We are now well into the third week of lockdown in the UK. Totnes seems to be following the rules well, there are very few people about and when I encounter someone they mostly keep two metres away. With the lack of traffic, an abnormal quiet seems to have settled across the town so that we now notice the singing of the birds.
It’s a difficult time and perhaps reflecting this, a crop of supportive messages appeared recently in chalk on houses and on the road on Kinsgbridge Hill and Maudlin Road. One of these heads this post and I have put another below.
It has been easier, at least for me, to endure the lockdown given the gentle weather we have been experiencing. Mornings have been particularly glorious as the warm light of the rising sun is softened through a thin veil of mist across the valley below our house.
I have been continuing to enjoy my Lockdown exercise walks around the town centre gardens, car parks and lanes and here are a few notable observations.
Do look at the short video at the end of this post which shows a female hairy-footed flower bee feeding in the Nursery Car Park. It illustrates her behaviour and her colouring.
We are fortunate to live on the southern edge of Totnes close to open countryside. Just a short walk from our house lies Fishchowter’s Lane, an ancient sunken lane, once thought to have been one of the principal southern routes out of Totnes towards Dartmouth. Nowadays, it is very quiet making it a pleasant walk by woods and fields with various possibilities for longer or shorter loops back to Totnes. Here are some pictures taken as we walked the lane recently. For more images of the lane through the seasons, have a look here.
Finally, back to the town centre where one unanticipated effect of the lockdown has been the lack of strimming along car park edges allowing wild flowers to prosper. This is particularly clear in the Nursery Car Park where there are now drifts of of golden dandelions and a large bank of three-cornered leek covered with its trumpet-like white flowers with their pale green stripes. The flowers are very popular with female hairy-footed flower bees (Anthophora plumipes); here is a short video clip I took yesterday morning of these insects showing how they behave.