Wildflowers at Aston Rowant


Wildflowers at Aston Rowant nature reserve

I often do hill climb intervals up the Chiltern ridge. There are numerous different climbs, which make a varied and testing training route. Today I tried a quiet road, which I had not been on before. After 500m, the road petered out and became a farm track, so I stopped the hill climb interval mid-flow. I was going to do a u-turn and search out the next hill, but felt inspired to take a rest and went into a nearby field. The field happened to be a nature reserve with a profusion of wildflowers; I have rarely seen such a rich diversity and carpet of wildflowers in Britain.


The site is just next to the M40 motorway. I have been on the motorway hundreds of times, but you never get to see any wildflowers, just some green fields from a distance.



Up close at eye level.


I only had my iPhone, so the photos don’t quite capture the riot of colour and joy which the wildflowers expressed. The cutting on the top left is for the M40 motorway.


On the train from Glasgow to Balloch, I enjoyed looking at the wildflowers by the side of the railway. Some suburbs of Glasgow are a little run down – leaving quite a generous amount of ‘waste space’ between the railway and the urban conurbations. In the absence of any planning, the areas have been taken over by differing varieties of wildflowers – Rosebay Willowherb, Bindweed, Brambles, Ragwort and Buddlejas. In a garden you would probably pull them up because they are weeds. But in this context of the railway embankments, strong drifts of purple, yellow and blue seemed perfect for the situation. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos because the train windows were so dirty. There is some kind of paradox about the beauty of wildflowers amongst grim urban landscapes. If I was a poet, I would write a poem:

Grim urban landscape
Beautiful wildflowers
Flowing by the wind of the train.

I like the idea of Haiku, because it seems to be adding random words to the page and hoping for the best. (No disrespect to Haiku poets, of course – it can take a lot of effort to get the right random words.)


On the side of Loch Lomond, I took a photo of this deep purple flower. I reduced the saturation on this photo to lessen the intensity of the purple – I liked the contrast with the greys of the misty morning, but now I wish I had left it as it was. (original at Flickr) A reminder it’s hard to improve the beauty of nature.


4 Responses to Wildflowers at Aston Rowant

  1. priyadarshan July 28, 2016 at 6:26 am #

    Thank you, also for giving the names of the flowers, and so many enriching details.


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