Late summer, early autumn is one of my favourite times of year on the tow path. The low light slants across the river, where inexpert new term rowers are getting used to our feisty geese and swans, and the mallards are moulting out into their winter finery. On misty mornings, you see cormorants and sometimes even mergansers. The sudden startling stoop of a Heron, huge against the sky.
It is also the time of year that sudden startling floral displays appear, like this gorgous combination of nettle, Purple Loosestrife and Native Balsam. Those quivering stems are worthy of a show-garden; and look how the uncertain lines of the loosestrife bisect the green reflections beyond; and the sudden, subtle blast of the bright orange balsam.
This is growing in one of the native plant rolls that protect the retaining wall here. In season, they have yellow irises, kingcups; but I like them at this time of year the best. This one is tucked under the rail of a footbridge.
The yellow starry Ragwort has thin, spikey petals this year; my marigold (the only one that made it past the slugs) has similar, and so do a lot of the Michaelmas Daisies (wild and tame) so I think that might be down to conditions rather than a mutation.