I’ve been planning to start this blog for a while, so there’s a huge backlog of photos. The following ones were taken last summer on a small unmanaged meadow in the middle of the town of Rumia, Poland. A decade ago the meadow was grazed by two cows but now there is no grazing or mowing and it is used primarily by dog walkers.
It is a species-rich habitat that has never been treated with herbicides or artificial fertilisers. Here are some of the wildflowers common on this meadow.
A tansy with common red soldier beetles and 7-spot ladybirds.
There are only a few small fruit trees, sown by birds. Some crab apples, some mirabelle plums. Most of the area is open, with no shade.
Yarrow is among the most visible flowers. I have only seen white yarrow on this meadow, but pinkish and red varieties grow on empty lots not too far from the meadow.
I think this might be wild carrot. (Will verify this as soon as I get myself a wildflower key…) Mugwort in the bottom left corner.
Possibly wild carrot again.
Ragwort. It is reviled in the UK for being poisonous to cattle and horses, but the cows that used to graze on this meadow would simply not eat it, having plenty of tasty plants around to choose from.
Sorrel. Sorrel soup used to be popular in Poland when I still lived there a decade ago, but now few people pick edible wild plants and supermarkets don’t sell sorrel leaves.
Red clover and… an insect I’ve yet to identify.
I hope this meadow will not be turned into a shopping centre, as happened to a nearby wet meadow, which used to be a hunting ground for white storks with a nest in between the dry and wet meadow. The storks still come back every year, but have to go farther to find enough food. Sadly, to most citizens of Rumia this colourful meadow seems to be just an “empty space”. Perhaps meadows will become more valued only when they largely disappear from the landscape.