April 18th – There are lots of floral arrivals at the moment but it would be wrong to concentrate on the dramatic, showy ones. One return in the last week or so and enjoying the morning sunshine today from every patch of grass and roadside were a huge number of one of nature’s most overlooked gems – dandelions.
These humble yellow flowers are actually really lovely if you stop and look at them for a bit – which today, I advise anyone to do. They’re really gorgeous.
Sometimes, it’s the little, familiar things that are most beautiful.
June 26th – Cutting across the common, there are plenty of flowers in bloom, and the bees are busy. Blues and purples seem the order of the day, with late forget-me-nots, purple comfrey vetch and others all showing well.
Also rather lovely are the dandelions – not just those flowering, but those gone to seed, too – such lovely, natural engineering.
May 12th – It was such a gorgeous evening I couldn’t resist going for a spin around the lanes of Stonnall. Everything was suffused in a gorgeous golden light, and the countryside is looking wonderfully green and mellow at the moment.
At Fighting Cocks, the dandelion meadow is just wonderful. It would be nice if this weather could stay awhile.
April 28th – A beautiful morning but yet again, very cold. It’s like spring has been underway in every form except the temperature, which is stuck resolutely in early March.
The chill hasn’t stopped the spring arrivals, however; daisies, buttercups, cowslips and other grassland flowers are booming, and the dandelions in particular are superb at the moment.
These lovely yellow flowers, so often ignored, are a gorgeous colour and actually fascinating if you stop to study them.
So great to have them back.
April 19th – I still wasn’t feeling great, and added to which I was having trouble with the computer, so I slid out on a changeable, but mostly sunny afternoon for a scoot over to Chasewater, Lichfield, Wall, Chesterfield and back home. It cheered me up no end – the oilseed rape was just coming into flower, and it was one of those high-contrast days that make for dramatics skies and nice photos.
I love how the tulip looks like it’s got a tiny, tarantula-type creature inside.
June 30th – With the passage of the early summer, we move from the flowering to the fruiting. Most fruits and seeds will be weeks in development, and not become of anything until late summer and autumn, but many flowers and trees seed early. The lupins by the canal at Clayhanger have long passed their best, but the seed pods they’ve formed, resplendent with downy fur, are a treat in themselves.
The dandelions, of course, such masters of natural engineering, seed all summer through. Such common flowers, rarely studied, but so gorgeous in their perfection.
May 8th – I spun home after heavy rain, and had to nip to Chasetown. On the way, I was fascinated by the profusion of slugs and snails, the wet undergrowth and a really, really dramatic sky. I’m always fascinated by gastropods, as they get such a bad press, but we couldn’t really exist without them, and close up, they’re fascinating things.
Over towards Hammerwich, the oilseed rape is going over now, but today, Lichfield Cathedral spires were clearly visible if you know where to look. I often wonder how many people realise you can see that from here, in just the right spot?
It wasn’t a great day weather wise, but still plenty of interest in Summer’s brewing cauldron.