Monday, 10 June 2013

Orchid Spotting, or is it Spotty Orchids?

And so, here again is Monday, and after a stunningly beautiful weekend where, yet again, 'Husband' and I were gallivanting around the Hampshire countryside, enjoying another hike in the great outdoors. Picnic lunches are something that people just don't seem to do anymore unless it is some sort of organised charity or festival day. Either that, or it will be a few warm,  curly sandwiches in the car park before driving home. We used to do them all the time, and I remember as a child, long woodland walks, pond dipping and picnics where we cooled bottles of homemade lemonade in a nearby stream while we tucked into Mum's delicious quiche. Well, this weekend, I decided to get the tradition going again in our household, and when I do a picnic, it's a full on affair. Green salad, Caesar pasta salad and fresh mozzarella with sun-dried tomatoes and basil made for a Mediterranean feel while good old fashioned sausage rolls and scotch eggs kept 'Husband' happy. And to finish, a fresh fruit salad washed down with delicious elderflower presse, yummy. 
 
And of course, we came across lots of interesting floral finds.
 
Now here is something I didn't expect to find on chalk downland,
a Heath Spotted Orchid, or as a friend suggests,
a Common Spotted Orchid.
More usually found on moors, heaths and bogs,
these native orchids have found a happy home on chalk.
On the Downs, there are a few orchids to spot,
but this was our only sighting.

 
Preferring a sunny but damp position, these bright yellow iris
grow in great swathes and self seed.
 

And closer to home.
Not entirely sure what this is, I think it may have seeded
itself from a nearby garden.
 

On the work front, I have had to admit defeat on the search for the Yellow Wort. I know it's out there somewhere but do you think I can find it, oh no. Let's be honest though, the wildflowers have had a bit of a hard time with our dreadful spring so I can't blame them for being a bit behind. Of course, I to let the alphabet project organisers from ISBA know of my miserable failure. Thankfully, Mary Dillon is a real trouper and rallied to the cause extremely successfully with a couple of alternatives. Thankfully, one of the options is so abundant, I am almost having to use a machete to clear the garden of it. Oh yes, it's bramble time again. Well, I quite like painting brambles so there should be fun times ahead. Oh, and the Calla Lily study is off the starting blocks.

Early days of the Calla Lily.
 

2 comments:

Claire said...

Hi Jarnie, I'm pretty sure that that orchid is a common spotted one, not a Heath. It's my plant for the ISBA alphabet too and I can't find any here!! Can only find Heath spotted orchids where I am. I should come down to the downs!!

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

See what I mean Claire, far too many spotty orchids. I am on good old brambles for ISBA now. finding these plants has been so much harder than I thought it would be.