Sunday, 24 May 2015

A 'slow, glow, blue-green, nearly blooming' brilliant morning

We've had a 'slow, glow, blue-green, nearly blooming' brilliant morning at Aston Clinton Ragpits. Where to start ...

Bug Mad Girl carefully checked under the metal sheets around the site and found three different slow-worms. We've only ever seen one per visit there before, so it was great to see so many. They are a real highlight for Bug Mad Girl and she couldn't resist picking one of them up. She made sure it was put safely back under the sheet afterwards.

There was also a vole under one of the sheets and we saw a little nest made out of moss.

We found a Glow-worm larvae that appeared to be eating a brown-lipped snail and a Roman Snail was out for a slither.

Glow-worm larvae tucking into a snail
Roman snail
We must have seen at least a dozen Common Blue butterflies and saw 3 mating pairs. They seemed to be in pristine condition, so must have only just emerged and were flying despite the gloomy conditions.

Bug Mad Girl spotted a Green Hairstreak, which was very well camouflaged in amongst the plants.

Apart from all of that, we were actually there to look at the orchids. We were thrilled to find lots of orchids just starting to flower, including the Fragrant Orchids and Butterfly Orchids. They are both starting to show their colour and the long down curved spur of the flower. Not long to go now until the buds open when they'll look stunning!

Fragrant Orchid

Butterfly Orchid
The Common Spotted Orchids have started to send up buds.

Common Spotted Orchid

Common Spotted Orchid
The star of the show at the moment was the Twayblade, which was everywhere. There must have been thousands of them all over the site. It's colour means it blends in with the other plants, but when you get down to ground level, you can see just how much of it is there. Some is flowering, but there is plenty more still to come.

And finally ... we found another plant that looks like an orchid, with large, long leaves and a huge flower bud. We can't work out what sort of orchid this could be - maybe it isn't even an orchid - but it will be exciting to go back and find out!


  1. Great day out there. Never seen a butterfly orchid before. Great shots of everything here.