Putting on a flash show at Pavilions
WHILE in the streets and gardens of London the cherry trees are in full bloom, come April at Welsh Harp Lake the blossom season is waning and now it becomes the turn of the wild flowers to literally have their turn in the sun.
Most of these can afford to be small and low-growing as, appearing early in the year they don’t have to compete with the taller plants that will dominate the scene later. However, their small size can lead to them being overlooked, and some pictured or mentioned here I only noticed while bending down to photograph something else that had caught my eye.
This a blessing of photography, forcing me to slow down or stop and providing the chance to really notice what’s around me. Many is the time when stooping to get a better angle on a flower, I’ve discovered an insect hiding in a rolled up petal, or a spider lurking on the underside of a leaf waiting to ambush the unsuspecting fly resting on its upper surface. Or it may be just discovering another tiny flower of real beauty, but on so small a scale that a faster pace would have caused me to miss it.
I’ve also found that by slowing down I’ve begun to recognise the rhythm of the seasons at the lake, from the blossom wall that appears each February to patches of daffodils, lesser celandines and forget-me-nots that appear in particular locations every year.
In the next couple of weeks I’m expecting to encounter a small but noticeable cloud of black flies,known as St Mark’s flies, as they appear around St Mark’s Day on the church calendar. I’m not a fan of black flies, but I enjoy the sense their presence gives of a reliable continuation year after year, helping me build a connection with the place and the things living there.
I mentioned last month my fondness for old names for wild flowers, as they posses a wonderful expressiveness and character. Just the common ones at the lake include dog violet, herb robert, cuckoo flower, wood avens, hairy bittercress, shepherds purse, and many others that I don’t know.
I’d like to be able to recognise more of these but this isn’t about being able to put a name to everything, although this can help understand what’s going on, its about simply enjoying it, so if you get a chance this month (or any other), get out there, slow down, and see what stands out for you. STUDENTS from Hillingdon Manor School performed a fun flash mob in front of surprised shoppers in Uxbridge on Friday to raise awareness of Autism Dance Day.
The 17 students, along with street dance teacher Jonathon Baron, performed a choreographed dance to the public outside the Pavillions shopping centre, and even taught the Mayor of Hillingdon some moves at the event.
The event was organised by Jonathon Baron with autism charity Anna Kennedy Online .
Autism Dance Day takes place annually on the last Friday of April, and aims to raise money and awareness for autism spectrum disorder through dance.
Anna Kennedy OBE, founder Anna Kennedy Online, said: “The Mayor and Mayoress and Gabriel my Zumba dance teacher came to support the children from Hillingdon. They were impressed, as were their parents and public watching.
“There was a huge crowd encouraging the pupils, clapping and singing. Families were very proud watching their children performing outside the Pavillions.
“Jonathon Baron, the pupils’ street dance teacher, has done an amazing job with the pupils, his enthusiasm spills over with the children. It was a fun event and was the cherry on the cake to finish Autism Awareness Month.”
To donate to Anna Kennedy Online, simply text “Giving AKOL01” followed by £2, £5, or £10, to 70070.
n FLASH MOB: Anna Kennedy with the Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon and pupils from Manor School performing to shoppers at the Pavilions shopping centre