It’s very rare I get to see this butterfly with its wings fully open, but with all those beautiful rings seen on the undersides, I am more than appreciative to see them.
Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus), local field, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.
I love to see the fields covered for as far as the eye can see in these golden yellow flowers. And of course, when they go to seed they also have there own beauty and fascination.
These bright yellow Dandelion heads are made up of around two-hundred rayed florets. The stems are hollow, and exude a milky white substance if broken. The leaves have backward facing toothed lobes. The fluffy rounded seed heads are famed when blown by mouth or the wind, forming a small cloud of individual parachuted seeds.
It flowers March to October, and form a swathe of radiant yellow during spring. Found in varied locations, including meadows, hedgerows, verges, open woodland, parks and gardens. A common and widespread species.
Taken local field, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2010, 2012, and 2016.
This is a herbaceous perennial plant which forms extensive clonal colonies from an underground root system which sprout numerous erect stems each spring. It is an aggressive plant, and can cover large areas forming large dense colonies. The stems are hairy, but unlike many other thistles, they have no spines or wings. It has narrow-toothed, spiny leaves. The abundant flowers are pink, reddish-pink, or lilac. The flowers produce prodigious quantities of feathery yellow-brown seeds.
It flowers July to September, and it is ubiquitous throughout the British Isles, from wasteland, roadside verges, grasslands and gardens. Common and widespread throughout.
The seeds of the Creeping Thistle are an important food source for birds, and other parts of the plant are also a good energy source for many species of insect.
July 2011, local field, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011.
For more information on this beuatiful plant please se my previous Red Clover page.
July 2011, local field, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011.
Also called ‘Dutch Clover’, it is a herbaceous perennial plant which spreads by means of rooting runners. The leaves are composed of three oval leaflets which have a whitish V-shaped band, which may not always be evident. The ball-shaped cluster flower head is composed of rounded peaflowers which are white or cream, with the lower flowers drooping down below and fanning out slightly.
It flowers June to September. Found in pastures, roadside verges, meadows, garden lawns and other grassy habitats. Abundant and widespread throughout.
White Clover is an important source of pollen for bees, butterflies and other insects.
June 2012, local field, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2012.
You know when I first came across this tree over twenty years ago on a local field boundary, I am embarrassed to say I did not know what kind of tree it was. I always liked its form, and it make a good perch for passing birds to rest on.
Also called ‘Common Maple’ or ‘English Maple’, this is a medium-sized deciduous tree which can be fairly variable in shape. It can be either broadly domed or narrow with a high dome. It can grow up to a height of 25m (82ft). The bark is grey-brown and fissured. The fairly small dark green leaves are 3-5 lobed, the top lobe being pointed and the bottom pair being smaller. Freshly open leaves have a pinkish tinge to them which eventually turn green. In autumn they can be quite a spectacle as they turn bright yellow then a reddish-brown colour. Male and female flowers occur together with the leaves in April to May and are yellowish-green. The winged fruits are in bunches of 4, with the wings horizontal, light green and stained crimson. These wings allow the seeds to be carried far from the parent plant by the wind.
Found in woods, hedgerows and open fields. This is Britain’s only native species of maple, and it is common as a wayside tree and hedgerow shrub in England and Wales. It is scarcer further north.
The Field Maple is an important food source to many insects, birds and mammals.
September 2010 and August 2013, local field boundary, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2010 and 2013.
I remember when I first came across this most stunningly beautiful flower when on one of my local walks. It was late afternoon and I was returning home across a field when this vibrant yellow flower caught my eye. I was immediately taken by the colours and form of the blossoms.
This bright lemon-yellow flower is composed of tufted spikes, each individual flower made-up of two closed lips, the lower with two orangey bosses and a spur which points downwards. The green, narrow leaves grow spirally up the stem.
It flowers late into the autumn giving a bright flush of colour, from July to October. Pollination usually requires strong insects such as bees and bumblebees to open the closed flower lips.
Usually found in clumps in meadows, roadsides, embankments, and other open grassy habitats. Common and widespread throughout.
October 2011, local field, Staffordshire. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38. © Pete Hillman 2011.
Please click on images for full definition.
Photographs of Lesser Burdock (Arctium minus) seedhead, taken December 2016, local field margin, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 18-55mm lens.
Photograph taken August 2016, local farmer’s field, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.
Red Clover is a herbaceous perennial which has rounded pink to red flower heads which have a leaf directly below them. The leaves are formed of three oval leaflets, often with a whitish V-shaped band.
It flowers May to September, and it is found in meadows, pastures, rough grassland, wasteland and verges. A native species, and abundant and widespread throughout.
This is an important pollinator for bees and other insects. It is also extensively grown for pastureland as a forage crop for livestock.
After a week’s very hot weather, it has encourged much of the grass in the local fields to go to seed.
What I saw on my morning walk, local field, Staffordshire.
Even with dull, slate-grey skies you can usually find something out and about whilst walking that brightens the day. This is a field filled with Rape (Brassica napus), and the shoots on the trees were just opening up fresh and green.
Photograph taken May 2014, local field, Staffordshire.