I woke this morning at 5:30 am with sun streaming in and the dawn chorus in full swing. I couldn't possibly go back to sleep on such a beautiful morning. So with camera and sketchbook went for a walk on Morgan's Hill Nature Reserve.
A fantastic display of chalk downland wildflowers, including orchids. The low early morning sun was picking out the folds and ridges in the hillside and the criss-cross sheep tracks. Blackcaps were singing their hearts out. The misty fields stretched into the distance like a patchwork quilt. What an inspiring place to be on such a beautiful morning.
Folds in the landscape seen at dawn, Morgan's Hill, Wiltshire
View north from Morgan's Hill to a patchwork of fields
View north east from Morgan's Hill - on the hill in the distance is the Lansdowne Monument, a stone obelisk erected by Sir William Petty in 1845.
Lesser butterfly orchid, Morgan's Hill Nature Reserve, Wiltshire
Common spotted-orchid, Morgan's Hill Nature Reserve, Wiltshire
Yellow rattle, a semi-parasitic wildflower, feeds on the roots of grasses. It gets its name from the rattle of the seeds in the seed-pod.
The rich sward of the chalk downlands of Wiltshire - common spotted-orchid, salad burnet, silverweed, meadow buttercup... a wildflower carpet
Red campion in flower with black bryony climbing up the tree