Port Sunlight River Park, 22nd May 2016

What a wash-out that was! We got absolutely soaked, and abandoned the walk after lunch.

19 River park city view

The day had started well, and we walked from the bus down Shore Drive, Bolton Road East and Dock Road North, admiring the young dark-red Norway Maples planted by the roadside. They might be “Goldsworth Purple” which Mitchell describes as “dark purplish red, remaining a heavy dark offensive purple all summer”, but I hope they are “Crimson King” whose leaves are said to be “a superior deep ruby-red, and red beneath.”

19 River Park maple purple variety

There were just a few spots of rain as we headed into the River Park. The planted trees were Rowan, Ash, Silver Birch, Oak, Alder, Hawthorn with its blossom going over and Norway Maple shedding hundreds of pairs of immature winged seeds. Flowers by the pathside included Red Campion, Green Alkanet, Buttercup, Ox-eye Daisy, Wood Avens and Three-cornered Garlic, which was also in evidence in a lot of the nearby gardens.

19 River park Three cornered garlic

Under the trees a carpet of Cow Parsley was coming out.

19 River Park Cow parsley

We had seen Starlings on the TV aerials and Greenfinches in the gardens, but it was now raining hard, and all the woodland birds in the River Park were hunkered down. The view over the lake into Liverpool was spectacular, despite the heavy cloud and rain, but on the lake there was just a single Shelduck upending and three pairs of Tufted Duck.  We trudged up to the top of the hill, but there was no sign of the sky lightening, so we trudged back down again. Near the picnic tables was a Field Maple with its wide-spread winged seeds.

19 River Park Field Maple

It seemed to go off a little and we ate our stand-up lunch, but it started to rain heavily again, so we headed off to the bus stop, thoroughly bedraggled. Of course, when we got back to Liverpool the sun came out!  Here’s a cheerful Laburnum from my garden.

19 River Park Laburnum

Public transport details: No 1 bus to Chester from Sir Thomas Street at 10.23, arriving New Chester Road / Shore Drive at 10.47. Returned on bus 1 from New Chester Road / Shore Drive at 12.45, arriving Liverpool at 1.15.

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