Monday, 20 June 2016

#30DaysWild day 20: Orchids in the pouring rain

It may almost be the official start of summer, but the pouring rain today made it seem more like autumn. I was brave though and headed out for a mooch around Grangelands with the dog. I was hoping I might find some fantastic insects, just in time for the start of National Insect Week, but even the most fool hardy bug was keeping well hidden and sheltering away from the rain. Never mind though, because the reserve was absolutely full of amazing orchids, which didn't mind the rain at all.

There were thousands of common spotted and chalk fragrant orchids flowering and the pyramidal orchids were just starting to open.

Common spotted orchids
The majority of the chalk fragrant orchids were purple, but I found a few pure white ones as well, which are quite unusual.
White chalk fragrant orchid
I had a good look round and eventually found a couple of bee orchids. They're fantastic orchids and probably our most iconic. They have evolved to look like bees, with wings, furry bodies and antenna. Such a pleasure to find them, especially on such a soggy day.

These were the only bees flying in the rain today

Very drippy bee orchid
I also found a single fungus growing out in the middle of the grassland. I suspect this is called a crazed cap, which grows singly on unimproved grassland in the summer. There are actually quite a lot of fungi that grow in the summer months, but on a day like today, you can't help but start thinking about autumn!

I was soaked through to the skin, but still glad I'd ventured out. The dog was pleased too!

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