Posted on November 2, 2021
These images show the changes in a field of maize situated between the derelict barn at the top of the village and Wood Hill Clump looking roughly southwest in the village of Charlton Down in Dorset from June to October 2021. Every time I pass the spot it looks different, depending not only the way the crop is growing but also the on the effect of different times of day and varying weather and light conditions. Always in transition.
Posted on August 16, 2021
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).
Posted on May 27, 2021
Green and more green. Vibrant, fresh, golden. All photographed around 8pm 22 May 2021, in a place I call The Meadow (but some people call it The Triangle). It is on the north edge of the village, just off the public footpath that leads to Forston Grange from the allotments. It is a great place that is managed more like a nature reserve than our official nature reserve. It is a small field of various grasses, brambles, and wild flowers that I think may be cut once a year allowing everything to bloom and seed in perpetuity; allowing ground cover to recover each year providing food for insects and birds and without disturbing overwintering invertebrates. Appropriately narrow mown pathways circle and cross this small grassland patch which is surrounded by an almost continuous belt of native species of trees. Paths inter-connect the area with the open fields outside, and children can make dens in the wooded areas. In summer, the grasses are spectacular. A lovely place to visit especially for its tranquillity.
Posted on April 12, 2021
A walk along the footpath towards Waterston Ridge at Higher Charlton Down this weekend proved delightful in the sunshine. Acres of yellow oilseed rape flowers glowed in the bright light while skylarks sang overhead and bees of many species took advantage of the fresh nectar.
Posted on April 8, 2021
Over the winter months cattle have been introduced to the field situated immediately to the south of Greenwood House, on the opposite side of the road. The field slopes gently upwards to the horizon. It was planted with sugar beet in the autumn after the barley was harvested. The young animals have been steadily munching their way down the field, their range being controlled by a moveable fence. They line up along the boundary to eat the freshly available crop. This activity has the neat advantage of fattening the animals and at the same time fertilising the ground for the next crop sowing .