The Spring clad all in gladness,
Doth laugh at Winter's sadness
Today is May Day, the beginning of the month of Maying; and in keeping with the most recent post of Rosemary over at Where Five Valleys Meet, I decided to go a Maying myself - 21st Century style - armed with my digital camera.
I am in search of May blossom to bring back to the apartment, to decorate and perfume the kitchen.
Why not come with me, and keep me company on this Maying Day!
Stepping outside the front door you can see what a difference two weeks and some sun has done:
I am setting out early. It is a public holiday today so I decided that 9ish is a good time. No one is out and we can take our time...
Turning left I walked around the avenue and then took a photograph looking back along the old river bed:
A bit further on and I can see that some blossom is out:
Keeping a steady pace, I go around the corner:
And down below is blossom a-plenty (but is it May blossom?)
There is Cherry Laurel:
And Pear Blossom:
Never mind though, isn't it a lovely sight to see on this nice Spring morning. It makes the heart glad and lifts the spirits that have been dampened well down by the long grey winter:
Not all the blossom is white and pink however:
Continuing to walk along the old river bed, I come to the old bridge:
When Kaiserswerth was an island it was connected to the mainland by this bridge. Nowadays the River has changed course and the old bridge is landlocked and the victim of indiscriminate graffiti. Sometimes our one homeless man sleeps under it (when the weather is warm). He has a caste over one eye and is often happily sozzled. He always has time for a cheery 'hallo' in passing. He is not here this morning. He could well be ensconced, still fast asleep up near the old castle.Turning right I walk up the pathway to the street and on to the bridge itself.
Kaiserswerth is deserted as many of the good burgers of our village are still having their breakfast, or like AGA are reclining in bed. That building on the right is the one tall building in the village. It was built by the National Socialist Government as a 'bunker' prior to WWII. I always thought that bunkers were underground however I am assured that this is a bunker. It is now rather 'fancy' apartments:
We are proud of our bridge. This is the old marker that sits on the landward side:
On the opposite side to the double headed eagle is the stone that commemorates the fact that Klemens Augustus of Bavaria, as a patron of Kaiserswerth, renovated the bridge:
Klemens was the Archbishop of Koeln (Cologne) and a powerful man in politics because back when he was archbishop, he was also an elector of the Holy Roman Empire. Here he is in his garb as Grand Masters of the Teutonic Knights:
Looking over the other side of the bridge, I see that the May Pole is up and ready for action:
Luckily there is still room for the Bitburger beer waggon to be set up:
However I am not concerned with beer this morning, but with continuing on my May walk and so I turn back to look down the path I had walked along earlier:
Everything is either in bloom, or nearly so.
The often inconspicuous blossom of the trees:
Back down on the pathway again, I see all sorts of flowers:
I walk back to the pear trees and walking through some bushes, entered the large park:
I was a little too late to see the magnolia blossoms however there were still a few left on the branches:
Here is a view across the park. One allotment remains. You can see the potting shed. I wonder why that particular one remains. Some ancient law called into play? Perhaps it is the burgermeister's father's allotment!
Continuing with my Maying I come across AGA's nemesis: Birch blossom (catkins):
This is what has been giving him hay fever/allergies for the past two weeks. Once it has dissipated them his asthmatic cough symptoms disappear:
The ground is liberally sprinkled with dandelions:
We tend to ignore the dandelion but what a glorious flower it produces:
More flowers starring the ground beneath my feet:
I see that the dreaded stinging-nettle is flourishing!
But still no May blossom...
Looking back across the old river bed I can see our apartment building through the trees. The middle two windows are our apartment:
Periwinkle: I always liked this flower:
Willow trees in 'bloom':
Apart from the natural glories of this First Day of May, I obtained another more secular reward. A 20 euro note laying abandoned in the grass. I give it a new home in my pocket!:
I wander over to take a look through the fence of the remaining allotment. I see they have some nice tulips flowering:
It feels as though we are out on the country but a short walk away is the main road into Dusseldorf:
One of my favourite flowers is the Forget-me-not:
Who can remain impervious to the enchantment of those pale blue flowers with their golden centres?
May is also the month in the (Roman) Catholic Calendar that is specially dedicated to Our Lady, while the First of May is the feast day of St Joseph the Worker. This flower always reminds me of them and their lives of sacrifice.
Continuing on my walk I come out onto the pastures that are part of the old river bed. That house up there is at the end of our avenue.
These days it is horses rather than boats, They wander through a sea of grass. I like the look of this horse:
Speaking of birds, the air is filled with their song. I see lots of Blackbirds, Robins and Wood pigeons. Ravens fly about. Our neighbourhood Buzzards make an appearance to a general raucous carry-on as magpies and ravens fly up to mob them. And there are parrots:
Thank you WikipediaRose-ringed parakeets. I didn't take this photograph as these birds are too fast for this very amateur photographer. They live all around here in Kaiserswerth and my RSPB Book of Birds calls them Ring Necked Parakeets and states they live all over the place, from England to Istanbul. IT describes their sound as being loud squealing, squawking calls: a very apt description.
Slowly I wend my way back home and soon I am at our front door once more. I have been out for nearly one hour (!) but I have not found the object of my Maying. . .
The plant itself is easy enough to find as one of them is on the slopes, right near our building:
It is of course the Hawthorn. The plant that provides the 'May', the flower, so evocative of this month. But after a long long winter the Hawthorn is still biding its time. Its flowers are still jealously kept from sight.
I hope you enjoyed taking this May Day morning walk with me!