August in the Coronation Meadow, the grasses are flowering their pale earthy beauty, with huge patches of Tufted vetch blues. I hate to say it but looking at the plants flowering now in the meadow, it does feel as if autumn is not far off, despite the weather being distinctly summery the last few days. Grass of Parnassus, Knapweed and Devil’s bit scabious are all flowering beautifully, as are the less common Field Gentian. With swathes of creamy Meadowsweet and the grasses all flowering, I am constantly reminded that autumn is coming.
This year we are not cutting silage in the Coronation Meadow, as we do this on a rotation, and because there was so much grass last summer, we cut it when we should have left it fallow. So this year, it has been fallow. Silage is being made in the neighbouring field, and so for the first time in years we are letting the cows in to munch it down.
Field gentian turning its face to the setting sun.
The Tufted vetch flowers in drifts and the bees love it.
Grasses are flowering and the pollen is making me sneeze.
This is Sneezewort.. perhaps it is causing my sneezes. It has just started to flower.
This evening Farmer decided it was time to let the cows into the meadow. They were through the gate from the Black Park so fast, hurriedly chomping on Angelica as they rushed through, and off cantering madly through the long grass, tails flying, clumsily leaping… eventually they slowed down in the wetter bit of the field in deep Meadowsweet! This field is on a 4 year rotation for silage, and on the years when it is not being cut for silage, it is grazed down by, first, the cattle and then, the sheep. This is the earliest we have let the cows into the field for years, but Farmer wants them to benefit from the green grass still around, rather than waiting until it has started dying down. It will be interesting to see whether we find any differences next summer when the wild flowers come out again, to see if it has made any difference.