Early June, A Field of Hay.
The hay field in early June is mesmerizing. Five acres of green space used by boys, for football, and by lurchers, as a race track in the winter, has become one living thing. Millions of individual plants unite in their common aim, to produce seed. Shivering and sighing at night, bejewelled and trembling in the early morning. It rolls pollen with the wind and reflects the sun’s own image in buttercups. In the evening it wears a soft rosy halo, still glowing after the sun sinks behind the wood.
The lanky plantains hold their black heads sideways, nodding, until suddenly they all come in to flower at once and the field seems to be flying. Sheeps sorrel, as mellow as old brickwork and as sharp as limes, reaching, reaching up. Each plant adds a layer of colour and texture, affecting the movement and look of the whole. And each year, as the nitrogen levels drop, new plants find a convivial home here. This years new arrival is a pink vetch, it’s regular pairs of leaflets and curled tendrils break up the verticals. A glimpse of it’s strong pink flower is thrilling.
But sink down into the depths, below the flowers, feel the spider tickle it’s way across your arm, feel the breeze gently push the stems around you. Loose count of the different types of bees, busy above your head. Watch the ants move up and down the ox eye daisies. Hear the cuckoo. See the perfect spring clouds drift through the clear pale sky and know, simply, how lucky you are.