Wednesday, 15 June 2016

#30DaysWild day 15: Grangelands orchids

Between the rain showers this afternoon, I went for a walk around Grangelands and the Rifle Range. All the rain we've had over the last couple of weeks has really kicked the orchids into life and they're starting to look spectacular.

The most common orchids on Grangelands were the common spotted orchids. They remind me of sticks of candy floss sticking up out of the grass and are very showy and pretty. They come in a variety of shades of pink, lilac and white, with lots of different loop and swirl patterns on the lip of the flowers.
Further round on the Rifle Range the chalk fragrant orchids were the stars of the show. They are more delicate than the common spotted orchids and tend to have less variation in colour (although there were a few paler flowers).
Chalk fragrant orchids

I walked up to the small area where the musk orchids grow and found plenty of them in flower, with more still in bud. It seemed like there were more than last year. They are very rare orchids, listed as nationally scarce, and are very hard to spot as they're so small and are green, so blend into the surrounding vegetation. They're very precious though and we're very lucky to have them growing there.


I found the first pyramidal orchids just starting to flower...

Pyramidal orchid
... and hunted for a bee orchid, but the best I could find was a bee on an orchid (not sure that counts though!)
Not a bee orchid, just a bee on an orchid!
 I checked on the white helleborines and found most of them starting to go over.

White helleborine
There were surprisingly few butterflies around, but I did see a little holly blue.

The skies started to look a bit ominous, so I headed for home, picking up a few feathers for Bug Mad Girl's collection on the way.

The large feather is from a red kite and I assume the black and white feather
is from a magpie

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