In recent weeks I have been watching the way that an uncultivated strip of ploughed ground at the edge of a large maize field has been colonised by wild plants. This wildlife opportunity, the potential to increase biodiversity, must have been a deliberate move on the part of the farmer. He had already left a 4 or 5 metre band of the spring crop standing after the rest had been harvested. (This was a tall rye-type grass that was possibly grown for hay or silage). The unsown margin between this grass and the hedge at the top of the field has been taken over by Nature during the summer months. The flowers have been providing food for many insect species, and the seeds will provide for the birds.
At first, I only noticed the bright red Common Poppies but, after a while, I began to see that beneath and around them were many more varieties of flowering arable weeds. I think I have identified about 20 species so far. The whole area is an intricate mosaic of plants. Some creep along the ground. Some reach up to varying heights. Some have minute flowers and others are large and very noticeable – like the tall yellow-flowering Sow Thistles. Most of them I have never been aware of before. I haven’t noted anything rare. They seem to be just common arable weeds – but such a joy the see.
This series presents some of the pictures I have taken, not only of individual plant types, but also the whole assemblage of plants. You had to look very carefully to discover what is hiding in plain sight.