Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A little more culture

Tuesday 17th July 2012
             We're just back from 10 days in East Anglia and because of the unsettled weather we've visited the city of Cambridge for 3 days our first ever visit to this University City, enjoying the atmosphere around the well known sites. We stayed on the Cherry Hinton Caravan Club Site in an old limestone/chalk quarry, a site of scientific interest on the outskirts of Cambridge so we were never far from the  countryside that surrounded the site.

The old quarry adjacent to the caravan site, it has become a natural wild flower reserve.

                                             Wild Thyme

                                       Birdsfoot Trefoil

                                          King's College

                                   King's College Chapel

                        Just a few of the cities 35 thousand bikes

                      We couldn't help smiling at this street busker

                                   Punting on the River Cam

                              Cambridge University Botanic Garden

In a wild corner of the gardens a small stand of wild Southern Marsh Orchids

Moving on now to the north coast of Norfolk....

                                   Wells Next The Sea

                                 The beach and beach huts

In an old flower meadow along the back of the beach 100's of wild orchids, an absolute dream for any orchid enthusiast.

                                    Common Spotted Orchid

Marsh Orchid Hybrids ( crosses with either Southern or Northern Marsh Orchids very difficult to identify)

I'd like to think we've found the rare Pugley's Marsh Orchid, it grows in Norfolk, it's a loose flowering orchid with not many flowers usually 5 to 14 and they generally grow more on one side of the flower stalk but it's a bit late in the season to be still in flower.

                   A beautifully marked small Common Spotted Orchid

                          Another Orchid...... The Marsh Helleborine

              Marsh Helleborines and white Common Spotted Orchids

                  The length of these orchid spikes.... 5 to 6 inches

                       The coastal village of Burnham Overy Staithe

                        WIld flowers on the coastal sea defences

        More Marsh Helleborine on theHolkham National Nature Reserve

                       Henbane..... a flower I've never seen before

The wild unspoilt Holtam Beach in North Norfolk, I love these wide horizons

Morston Key...... the starting point for the sail out to Blakeney National Nature Reserve for the Seals and Tern colonies

I like the loose style of this landscape artist.... using the Newton & Windsor artist colours

Landing away from the seal & tern colony we had around one hour to explore the landscape on the nature reserve

                                     The old lifeboat station

Our Boatman had another very talented skill, he had just finished on the previous night a wonderful carving of a seal  using a chainsaw, then polished and varnished it to make it a very attractive focal point on the quayside

And finally near to the village of Blakeney.........a small notice about a bonanza of Bee Orchids that had sprung up in the local meadow, pity they were well past their best.

And now for an update and a few observations back home on our local wild orchids. At this mornings count I have 91 Common Spotted Orchids growing in my back garden Up in the field at the side of our house a colony of Common Spotted Orchids are growing on the local bonfire site.

                 Around the bonfire site the Common Spotted Orchids

Up in the field the colony of Southern Marsh Orchids are thriving, they arrived about 3 years ago and are now hybridizing with the Common Spotted Orchids

On the local industrial estate in Burnley there's been a good show of Common Spotted Orchids on the grassy areas surrounding the industrial units The companies have been made aware of the orchids and don't mow the grass until early September to allow the seed to disperse.

After searching along the sparse grassy verges we found one solitary Bee Orchid well past it's best

Finally I've noticed on the industrial site that the lips on some of the Common Spotted Orchids have developed a different shape (much narrower and they've lost their 3 wedge shaped lobes) that are usually easy to identify ,so perhaps these orchids are a slight mutation.

               The normal 3 lobed lip of the Common Spotted Orchid

             The much narrower lip, the 2 side lobes are greatly reduced.


  1. Your post was wonderful, as usual. I especially enjoyed going down memory lane to Cambridge...such a special place to us.

  2. I think this is the year of the orchid, they are every where.