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trees are my friends
Lately I've been spending a lot of time in Richmond Park. On Sunday I went cycling with Richard, going from Kingston Gate to Broomfield Hill, then came back via the Isabella Plantation. We saw a Sequoia sempervirens and a Liriodendron tulipifera, recognising them both as "non-native trees". Actually, I even recognised the sequoia as a sequoia, but didn't believe it could be one so far away from home. We stared at the tulip tree for a long time because of its weird leaves. Most trees grow according to the Fibonacci sequence, and I'm used to seeing leaves with 3, 5, 8 or 13 lobes on them. Four is... strange.

Yesterday, artremis came over and we took the 65 bus round to Petersham Gate to see the bunnies and the fallen-over-but-still-alive trees. We walked through the Park to Ham Gate, then a few roads over to get the 371 back home. The bus takes far longer than cycling for some reason.

Today I went cycling, got a bit lost and ended up doing around 9 miles (according to Richard, anyway). If you look at the PDF map of the park, I went from Kingston Gate up Queens Road, then turned right at Ham Gate onto the yellow/red-dotted cycle path until the car park just under the P in the middle. On the way I found the proper cycle entrance to the Isabella Plantation where there are racks (rather than the back entrance we found on Sunday). Then I meant to go on the blue dotted path through Pen Ponds to Pembroke Lodge, but instead carried on the red dotted path past White Lodge until Sheen Cross, then up Sawyer's Hill. I was slightly surprised to end up at Richmond Gate, but it only took 20 minutes from there back to Kingston Gate down the road (instead of the cycle path - it's safe enough, as it was after 9 pm so the car gates were closed). The whole thing took 1 hour & 20 minutes, which I didn't think was bad considering the hills.

I wish more of my local friends were into cycling, because the Park is beautiful and there are lots of car-free paths. Some of them are even properly tarmaced over, so are easy to ride on. Today, they were full of "serious" cyclists who ride all hunched over for streamlining and speed - I suppose it's good for them to have car-free roads to practice on, but it seems sad that they never get to look at the scenery. I was riding deliberately slower than usual because there were too many interesting trees and animals.

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micheinnz From: micheinnz Date: 23rd July 2008 08:48 (UTC) (Link)
Actually, I even recognised the sequoia as a sequoia, but didn't believe it could be one so far away from home.

There was a sequoia tree in the park across the road from where I grew up. Bet it's further from home than yours. ;)
From: rhialto Date: 25th July 2008 23:32 (UTC) (Link)
If more people would use a bicycle rather than a car in London, I'm sure the traffic infarct would be quite a bit less severe.
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