Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Out and about

We've had a really busy few days with school concerts, the local town festival, a school camp and triathlon, a fun run and numerous end of term events. We've been out and about a lot, but just haven't had time to write a blog post until now, so this is a bit of a catch up ....

The orchids have been wonderful, but they are starting to fade now, so it's time to start thinking about the helleborines, which will be flowering soon. I had a walk around Brush Hill and checked on the violet helleborines. There were a few that had been chewed by slugs (who are one of the few things that are loving all this wet weather), but they mostly seemed to be OK. I would say there were less than last year and I only found one in the car park.

Violet helleborine in bud
I've also been back to search for the narrow-lipped helleborines. Last time I was there I found a lot of plants eaten by slugs, so I hunted a bit harder and found several plants that have evaded the slugs so far.
Narrow-lipped helleborines in bud
I also found lots more yellow bird's nests and several bird's nest orchids (that had gone over).

Yellow bird's nest

Yellow bird's nest
There are plenty of fungi popping up in the woods, including this tuberous polypore that I found growing on a log. Instead of gills it has tubes that open as pores underneath the cap and my book lists it as only occasionally seen.

Tuberous polypore

From underneath you can see the tubes that open as pores

On Grangelands, the wonderful displays of common spotted and fragrant orchids are going over, but they're being replaced by beautiful summer flowers. Walking around it feels like you're in a herb garden as the smell of wild thyme and marjoram drifts on the air. It's a beautiful place to visit as all sorts of wonderful flowers have bloomed in the last couple of weeks. Here's just a few that I saw this morning ...


Common centuary

Dark mullein




There were marbled whites and meadow browns flying, but it was a bit chilly and breezy so I didn't see the chalkhill blues that I thought might be around. I'll have another look when (or even if) the weather improves.

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