New Shoots in the Fields

It doesn’t seem as if any time has passed at all since I watched the farmer ploughing the big field – but here already are the short green shoots of the new crop. It was wheat in that field last year and I think it is probably the same again. I will watch its progress. Always good to see things grow and develop.

Wild Rose leaves

In their own way as beautiful as the delicate flowers of summer, the newly emerging leaves of the wild rose (probably Dog Rose Rosa canina in this case) display rich reds and vivid greens introducing a welcome flash of colour to the scene. These were photographed in the Charlton Down Nature Reserve 11 April 2021.

Plum blossoms

In the Community Orchard in Charlton Down, just a few steps from Greenwood House, the plum trees are the first to flower this April. With a blue sky or a verdant green grass backdrop, the white blossoms look fresh, full of promise, and uplift the spirit.

Celandines 1

The glossy yellow flowers of Celandines look a lot like ordinary buttercups but their flowers are not so persistent throughout the year. In March and April the plants carpet the ground with their dark shiny leaves and flowers beneath trees and on field margins. These pictures show some that were growing among the trees planted on the eastern edge of the village when the new development of houses at Charlton Down was completed. The tree border separates a field that I often refer to as ‘the meadow’ from the cultivated fields beyond. My ‘meadow’ was the location of the incinerator used by the former Herrison Hospital!

Flowering fields 1

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.

View from my window 1

A constant delight for me at Greenwood House is the ever-changing panorama from the window of my flat. Transitions through the seasons, day by day, different times of day, and in different weather conditions, It never seems to stay the same for any length of time. Sunrises and sunsets can be spectacular. Right now the trees are bare but showing the first signs of new life as we are blessed with at least the occasional day or moment of warmth and sunshine.

Cattle in the sugar beet

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 .

Greenwood House

It is surprisingly difficult to get a good shot of Greenwood House in its entirety because of the way it sits on a rise and is surrounded by trees. This time of year is probably the best for a photograph that shows most of the building because the wonderful specimen trees that adorn the grounds to the south are not yet in leaf. I thought the building looked warm and grand in this sunny early spring image.