Field of Gold

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.

Cow Parsley

Anthriscus sylvestris

Also called ‘Queen Anne’s Lace’, ‘Hedge Parsley’, ‘Wild Parsley’ and ‘Wild Chervil’, this is one of the earliest flowering umbellifers in spring. This is a fast-growing, tall plant with hollow, unspotted stems. It usually grows in great numbers and produces white frothy umbrellas made up of small white flowers. The leaves are large and fern-like, and when crushed they produce a strong, aniseed-like scent. Plant height 60 to 150cm. Umbels 6 to 12mm wide.

Flowers April to June. It prefers moist soil and grows in masses along roadsides, riverbanks, near streams and pools, woodland margins, hedgerows, meadows and pastures. Native, common and widespread throughout Britain.

Cow Parsley is a rich source of nectar for hoverflies, bees and other insects.

Photographs taken May 2014, local field, Staffordshire.

Yorkshire Fog

Holcus lanatus

Walking through a local field I came across drifts of this beautiful grass. It is a variable, tufted grass with grey-green leaves and tall, downy stems. The pinkish-red flowers are tightly packed to begin with, until they spread and open out in two-flowered spikelets. It is a perennial grass, and grows up to 1m tall.

It flowers from May to August, and is found in meadows, woodland margins and openings, and wasteground. It is a common and widespread species.

Photographs taken June 2012, local field, Staffordshire.