Monday, 13 July 2015

Soggy frogs

It was a really dull and drizzly day today, so Mum and I headed up to Watlington Hill to see if we could spot any more of the frog orchids that are supposed to be up there. We were last there two weeks ago and after a lot of searching we managed to find a lone frog orchid, but would we have any more luck today?

We walked around for a while and couldn't find any, then retraced our steps from our last visit and found that one again. I still struggle to see the frog shape that gives the orchid its name, but I think it must be the round frogs body with the legs outstretched down and behind it.

Leaping frogs
Once we'd spotted one we started to see them everywhere. There were a real range of colours, including green, green with pink legs, green with black legs and red.

Green frogs
Green frogs with pink legs

Green with black legs

Red frogs
We also found a few flowers still in bud.
They really are tricky little things to spot, blending in perfectly with the grass and plants around them. The best way to see them is to get down to ground level and then they stand out. You'd be lucky to spot any if you're standing up looking down at the ground. We counted about 40 frog orchids, but with more hunting around on our hands and knees (and a little less rain) I'm sure we could have found more.

Despite the rain, the view was still pretty spectacular and we found some lovely patches of rosebay willowherb and dark mullein glowing in the gloom.

Still an amazing view, despite the rain

Rosebay willowherb and dark mullein
There was also some wild parsnip covered in soldier beetles.  They always remind me of the worms out of Men In Black!

Very pleased to finally track down the elusive frog orchids. I knew they had to be there somewhere!

1 comment:

  1. Loved the soldier beetles , Rhagonycha fulva. Parsnip flowers are superb for attracting a wide range of insects - and the flowers are good in a garden border.