I’ve been photographing here for four years. Last year I saw the finishing life of the rosebay willowherb when the air was filled with their wispy seeds. I’d not seen the flowers at their height, with this lovely colour effect.

It’s delightful having this place available in the city. I like to hike in Snowdonia, the Lake District, Peak District, Scotland, and Pyrenees. I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like and nature reserves fill the gap. There’s always more to learn with nature which is part of the pleasure of walking, wild flowers, and birds.

Rosebay willowherb is – I quote loosely – often abundant in wet calcareous to slightly acidic soils in open fields, pastures, and burned-over lands. The name Fireweed derives from its abundance as a coloniser on burnt sites after forest fires. Its tendency to colonise open areas with little competition, such as sites of forest fires and forest clearings, makes it a clear example of a pioneer species. Plants grow and flower as long as there is open space and plenty of light.

 

Chorlton Meadows: Willowherb

Thursday August 6, 2015