Friday 24 August 2018

Autumn Lady's Tresses

Autumn Lady's Tresses are normally the last orchid of the season for me and a visit to Anchor Bottom in late August usually brings a reward. It's nice to get them early so that the blooms are fresh as It doesn't take long before the lowest flowers are going brown. So Martin and I paid a visit nearly a fortnight ago and we were way too early - not a sign of a single one. Also, the earth was parched and the grassy slopes had a crunchy feeling underfoot. I wasn't confident that it would be a good year for them. How wrong can you be. I returned today to find hundreds, probably thousands, in bloom. Stretching all the way from the gate at Five Ways down to Dacre Gardens. The recent rains had turned Anchor Bottom green again and the orchids had responded,

Living up to its name  - Spiranthes spiralis

Huge numbers this year

Plenty of butterflies on the wing, the electric blue of the Adonis Blues still in evidence. A single Chalk Hill Blue was trying to interrupt a pair of ABs that were ensuring the colony would thrive next year. Small Heaths, Meadow Browns and Whites made up the supporting cast.