Poppies on the morning edge

Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024

The appearances of poppies near to where I live is becoming unpredictable.  Typically, poppies flower around the beginning of June.  However, poppy fields are more difficult to find as farmers are changing their farming practices to be more competitive.  The once large poppy fields around Worcestershire are undergoing a slow transformation into Heathland under the supervision of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.  This makes finding the location of a flowering poppy field challenging, but with the help of friends and careful monitoring of social media, a few fields were reported near to Kinver Edge in South Staffordshire.  The next challenge was the weather and to find a time when there would be a good sunrise or sunset.  I prefer sunrises in the countryside especially for poppies.  The light is clearer and cool but the biggest advantage is the lack of other photographers and people.  If a field is popular then spectators and photographers will flock to the area.  Morning is preferable.

Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
There was a mist over the fields before sunrise.
Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
The beautiful colours of a poppy field
Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
The white and red mix of wildflowers

Setting the alarm clock for 3am, I made the 45min drive to Kinver in South Staffordshire.  There was some delightful early morning mist and I quickly stopped in a nearby village for some pictures of the misty landscapes.  Arriving at the field, I met Simon Lea, an old friend, who takes some beautiful woodland and landscape pictures.  We quickly caught up on news and then looked to our photography as the sun was ready to make an appearance.  The field was south facing with a gentle slope towards where we were standing.  The land is near to Kinver Edge and so there is an undulating landscape. I had been advised to take my 400mm zoom lens and I am glad that I did.  The owner of the field had fenced the surrounding perimeter with barbed wire and did not wish any trespassers on their land.  

Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
The view of the poppy field landscape

The field was nearing its peak and the poppies were set back and interspersed with a mix of white feverfew and purple vetch.  Just before sunrise, the light was cool and the poppies took on a dreamy feel in the mist.  I took several pictures at this time.  Once the sun had risen the light became intense.  

Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
Poppies in the sunlight
Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
The heat glare of the sun burns off the mist

Most of my pictures were taken with my Canon 5D MKIV with a circular polariser.  I also had my x100vi with me which I used for a sunrise picture and hoped for the best. The picture taken with the Fujifilm was good and is the front cover of the blog.  As the sun became brighter, I walked, with my tripod and camera, further up the road where there were several pictures still to be taken.  There was one of three poppies against the barbed fence that provided symbolism of previous wars.  The sun catching the petals of the many poppies provided some further pictures.  

Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
Poppies behind a barbed wire fence.
Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
An abundance of poppies

Then it was time to go.  The mist in the distance was still lingering and I found a place near to Kinver to take more landscape pictures.  My Waze satnav took me back over a sleepy backwater of the canals along Windsor Holloway.  Then it was back through Churchill onto the main roads and home for breakfast at 7.30am.  On such summer mornings, one is left with the feeling that you have experienced two days.  The first a magical sunrise and then a day where I return to my normal life.  

Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
A view of the Staffordshire canal
Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
Mist over the Staffordshire countryside

I have included a link to last year’s field in Bewdley which sadly is not there this year.

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