Monday, 6 August 2012

Poppies to Pollies

There's been a mass of poppies this year, possibly because all the rain in the spring washed some of the herbicide away before it could do its work. The harvest looks good at the moment, though, as the sun came out nicely to ripen the corn. Unusually the oil-ssed rape and corn are being cut at the same time, meaning long hours for the contractors.

99.99999% of the poppies seem to be the common variety, but just occasionally a sharp eye might spot something different, generally from an unusual seedpod.

Last year I found a few rough poppies beside a crop near Maydensole and was pleased to see them again this year:
And this year an even sharper eye found prickly poppies on the road to Sandwich Bay......
..... near a line of long-headed poppies which are apparently more frequent than the above-mentioned, but it's still good to find them.
Apparently, prickly poppies have been found in Kingsdown, but where..........?    Nobody knows.

A brown hare has been nibbling around the fields nearby, apparently quite tame as it only makes the effort to lollop off when disturbed, no doubt delighting the longlenses who travel that road.
The little owl standing sentinel at the barn has now gone, after giving pleasure to many passers-by during the spring.

Other good sights in the Sandwich Bay area have been hundreds of southern marsh orchids in a depression between the sea wall and RCB golf course and a good show of marsh helleborines in the usual gully.  Sand catchflies were later but larger than usual, and a nice crop of 32 were seen beside a sandy track.
On an even smaller scale, a few plants of bur medick.

Wild clary was another plant to do well earlier in the year, while over at the point the Deptford pinks look strong, and each plant is accompanied by its count-tag - loads of them.

I look forward to hearing the score from KWT. I would guess there must be about 1,000 plants, while across the flatlands at Foulmead the grass-poly population has grown from about 110 last year to at least 500 now.

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