agrimony, bindweed, common knapweed, common ragwort, Gatekeeper butterfly, hoary plantain, hogweed, hop trefoil, oil-seed rape, peas, pineapple weed, ploughing, poppy, Ringlet butterfly, seagulls, silverweed, thatched barn, thrips, thunder-flies, walking
I had been shopping in Norwich with E two weeks ago and the weather had just changed for the better. We had had a lot of very humid weather, with heavy rain and thunder and lightening. We had had the usual accompaniment to humid weather of flying and swarming ants and thunder-flies. These are tiny little thrips with feathery wings; a millimetre long and thread-thin. They get everywhere – in your ears and eyes, up your nose, in your hair, crawling on your skin until you feel like screaming. They come in the house and die in heaps on every surface; they even get behind the glass in your picture frames. And then, after a storm at the weekend, we woke on the Monday to fresh air, warm sunshine and a gentle breeze. As we were driving home I had such a longing to be out of doors, walking in the fields that instead of having lunch I found the camera and my hat and went off down the lane. The verge at the side of our lane had just been cut but there were still a few flowers hanging on there.
The harvesting had begun.
The stubble is almost a foot high and so hard and sharp like knives; it is almost impossible to walk through.
This is agrimony and there has been a lot of this about this year. Apparently it has a scent reminiscent of apricots; I haven’t noticed this but then I don’t have a very good sense of smell – at least not for nice smells! The ancients found this a very versatile plant as it was held to be a remedy against snake-bite, poor sight, loss of memory and liver complaints.
For many years, peas were grown everywhere in this part of Suffolk as there was a frozen food factory in Lowestoft on the coast. We were all used to the enormous pea harvesters and the smell of burnt peas wafting on the air. Then the factory was closed. Many people were made redundant and the farmers here had to find a different crop to grow and had to sell their harvesters. In recent years peas have started to be grown again. Some farmers are working together as a collective, sharing harvesters and have found other customers for their peas. This field is being left until the peas have dried. I don’t know if the plants will just be dug into the soil as a source of nitrogen or if the plants are used for animal feed or the dried peas sold to a processing factory. Perhaps someone can tell me. Red is so difficult to photograph. This photo looks as though I’ve done some careless ‘photoshopping’. You will recognise this photo from my previous post. This works better as the poppies take up more of the photo but they still don’t look ‘real’.
This is hop trefoil. The stems are downy and the seed-heads are covered with dead petals making them look like hops.
There was a lot pink and yellow.
This smells of pineapple when crushed.
This is Common Ragwort, a poisonous plant and the food plant of the Cinnabar Moth caterpillar.
I will continue this walk in Part 2.