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.


  1. What an amazing blog... I hadn't seen it before but I think I'd like to 'follow'. So glad I happened across your site! Larry

  2. I second interesting, your blog. The orchids are just magnificent and you are so knowledgeable. The photo of the moth on the orchid...lovely! We have orchids in our garden..well actually Epipactis Helleborine sometimes called the Weed orchid. Does seem to be spreading I must say but it is not in the veg garden and I am happy about that.