Most of the June postings here were about colour. So I thought I would start off July with one about the heady honey-like aromas of Lady’s Bedstraw, as currently found in Longfield meadows in abundance.
The scent is due at least in part to coumarin, of which a scientific story can be found here. The scientist who put coumarin on the map by synthesizing it in the laboratory in 1868 was in fact a local hero William Perkin, after whom a a new school in the area is now named. If you wander through this meadow, you cannot fail but notice the wonderful scents that gently hang in the air.
On our walk we also encountered a Hanwell resident who told us that the large pond south of the meadow with the scents now has fish! Apparently during a recent heavy rainfall, the river Brent overflowed into a small pond just at the end of the large one. He noticed an abundance of small fish in that pond and came along and transferred them all into the large pond, just before the small pond dried out. Because the large one has been lined, it will not dry out in the summer. He also noticed a local heron taking an interest. Lets hope the little tiddlers manage to hide from him in the reed beds! We looked hard but could not see any, but if we do manage to get a photo, it will certainly appear here!