Thursday, 1 February 2018

STREET PLANT POST FOR FEBRUARY - ICE

Dandelion style plant in snow
These kind of plants . . .
I tend to bracket them with dandelions because they have yellow flowers.
But what are they really?
My neck twinges, my knees ache and the small of my back is complaining. I'd thought it would be fun to take photographs of street plants against the almost-full super-moon (even though it wasn't blood-red here). But it rained. Then it snowed. Abandon plan.

New plan - to photograph street plants against the warming sky as the sun came up this morning.

The snow was no longer snow. It had melted and frozen and hardened and slipperified. At the end of our street was a triangular puddle which had frozen hard with a sort of mountain ridge up the middle, dissecting the base and the apex. 'This,' I thought, 'is what the earth looked like when it was formed; when molten rocks pushed up against each other and rose and were made firm. Here,' I thought, 'in this ex-puddle, is a mini-Himalayas and I only left my house two minutes ago!' Thus it was, that marvelling at the wonders of winter - wham! I was down.

Thistle in snow
There are many kinds of thistle.
I doubt this one will grow tall enough to judge properly
before the council mows it along with the grass.
But maybe someone can give it a good (or tentative) ID?
Falling down, one finds, is very much easier than standing up. Informal ice-rinks in public places can plunge one into embarrassment. I crawled around a bit till I found a way to stand, stood, and looked at the prickly, frozen wasteland which stretched ahead. For all that I am devoted to my blog. For all that I had expected my dawn expedition to turn into an early-day street plant post . . . I decided a few photos are not worth dying for, slithered gingerly round in a circle . . . and came home.




Later . . .

The ice is melting. I set out. Sometimes the 'ing' on the end of a word is crucial. Bits of ice may have melted but others were still solid. So . . . down I go again, this time onto my side. And I land in a melted bit. It's becoming a habit this. Free ice-skating lessons! I stand as if I don't mind a thing and go home to change.

Later . . .

Row of plants in snow. (Some kind of willow herb?)
The leaves of this diagonal row of plants are familiar.
But what are they?
Some kind of willow herb?
Or . . . ?
Off I go again. Ahead of me a woman is treading warily, carefully hanging on to some railings, looking round anxiously for the next hand-hold. She launches out unsteadily and reaches a bollard. I take heart. She is making progress. So should I.

I set off up the hill. Half way across the icy expanse of a side road I get stuck. A taxi comes along. The driver slithers backwards into a parking bay. Good, I can proceed. Gingerly I reach the pavement. But the pavement is yet another ice-field and I can't get onto it. Now the taxi is coming back! Oh, help! The pavement has a concrete edging; I find I can stand there without slipping. But no-where else. In a semi-panic I pirouette so I'm facing the main road and proceed to walk pigeon-steps along the pavement's rim till ice gives way to the melt water of a council-salted route.

But despite dripping roofs and gurgling gutters, there are still icy patches. This just isn't working.

Feeling like a tanker that just ploughs ahead once it's on its way, I slide with difficulty to a halt at the edge of a small patch of waste ground. I do not go nose-first into the mix of ice and snow and mush. Progress!

Dandelion style flower in snow
I'm not even sure if this is some kind of dandelion
or some kind of something else.
Anyone?
Photographing street plants on rough ground feels like cheating. I like to find them in surprising places and wasteland is not surprising. Urban waste patches are more like fallow land on a farm than 'proper wild'. But how many times am I prepared to fall? No more!!!!!!!!!! And am I not being a bit snooty? Too pernickety about where I'm prepared to find inspiration? So that is where I landed up. And now . . . (oh! my arm aches!) . . .

For more about Street Plant Blogging.

The Street Plant link box has closed for this month but you can still read February Street Plant Posts on other blogs by clicking on the links below.
There will be a new link box from 1st - 7th March. Get thinking and looking! See if you can join us with your own Street Plant Post then.

25 comments:

David Gascoigne said...

“Slipperifed” - now there’s a whole new word for me!

Alistair said...

Oh Lucy, I thought to register with Mr Linky was an essential part of your comment form. Sussed it out in the end.
Please dont head off with camera in hand in these conditions again, you may not come back in one piece. You did make me laugh though.

Liz said...

Ouch! I've been using those ice grips / yaktracks that slip on over your shoes and they have been absolutely brilliant. You can just stride out on the ice as normal pretty much. They might not work so well on steep Halifax streets, but they're worth a try next winter, mine are just a cheap pair.

Jo said...

