I’d crouched down in the street to take a picture of a seedling, rooted in a paving crack, when a white-haired man stopped, looked down and smiled broadly.  ‘Je n’ai jamais remarqué ça’. (‘I’d never noticed that’).

He caught up with me again when I stopped to take another photo and we got talking.  He’d never noticed that there were plants growing between the paving setts and was even more surprised to hear that there were many different species among these little scraps of greenery.  He asked where I’m from – it’s clear from my accent that I’m not a native Parisian – and concluded (more or less) ‘you have to come from somewhere else to notice these things’.

In the case of plants, it’s often those that come from somewhere else that get a toehold in unlikely places.  This little plant, rooted in a crack at the foot of a bollard, is Oxalis corniculata. Native to North America and East Asia, it is now naturalised all over Europe and beyond.

The photo isn’t as fuzzy as it may seem.  Look closer and you’ll see the soft, downy hairs that fringe each leaf.  You have to get close to the ground to notice that.


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Beneath Your Feet.”