Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Some uncommon finds

Wed. 27th July 2011
          In our never ending pursuit of combing our local countryside for our local flora we've come upon some unusual  and uncommon flowers.
  Firstly I've visited a new colony of Broad- Leaved Helleborines in the Calder Valley near to my home after being informed by a friend and naturalist.

And a little further afield around Malham Tarn a couple of flowers that I wasn't sure of, but I've identified them  later off the Interet.

                                             Malham Tarn

                                               Great Burnet

There are 2 similar summer flowering gentians in our area  the Autumn  & Field Gentian this is the Field Gentian because of it's 4 lobed flowers.

                          A late flowering Birds-eye primrose

                                           Mossy Saxifrage

This was a bit of a puzzle but after going on the Internet I identified it as Self- heal but it was classed as a Sport a type of mutation because of the white flowers.

                                        Bog Asphodel

                           A late flowering Northern Marsh Orchid

And finally one of my favourites.....Grass of Parnassus growing in Malham Tarn mire

Monday, 25 July 2011

We do appreciate our scenery

Sunday 24th July 2011
        We are very lucky  living up here in the north of England because we are surrounded by many beautiful  unspoilt  landscapes. Today is a perfect day, not too warm but sunny with good visibility, perfect weather to appreciate this scenery which is almost on our doorstep.  Our walk with our friends is a circular walk of about 10 miles starting and finishing in the village of Clapham in the south of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Trow Gill, this dry valley was a raging torrent at the end of the last ice age when the glaciers were melting on the slopes of Ingleborough. high above this gorge.

From the top of Trow Gill we head right in the direction of Pen-y-ghent

                                       On the top of Long Scar

The limestone Plateau could be compared to a desert landscape but the grikes in the limestone hold many rare plants if you have the time to search.

We follow the edge of the plateau around the edge of Crummock Dale as far as Sulber gate and stop for a late lunch break before descending onto the limestone plateau.

                          Picture taken last year in the same area

Leaving the lime stone pavement and heading down into Crummock Dale with our local Pendle hill in the distance

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Down a flowery lane

   Sat. 23rd July 2011
             Another walk around Feizor wood near to the village of Austwick  for some late orchids,  but absolutely  nothing,  this is definitely a spring- time wood and the only orchid that seems to grow there is the Early Purple Orchid of which there are hundreds.The end of the walk improved with a lovely show of summer flowers down a very pleasant flowery lane.

                               Austwick from Feizor wood

                             A few nice drifts of Betony

             Through the trees the unmistakable shape of Pen-y-Ghent

                 Down amongst the Meadowsweet on the flowery lane

There were also plenty of the beautiful Giant Bellflower and Meadow Crane's-bill to add to the overall picture

                                             Giant Bellflower

                                        Meadow Crane's-bill


Sunday, 17 July 2011

A New Water Feature

  Sunday  17th July 2011
                               Today is cool and wet, a complete contrast to last Sat. when I filmed the latest pond installation in a garden in the heart of the Trough of Bowland. This was another pond built by my son and his gardening team, as it becomes established I'm sure it will attract a lot of wildlife into the garden.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

A great year for our wild orchids

Friday 15th July 2011.
                          Over the past few days the weather as been dry and often sunny and our wild orchid season has just peaked, from now on the orchids will be setting seed and the magic of finding these fascinating flowers in expected and unexpected locations will soon be over for another year.
        Firstly a quick look around my wild life garden and the local fields near to our house.

          All the orchids around my pond  are common spotted orchids

Up the lane around the bonfire site a new colony of Common Spotted Orchids has appeared this year

Another new site in rough pasture that hasn't been mowed for several years

And the colony of South Marsh orchids that appeared in the field adjacent to our house last year has some fine flower spikes.

We returned to the Upper valley of  Ribblesdale to some of the high limestone pastures and to our surprise the grassland between the Clints & Grikes was dotted with the tiny Frog Orchid we gave over counting after the first 100 spikes.


Frog Orchids in the beautiful setting of the Upper Ribblesdale, with Pen-y- ghent one of the famous three peaks in the background

Moving on again to the pastures and old quarries around Ribblehead

High grassland around Ribblehead with Whernside in the background ,the highest of the Three Peaks

                     A lovely group of Common Spotted Orchids

                                          Twayblade Orchid

 In the quarry a Hybrid between a Marsh Orchid & Common Spotted Orchid

In the wetter areas of the quarry the first of several Marsh Helleborines

And now our unexpected find of the day ... a Pyramidal Orchid in my view way off the beaten track up at Ribblehead, I have only found it growing on the coast up here in Northern England.

                                        Pyramidal Orchid

                   Six-Spot Burnet moth on Common Spotted Orchid

 In our never ending search for the Dark Red Helleborine our final location of the day... the Clints & Grikes
around Ingleborough we've failed to find it again this year but we were rewarded with some fine Fragrant Orchids.

                You can't afford to look up whilst walking in this terrain

                 Fragrant Orchids growing amongst the Clints & Grikes

And finally,,,, another small colony of Frog Orchids growing beside the path up to Ingleborough this is another new location for us.

Click on the photo to enlarge it and see if you can spot the tiny Frog Orchid, they're very difficult to spot until you get your eye in.