Visit to Badbury Rings

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.

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Autumn Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis)
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Autumn Gentian (Gentianella amarella) Close-up of Flower

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.

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Autumn Gentian (Gentianella amarella)
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Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)


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Moss Covered Stump
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Looking Up
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Sycamore Seedlings Growing on a Log
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Forest Ride
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Weathered Log
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Weathered Log Patterns
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Backlit Leaves
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View Through High Wood
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Snail on Hogweed Stem
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Pair of Snails
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Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)

Field Gentian & Autumn Ladies Tresses at Wilverley Plain

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.

Autumn Ladies Tresses (Spiranthales spiralis)

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.

Field Gentian (Gentianella campestris) Close-up
Field Gentian (Gentianella campestris)
Field Gentian (Gentianella campestris)

Spiranthes spiralis at Beaulieu Airfield

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.

Spiranthes spiralis doing what it does and showing how it got its Latin name.

Autumn Ladies Tresses at Wilverley Plain

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.

Creeping Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis)
Creeping Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis)
Creeping Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis)

Buckham Fair

Today we went to Martin Clunes’ Buckham Fair just outside of Beaminster.   Here are the best of todays shots.

Welcome to Buckham Fair
Miniature Schnautzer
Classic Cars







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Walk around Bournemouth

Today, we decided to take a trip into Bournemouth to have lunch in Days Restaurant ( 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.

Parish Church of St Peter
The Tomb of Mary Shelley
Autumn Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis)

We then wandered down through the Lower Gardens to the beach.

Backlit Cosmos
Beautiful Cosmos
Colourful Border next to the Crazy Golf in the Lower Gardens
Manda in the Lower Gardens
Picturesque Bridge & Gardens next to Bournemouth Pavilion
Tame Grey Squirrel in the Lower Gardens
Mosaic in Bournemouth Triangle
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Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)

Blackberry Harvest Begins

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.

Blackberry Harvest  (04/08/2014)
Blackberry Harvest