Oh my goodness, it's a wonder you didn't do yourself serious harm. It was like that here about a month ago, I had gone out walking Archie and the drive was fine, it was as soon as I made it to the pavement outside that I realised it was like an ice rink. Kids were walking to school and I witnessed a number of them take tumbles. Needless to say, Archie got a much shorter walk that day than he usually does.

colleen said...

Heroic commitment there to the blog. Sounds more perilous than a trip to the Arctic. Stay safe and we'll have to defer gratification. Good for us all.

Flighty said...

I have to say that your determination is admirable, I don't think that I would have even ventured out in such weather.
I'm glad that you're okay, perhaps you should think twice if there's a next time. xx

Candi said...

"slipperified" is the perfect description of pavements on icy cold days! Glad you got a few lovely photos as a reward for braving them x

Margaret-whiteangel said...

Lovely of you to come down to Australia and leave a comment on my blog.
Did you hurt yourself when you fell each time - dreadful really.
Haven't even been in a situation with snow and always wondered if people fell over - now I know!

Anonymous said...

Flippin' 'eck, it's cold up North!
Well done for persevering - I particularly like the golden dandelion flower in bloom, when it's so icy that all hope seems lost.
Although it also reminds me of the plant in Little Shop of Horrors...
Do take care :)

liz said...

Your description of "slipperified" pavement is so accurate. It's like that here today and my dogs will not get their walk as I am terrified of falling and breaking bones again (as I did some years ago on black ice.) I feel for your aches and bruises and hope you will take it easy until the weather improves. The mini Himalayas in the iced puddle is memorable. Take care!

Anna said...

Oh Lucy - you were certainly intrepid venturing out - definitely a woman on mission. It looks as if it will be rather 'slipperfying' for a few days to come so do take care. Hope that the aches and pains soon disappear. That brave little yellow flowers looks like a dandelion to me :)

Hollis said...

Thanks so much, Lucy

Down by the sea said...

Oh dear it must be because you are not used to those conditions after living in the mild south! We haven't had any snow here. Sarah x

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello David. It's surprising how many gaps there are in the language that need filling!

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Alister. I left your link there for a while so even if people didn't find a street plant post at the other end some may have discovered your blog who might not have done so otherwise! But I've removed it now so it doesn't confuse people. But next month . . . why not consider doing a post about the plants that are growing in the pavements beyond your garden? It would be great to have you on board.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Liz. I don't think we're out of the freezing time of year yet so I should try to get some of those Yaktraks. Hills in Halifax are pretty steep but being able to walk on flat, horizontal surfaces would be a bonus on days like these.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Jo. I'm surprised I didn't hurt myself properly too. And relieved that I didn't! Over the last months there have been moments when cars have gone slithering all over the place and at least one has turned upside down.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Colleen. I think I'm enjoying this more than I would a trip to the arctic. Though I confess I did feel a bit frightened when stranded in the middle of the road. It wasn't a busy road but even one car that couldn't stop could have been a problem - and there was that taxi . . .

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Flighty. I expect by the beginning of March the ice will have stopped and I'll be explaining my photos aren't any good because the camera won't stop shaking in the wind.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Candi. I'm pleased with the way you can see the outline of plants under the ice crystals.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Margaret. I didn't hurt myself enough to complain about really - just enough to make the most of it for the blog! Though as I once broke a bone falling in snow, I do take it seriously. On the whole though, ice is the problem rather than snow. With fresh snow you can often get a nice, crunchy grip. It's when it melts and freezes, melts and freezes that it can get dangerous. People who live in countries where there is deep snow sometimes find it funny that England grinds to a halt after a two inch fall. But cars don't have snow tires and anything will slide on a glassy surface. (Except these Yaktraks people are talking about. I'd not heard of them till recently and will have to give them a try.)

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Squirrelbasket. I wanted more variation in the weather and I'm getting it. Though it's not like the snowed-in winters of my childhood. Nor, I understand, as snowy as it used to be in the hills around Halifax which used to make roads impassable for some months in the year.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Anna. I agree about the bottom picture . . . but in the top one? The leaves are like a row of spear tips but much closer together than in the standard dandelion plant. What do you reckon?

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Hollis. Once I get back into the habit of Stuck-Foot posts as well, I'll feel Loose and Leafy in Halifax is properly up and running after its move from Dorset.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Sarah at Down by the Sea. I think people who have lived here a long time find it hard too - it is just as slippery for them. The woman I mention in the post who was launching away from the security of some railings for her next hand-hold on a concrete bollard was having just as much difficulty as me. Fortunately, the house I live in here is warmer than the house in Dorset. (Come to think of it. I'm making the assumption she has lived here a long time. Perhaps shes' a slidey-roundy new arrival too!)