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Showing posts from May, 2018

Chiltern Orchids

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Saturday 19th May 2018


On royal wedding day, I left Mrs M watching the telly and headed off east for the day. My first stop was Hartslock near Goring-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. The Monkey Orchids were looking fantastic, and I counted getting on for 20. The single Lady Orchid was past its prime, but two or three flowers recalled its full beauty. The most numerous by far are the Lady x Monkey hybrids, tall vigorous plants numbering around a hundred give or take. Some of the Pasqueflowers  were still in flower, some still in bud even - I was expecting them to have all gone to seed by now. Butterflies on the wing included Grizzled Skippers, Dingy Skippers, Green Hairstreakes, Orange-tips, Green-veined Whites, Small Whites and Brimstones. Also a Common Carpet moth. This is a beautiful reserve, affording wonderful views of the Thames and surrounding landscape. I also stumbled across George Michael's house in the village, complete with a plethora of tributes. I wonder if George was aware …

Cotswold Orchids and a Garden Hobby

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Monday 7th - Tuesday 15th May 2018


Recently I have caught up with Fly Orchids and Sword-leaved Helleborines in the Cotswolds, the latter being a threatened and particularly scarce species in the UK. I have only previously seen Sword-leaved Helleborine, also known as Narrow-leaved Helleborine, in Switzerland, where it more common. Fly Orchid, a close relative of the Bee Orchid, are more widespread but with a localised distribution and not one I have seen before. Both are exquisitely beautiful and very special plants.





On 7th I had a Hobby fly over the garden and managed a couple of hurried record shots of this garden tick. A Coal Tit was a surprise garden visitor on 15th as I haven't seen one in the garden since the early spring.