I love doing the school run on bicycle along the River Kelvin. My seven year old can cycle the 2 miles there, plays with friends in the park after school, then cycles two miles home. He's a very energetic child and all this exercise is helping him to be calmer and more focused when he's in class. I love seeing how the plants and trees change throughout the season. In the past few weeks I've come home with occasional bunches of wild garlic to make into omelets or to eat with pasta or noodles. The oniony smell of this plant is strong in the air along the Kelvin at this time of year, though the taste is a lot milder and not overpowering at all. The white star shaped flowers of wild garlic look beautiful dotted amongst the bluebells. I love it because it is like spinach when cooked with a flavour similar to leeks and it has many health benefits. It has high levels of folic acid, an essential B vitamin. It also acts as a prebiotic, encouraging the growth of friendly bacteria. This is vital if you suffer from diabetes, have been on a course of antibiotics or have a weakened immune system. Wild garlic also has mild antibacterial properties to ward off spring coughs and colds. I never thought, that when we moved back to Glasgow, I would be coming back from the school run after a pleasant cycle along the river, reaking of garlic with a spider dangling from my nose.
There is a group called the Friends of the River Kelvin and you can see some of the amazing wildlife photos that are posted on their Facebook page here. We have seen a fox and her rough and tumble cubs playing on the bank, a cormorant with large bat-like wings held out like a vampire's cape, a dipper bobbing in and out of the water then taking off like a jet, flying close to the surface of the Kelvin. We've seen ducks and goosanders with their ducklings and have enjoyed talking to some of the photographers, hearing how one was standing in the Kelvin nearly up to his waist to get the best shot. I've seen the photos of Kingfishers but we've yet to see one; that will be a special day. I'm looking forward to the Friends of the River Kelvin Summer Gala on Saturday 7th June. There will be live bands, activities, food and craft stalls and even canoe rides down the Kelvin.