Spring is here – the rapeseed fields are in full bloom

Living here in Hampshire, you suddenly become aware that spring has, well, sprung, when you are surrounded by fields of the most vibrant yellow flowers – these of course are the blooms of the rapeseed plant that are farmed for bio-diesel, vegetable oil and animal feed.

Rapeseed has been farmed across Europe for centuries however it was only cultivated on an industrial scale from the 13th century for use as lamp oil.  The world “rape” as applied to oilseed crops is derived from the Latin word rapum that means turnip.  That I would never have guessed (thanks Wikipedia).

From listening to comments from neighbours and friends, it’s clear that rape is a marmite plant – you either love seeing the yellow fields contrasted with deep green surrounding fields – or you hate it.  There seems to be no middle ground here.

Well I love it as I love colour … even though taking these images has given me serious hayfever.  Hopefully – you will like them too.

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