Heatwave

The intense heat appears to give an eerie golden glow in the evening.

Barley field.
Tall grasses illuminated by the evening sun.
Gold.
Wild flowers.
Cobwebs elegantly draped over a nettle.
Backlit wildflowers.
Blinding sun.
Fading sun.
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Ancient woodland

The term ‘ancient woodland’ in itself conjures up something magical and mystical. It describes an area of woodland that has been in existence since the 1600’s. It has developed naturally with unique ecosystems and the woodland has not been disturbed by mankind. Sadly, these special places only account for 2.4% of the UK.

All the leaves on the trees were out in full – brand new, perfect leaves in that fresh shade of almost luminous green. They always look at their peak in May, before the colour slightly fades and the leaves get their lived-in appearance and become tatty looking as the Summer goes on.

The light was perfect, weaving its way through small patches and lighting up the ground where the leaves had not yet formed a complete canopy. It provided that beautiful dappled appearance, great for photography.

Ferns growing tall.
Red Campion
New leaves.
Light reaching a solitary blade of grass on the woodland floor.

Frothy white bubbles of cow parsley

It’s everywhere at the moment, lining shady stretches of country lanes and stretches of woodland. It has lots of alternative names including fairy lace. Some think it looks like drifts of snow. It is of course, a popular plant with pollinators.

Cow parsley is a member of the carrot family. It can be confused with hemlock and hogweed, one of which is poisonous and the other which has sap that can burn the skin.

Natural Seasonal Decorations

The diffused light made the water droplets on the cobwebs and cow parsley seed heads appear like twinkling lights.
Although the macro lens would have been infinitely better to use for definition, the telephoto still managed to produce some pretty images from a short distance.
A haphazard spider web on an old stinging nettle plant.
A cobweb lit up like Christmas lights!

Autumn’s end

The first meteorological day of Winter is on December 1st. Some pictures to celebrate the end of the season.

A sycamore in golden light.
Delicate seed heads swaying in a light breeze.
Sunlight reflecting through leaves

Miscellaneous

Several fields are growing this crop of beautiful blue and purple flowers.
Hoverflies feeding on the pollen of blackberry flowers. Blackberries are already beginning to form, a sign that Autumn is not far away.
Pink flower with cow parsley.
The curious peacock.
The last of the pink peonies.
A small meadow with cow parsley.
Barley.

Steppe Planting

The Big Sky Meadow at RHS Hyde Hall is a 46 acre project to convert land to a perennial meadow. The plants are those common to the Eurasian steppes, North American prairies and African grasslands.

Blue Eryngium planum and yellow Galium verum. When dried, the yellow flowers smell of freshly mown hay. These were once used to stuff straw mattresses. A yellow dye was also made from these flowers.

Berkehya purpurea from South Africa is a drought tolerant plant, suited to areas with poor soils.

Red clover – in herbal medicine, was used to treat skin disorders.