Orlestone Forest, Kent - 03/11/18

I've blogged about this venue before but in Summer when wildflowers were abundant along with a myriad of butterflies, dragonflies, bees and so on. This visit was in early November, and although relatively mild, the shorter days and colder nights had put much of nature to sleep until the spring. As such, I photographed anything I found of interest and not just plants in flower.

A few Common Knapweeds demanded my attention; their intense purple/pink colours strikingly bright against the dull autumn backdrop of dead grasses.

Centaurea nigra agg.

Underneath these flowers is also definitely interesting. The bracts look rather like eyeashes or combs.

Hemp Agrimony still looks very interesting although it's now in seed. These fluffy seed heads were a mass of tiny pink flowers a month ago.

Eupatorium cannabinum

A few Devil's Bit Scabious were still evident.

Succisa pratensis

The few flowers attract the even fewer pollintors. Here's what looked like a greenbottle fly except if was far too small and not "brassy" enough to be one.

All three common thistles were present and flowering. I photographed two of them.

Cirsium palustre
Marsh Thistle

Cirsium vulgare
Spear Thistle

It's that short time of the year when Herb Robert is hard to find in flower. This small plant still manages to shine without flowers as sometimes the leaves turn a deep red colour in the autumn.

Geraniun robertianum

A scruffy Bramble (Blackberry) flower along a woodland path.

 Rubus fruticosus agg

Common Ragwort continues to flower well into the winter if not too frosty!
Senecio jacobaea

In the Spring and Summer, Silverweed leaves are bright green but catch the light and look silver coloured due to the many hairs on them. As the leaves age, some of them turn shades of red. Why this happens I don't know, only a few leaves on these plants seem to do this. 

Potentilla anserina

 More woodland path views

Any colour catches the eye in November and this Red Clover did just that. Made up of a multitude of tiny pink flowers, bees and hoverflies like these flowers very much. 

Trifolium pratense

The final plant was a late flowering Bush Vetch.

Vicia sepium
 A summary of some of the above!

 I hope you enjoyed the blog. Even late in the year there's always something to see.



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