In praise of buttercup

Like the dandelion, which gilded the fields here a month ago, the buttercup frustrates many gardeners as it invades their lawns. There are a lot of frustrated gardeners around here just now! I no longer have a garden, unless you consider the buttercups here to be in my ‘garden’, just a couple of minutes walk away, but even when I had a lawn I loved these bright jewels and let them be, along with the dandelions and daises.

picture of a single buttercup

One among millions in the Wharfe Valley now

I reckon there are at least 300,000 in the picture below alone.



Two different varieties can be recognised in fields here: some are tall and some are very short-stemmed, hugging the ground. I’m surprised how cattle and horses manage to graze among them when they are in such abundance, eating only the grass as the buttercups are poisonous to them when fresh (so they don’t give the yellow colour to butter, as folklore says). When dried in hay they can be eaten without a problem.

Olympus OM4. Tamron 28-70mm macro, f/3.5-4.5. Fuji Superia 200. 8 June 2013, the same morning as the May posted a couple of days ago. I wish I had taken the Zuiko 50mm with an extension tube for the first pic, and the Zuiko 28mm for the second.