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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Batty Piece 4 acre meadow ( private nature reserve)

As in previous years I try in a very amateurish way to record what is growing on our local meadow. As you would expect plants are growing very fast now after steady rain over the last few weeks. Not enough to end the official drought of course. So as it was raining a little this morning I have only had an hour or so in the field and made a few notes and took a few photos. Here are a few to set the scene.

First shows the fruit on the fairly old Walnut tree on the southern boundary. I assume the picture shows the male flowers in the form of a catkin. I'll look for the female flowers next time.

Here is our first 2012 Yellow Rattle flowering plant.  This plant which first appeared in our field, probably brought in by a tractor,  and spread rapidly since then about 3 or 4 years ago. It has a parasitic relationship with grass and has certainly reduced the growth of the grasses which we hope will encourage more wild flowers

We keep looking for the first sighting of our two native orchids. The Pyramidal and the Bee Orchid. Looking for their leaves amongst all the rest is a hard task. But is this one of them?

The overall impression of the meadow is one of a field of golden yellow. Buttercups ( bulbous usually) are doing very well and are very numerous this year ( thousnds of plants). The same applies to Cowslips which also seem to be more numerous that previously ( but only a few hundred). We even have the Oxslip version. We think!

Our new 200 m hedge with seven native trees is looking very good in its 4th summer. The Blackthorn has finished flowering, the Wayfarer is in full flower, the Dogwood, the Spindle, Privet and Field Maple  are all developing well. Hawthorn is starting to flower.

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