
The cycleway and footpath that links Newport to Cowes runs close to the Medina Estuary and is flanked by hedgerows that are filled with birdsong and sparkling with wildflowers at this time of year. A group of 8 from Newport Methodist Church met in glorious sunshine at Dodnor, on the edge of a Local Nature Reserve.
As we headed slowly together in the direction of Cowes, we enjoyed finding lots of different plants and listening to the birdsong.
Trees were in flower, including apple trees which have grown from apple cores thrown out of the train carriages when the route was a railway, now long-since closed.
In the damper and shadier parts, spring flowers remained in bloom, including Celandine, Primrose and Violet. The first of the early summer plants in flower included Greater stitchwort, Red campion, Cow parsley, Hemlock water-dropwort, Hedge garlic, and Buttercups. We saw fern fronds just unfurling, including Soft-shield fern, Harts-tongue fern and Male fern; sedges, including Pendulous sedge; and Southern wood-rush. We counted just over 100 different plants in total.
It is now the peak of the breeding season for birds and we were treated to the wonderful song of the Wren, Robin, Dunnock, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Whitethroat and Lesser whitethroat. In addition, we heard the Green woodpecker, Wood pigeon, Jackdaw and Pheasant.
If this wasn’t sufficient for the senses, we were treated to constant fly-pasts by Orange-tip butterflies seeking out the Hedge garlic (or Jack -by-the-hedge) where they lay their eggs.. Speckled wood, Large white, Holly blue and Red admiral butterflies were also on the wing.
The highlight of the afternoon was still to come! As we approached the Medham section of the cycleway, backlit by the afternoon sun, were spectacular Early purple orchids (locally known as kettle-cases) growing on the very edge of the path. One of the group exclaimed, “Doesn’t this just make you feel glad to be alive!!”
The Earth really in the Lord’s and everything in it, the World and all who live in it. (see Psalm 24:1).