We spent today at the Great Dorset Steam Fair in Tarrant Hinton, and despite the dire weather predictions it turned out to be a fantastic day. Hare are the best of today’s shots.
Manda got nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge, and here is the video.
Unfortunately, I can’t work out how to increase my file size upload limit, so I can only post a link here.
Hope you enjoy it.
Today is probably just about my last orchid hunting trip of the season as Autumn Ladies Tresses are the last orchid species to flower in the UK, so today I visited Badbury Rings to find Autumn Ladies Tresses and Autumn Gentians.
The Autumn Ladies Tresses were easy to find along the outside edge of the middle ring, whereas the Autumn Gentians took a little more searching for as they are really quite small.
Tonight, I re-visited Wilverley Plain after being given the heads up that the Field Gentians (Gentianella campestris) were in flower. I’d missed these on my first visit as I hadn’t been in quite the right place.
This time I approached from the A35 side of Wilverley Plain and found the Field Gentians at the edge of the lawn just about where the heather starts to come in (thanks for the heads up Chris).
Here are the best of tonights photos.
As far as I can see, the Field Gentian is very similar to the Autumn Gentian (Gentianella amarella) with the exception that the latter tends to be found on dry calcareous grasslands, which Wilverley Plain is most definitely not. I am sure that there are other, more subtle physical differences between the two species, I have to confess that I’m not a good enough botanist to know what they are.
After my success at Wilverley Plain a couple of days ago, I thought that I’d try to fins Autumn Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) at the old Beaulieu Airfield.
There were plenty of spikes about, but nowhere the number that were at Wilverley Plain. At Beaulieu, they can be found on the old runways, which now comprise strips of short grazed turf, a habitat which is typical for this species.
Here are the best shots from today.
I’ve been waiting to visit this site to see the Autumn Ladies Tresses (Sprianthes spiralis) since I was told about it by a friend right at the start of the orchid season (thanks Ian).
The short turf of the forest lawn at this site must be ideal for these beautiful orchids as there were literally thousands of flower spikes, many still in bud, but a good proportion were in full flower, although the best specimens took a bit of searching out.
Here are todays best shots.
Today, we decided to take a trip into Bournemouth to have lunch in Days Restaurant (http://www.daysrestaurant.com/our-branches/bournemouth) before having a bit of a wander around the town, which considering we live so close to, we seldom actually go into, which is a bit of a shame.
We had lunch and then firstly visited The Parish Church of St Peter where Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, was buried. Much to my surprise, we found some Autumn Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) just coming into flower, and in the centre of Bournemouth too.
We then wandered down through the Lower Gardens to the beach.
I have to confess that although I love blackberries, I really loathe harvesting them, as they’re spiteful buggers and no matter how careful you are you always end up getting spiked.
However, I have to confess that this is the second trug full that I’ve picked this year, and its worth all the pain.
Just look at the harvest below.