Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Still holding on

Tues. 11th May 2010
        I'ts been cold again for this time of year just 8c after a frost earlier this morning. This afternoon we took a short walk upto my secret Early Purple Orchid site in a fairly remote location in one of our moorland pennine valleys about 3 miles from our home.I've known this site for over 40 years and I  always check on it around this time to see  if the colony is still holding on. This year it has done better  with 26 flower spikes and several new young plants developing.The site suffers both from sheep and roe deer trampling on the site when they take shelter from the weather under the thicket. This is a site that I wouldn't expect to exsist in this manly sandstone area and acid type vegetation, but in the olden days there were some limestone hushings further up the valley where workers using torrents of water washed out the limestone in the glacial deposite. Therefore there must be areas in this valley with enough lime to allow the orchids to gain a foot hold and hold their own.

Pennine valley... wild unproductive countryside

                 This unpromising site is where the little gems grow

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