There is always a little owl for us to stop and watch on our way home.
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Friday, June 15, 2018
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
This was Simon's orchid find of a lifetime. How he spotted this in the overgrown meadow I will never know, but it has gone straight into the number one spot of our orchid big year. It took us the best part of an hour to find this reserve with Google maps taking us to someone's house. We didn't have a clue where we were so had no choice but to knock and seems like that is what everyone else does! Directions were soon given and off we went only to go wrong and have to drive round the villages a second time but we soon had the entrance track located but then couldn't find the car park ! Yes, it really is that difficult to find, we are not exaggerating.
After finally finding a gate and somewhere to abandon the car, we were on our way with eyes peeled. The whole site appeared to be woodland and all the reports we had read says 'fly orchids are in the grassy meadow' but with no map and no interpretive board.....where was the meadow ?! We walked and walked until we could see blue sky and a definate clearing so headed that way. Yes, a meadow appeared but it was so overgrown and it became like looking for a needle in a haystack. Karen was getting despondent as she was hot, bitten and hadn't brought a drink from the car with her. Lots of common spotted orchids were seen and we looked and looked for the fly but we were feeling defeated. Then I heard Simon hooping and cheering and I knew he had found one. BINGO ! It hadn't been trampled round and gardened so clearly hadn't been photographed. Infact we found very little signs of trampling which can sometimes be very welcome when searching.
The orchid was far smaller than Karen thought, it looked like a fly and was the same size as a small fly. We were so pleased, ecstatically happy, our rarest UK orchid so far and self found which gives an extra buzz. Despite searching around that area, this was the only spike we found. It was past it's prime, perhaps only lasting another day, so next year when we go it will be a couple of weeks earlier.
But what we did find was this.......clearly an orchid had been dug and removed. It wasn't near the spike that we found but this area had obviously been trampled, that was the giveaway. So sad that people have to collect orchids, ruining it for everyone else, a selfish thing to do, and also illegal. This is one of the reasons why we haven't put any locations on our orchids.
Fragrant Orchid - a new orchid for us today in glorious sunshine
A few man orchids also at this site along with bee, pyramidal and common spotted
A fantastic site that was literally covered in wild flowers, one that we will definately visit again