A wildflower meadow is difficult to photograph, but up close, in detail, it is just wonderful – it never ceases to fill me with wonder. The areas of established wildflower meadow at Sun Rising are now at moving through their richest few weeks. Some of the early flowers are still there, such as the buttercups and common spotted orchids, and the later flowers are now beginning to bloom, the knapweeds, bedstraws, mallows and betony. And of course, every meadow has its grasses, and the variety here is a delight.
When counting species, we usually mark out a square meter or some similar standard measure. Here’s a square of Betty’s Meadow: I didn’t take this picture particularly to show the biodiversity, I simply loved the mix of texture between the smooth white of the oxeye daisies and the greeny-white blur of the hedge bedstraw. But how many species can we see here, as well as the oxeye daisies and hedge bedstraw?
There is common knapweed, greater knapweed, at least one type of buttercup, birdsfoot trefoil and/or meadow vetchling, common sorrel, crested dogstail, timothy, meadow barley, false oat grass, yorkshire fog, at least one kind of meadowgrass, and I know (but can’t see clearly) there is grass vetchling, red and white clover, not to mention the butterflies, moths, bees, hoverflies and other tiny flies, all the froghoppers, caspid bugs, beetles, ladybirds, meadow ants and spiders … And underneath it all, the field voles and mice, scurrying about filling their bellies with the ripening seeds.