An Africa-shaped puddle greets me as soon as I pull into the car park. A remnant of last night’s heavy rainfall, this is a reminder that we still have some (wet) autumn to hang on to, even if this year one of my two favourite seasons (the other one is spring) has faded away faster than before. This time I have chosen Tottenham Marshes as the location for this section.
Because of the
“urban” in the title of this regular column, I have made the mistake of writing
more about metropolitan, inner-city London than the green one. Yet, the British
capital has some of the most breath-taking outdoor areas, not just in Europe,
but also in the world. Tottenham Marshes is an excellent example.
The low wetlands
sit on either side of the River Lee Navigation which runs from Hertfordshire,
in the north and outside London, to the Thames in the heart of the city. There is a wealth of wildlife to find here,
including voles and kestrels, the latter usually hunting the former.
The nostalgia-tinted landscape owes more to a rural setting until the sound of the nearby fast-moving traffic reminds me that
Watermead Way, a busy thoroughfare, is only twenty or thirty yards away. I spot
the dipped headlights of passing cars through a gossamer curtain of trees on which a few
yellow, auburn and orange leaves stubbornly remain. My drive up here turns out to
be longer than my walk. I have, naively, gone out today wearing just a jumper
and a hooded top. The temperature already feels winter-like and the wind picks
up as I head for Tottenham Hale. I give up after a dozen steps. As I make my
way back to the car park, I turn around and take a last, envious look at the surviving
reddish-brown leaves that defy the near-arrival of December. Autumn’s gone;
Photo taken by the blog author
Next Post: “Saturday
Evenings: Stay In, Sit Up and Switch On”, to be published on Saturday 5th
December at 6pm (GMT)