Sunday, 25 May 2008

Wild Orchids

The orchids in this picture are Green-winged orchids. These are still considered common in the southern half of the UK and in Europe but I've never seen one until today. Their numbers are in decline as their favoured habitat is described as agriculturally unimproved grassland and over the last few decades much of this habitat has been lost through ploughing and reseeding or through fertiliser use.

I knew that they grew in a small nature reserve near to home but had never visited at the right time of year. Today the rest of the family were all busy so I escaped on my own for a couple of hours to see if I could locate them. My book of local walks described thousands of orchids which was a bit optimistic, there were probably about 200, but it was still worth searching them out.

The flowers were very beautiful in a range of purples from very pale to quite dark. Apparently there are occasionally white ones but I didn't see any of those.
There was nobody else visiting this afternoon so I spent a very quiet peaceful time photographing the orchids. On returning home, I read a bit more about the nature reserve and learnt that it is the home to some unusually dark coloured adders, I'm glad I didn't come across them while I was there.


nĂ  said...

that sounds like a blissful afternoon. calm, nature, camera. nice! the orchids are lovely! and much nicer than adders too!

the flour loft said...

how lovely to have found these so close to home and so many of them. i am so pleased you didn't find any adders though.
ginny x

Heather said...

the orchids are beautiful! How wonderful that you found some. I am having so much fun finding as many wildflowers as we can in our woods -- and learning their names.