This morning, I got up early and visited a nature reserve in Somerset to hunt for Lizard Orchids (Himantoglossum hircinum), which I have wanted to see since I was about 15, but to date have never managed to be in the right place at the right time.
This year, I finally did it with some assistance from Lizard Orchid, thanks again Brian.
Here are the best shots.
The site was absolutely covered in Common Broomrape (Orobanche minor).
I was lucky to find quite a few Lizard Orchids (Himantoglossum hir cinum)
I have to confess that after looking at the MetOffice website, I was a bit gloomy about today, as the weather forecast suggested a real humdinger of a day. However, at the first sign of lasting sunshine, I was off to Badbury Rings like greased lightning.
Badbury Rings did not disappoint, it was absolutely alive with orchids today, and I met several people who pointed me in the direction of where Frog Orchids could be found. As I expected, I was too early for Frog Orchids, but now know where to look for them, so I’ll be back in a few weeks time to try again.
This year seems to have been a very good year for Greater Butterfly Orchids (Platanthera chlorantha) .
I was quite pleased to find a large number of Bee Orchids (Ophrys apifera) in full flower, as well as a lot of spikes still in bud.
There were plenty of Bee Orchids to choose from.
However, this Bee Orchid was by far the most impressive of all the ones I saw today.
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) – Close-up of Flower
There were a few Common Fragrant Orchids (Gymnadenia conopsea) in flower, but not all that many, here is one.
The whole site was covered in Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), and there were quite a few obliging Six Spot Burnet Moths (Zygaena filipendulae) and not so obliging Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) and Small Blue (Cupido minimus).