Tuesday, 20 June 2017

#30DaysWild day 20 - A walk through a foxglove wood

I walked the dog early this morning, through one of our local woods that's well known for its stunning displays of foxgloves. In a good year it feels like the woods are glowing pink, a true 'wonder' of our woodland. However, this year I struggled to find many foxgloves at all.
A walk through the woods
The few foxgloves that I did find, were beautiful though, especially in the dappled morning sunlight.

The plants are perfectly adapted to attracting bees to pollinate them, with their tall stems and bright flowers. When the bee gets near it's led into the narrow tube of the flower by a series of spots on the lower lip that act like a landing strip, leading the bee towards the nectar at the back of the flower. The bee crawls into the narrow part of the flower and rubs against the pollen with it's back, pollinating subsequent flowers it visits.

They're beautiful, statuesque flowers and come in a range of colours from deep pink/purple to pale pink, almost white. Their name derives from the shape of the flowers, which are said to resemble the fingers of a glove. In folklore, the bad fairies are said to have given the flowers to the foxes to put on their feet to soften their steps whilst hunting.

The dappled shade was full of speckled woods, sunbathing on the path and chasing off any other speckled woods that strayed into their territory. The open grassy areas were shimmering with meadow browns flying low in the grass. It really was very beautiful!
Speckled wood
Even in this weather the dog managed to find a muddy puddle to jump in, so she was happy!

Sadly, it seems like this year is not a foxglove year, at least not in our local wood, but it was still a lovely place to walk, especially before it got too hot.

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