Harvest 1

The farmers are busy harvesting the fields in the dry spells between the rain. The noise of the combine harvesters, trucks and tractors can be heard most days recently while they gather in the crops. Yesterday I saw people hard at work gathering the barley in the early evening. It was dull but dry and the occasional shaft of low sun transformed the view.

Arable Weeds 1 – Common Fumitory

I have recently discovered a strip of cultivated field that has been left deliberately unplanted. It has been colonised by a wonderful array of wild plants that fall into the habitat category of arable weeds. They may have been seeded by the farmer but I think it could be a natural development. The more you look, and the closer you look, the more you see. There is a tremendous diversity of species. Many are completely new to me. I am having fun trying to photograph the different types and identify them. Unfortunately, this is not so easy if you are unable to kneel or crouch and are reliant on the camera zoom. Some flowers are minute. Anyway, here is the first picture and it shows the pink flowers of Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis).

Brimstone Butterfly

There was a flurry of butterflies on my Buddleia bush yesterday. Lots of Tortoiseshells and Red Admirals as expected but also, for the first time, some beautiful Brimstone Butterflies (Gonepteryx rhamni). They looked very fresh – as if they had only just emerged. It made my day.

CD Country Walk (in the rain)

Pictures from a walk in the rain around the village last week, showing how fast the maize is growing in some of the fields, with the corncobs developing well. Difficult to get good shots with the lens getting wet and having to dry it constantly, but the rain did ease off now and again, and I did enjoy myself even if I got soaked.

Great Willowherb

There are 13 different types of Willowherb in the British Isles, mostly looking very similar, so I may not have identified this correctly, but I think it is Great Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum). Like the more familiar Rosebay Willowherb, it is common around the village in unmanaged areas.

Ripening barley

The barley is ripening in the fields and I think it will not be long before the farmers cut it. At least one field of the oilseed rape has already been harvested and that field has been ploughed ready for the next sowing. Our long recent spell of dry weather has turned to wet and windy, so that must be frustrating, as it could damage the standing barley with its heavy ears and delay the harvest. Some stands were already flattened at the end of July.

Poppies 2

Poppies 2 – Growing on the uncultivated margins of a field of maize near the village of Charlton Down in Dorset.