Showing posts from September, 2017

Ranscombe Farm, Cuxton, Kent - 20/08/17

Ranscombe Farm is a stunning wildflower reserve managed by and for anyone interested in botany it is a place you must visit when you come to Kent. There are numerous rare wildflowers here including orchids, but mostly its arable rare wildflowers that are looked after here. There are meadows, woods, shrubby areas, chalk turf and fields with no herbicides or pesticides, full of flowers. I hadn't been there for some time even though it's only 10 miles away from me so thought it would be interesting to see what I could find. I was hoping to see some Blue Pimpernels, Rough Mallow and perhaps some Ground Pine, though Rough Mallow was the only species that had eluded me so far on that wish list. Here's what I photographed this day. Scarlet Pimpernel always brightens up arable field edges as it did here, no blue ones found though. Anagallis arvensis subsp arvensis f. arvensis A whole field full of Stinking Chamomile (Kitchen Field)

The Final Orchid of 2017 - Littlestone 19/08/17

This will be a very short blog as it's about just one plant, the Autumn Lady's Tresses, a diminutive wild orchid averaging 6-8" tall. It comprises of a single stem or spike with tiny flowers spiralling up it. Beauty in miniature. I usually have a walk to Littlestone Warren (also called Pirate Springs) were a few can be found but I called in at the green down the Avenue at Littlestone (with the canon) where some can usually be found if not mowed. Not only were they numerous on the green but the grass verges of Madeira Road was stuffed full of flowering spikes, a wonderful sight. Spiranthes spiralis   An encouraging footnote is that Shepway Council agreed to not mow Madeira Road verges for a while to let them grow and set seed. Thanks to Owen Leyshon, Romney Marsh Ranger, for liaising with them. No more new UK orchid species to see now until 2018! Take care Dave @Barbus59

Orlestone Forest near Hamstreet, Kent - 16/08/17

There is a lovely walk through this forest on a rectangular track with wide open paths between the trees. It is full of wildflowers and insects. The only down side is that it is also full of dog mess, so much so, you can taste it in the air on a still day. Many of my photos this day were of the insects with a few plants as well. There are rafts of Common Fleabane, Purple Loosestrife, Red Bartsia, Eyebrights, and Scabious, it's a butterfly haven. In early June there are numerous Common Spotted Orchids as well. Brimstones were the most numerous butterfly this day. I had hoped one might be a Clouded Yellow, but I didn't see any. A few years back, the place was full of Clouded Yellows at this time of the year. I'll cheat here and put in photos of some taken here in 2013.  Beautiful aren't they. There are damp loving plants with wet ditches all around the route both sides of the path. Here's a damp loving plant, the graceful