For years I have walked through the woods around here hoping to see a wild orchid, this weekend I was very lucky and that moment arrived. These beautiful orchids were in woodland very near the airport, I almost missed them as they were within a sea of fading bluebells, their flowers so tiny, but their distinct spotty leaves and their delicate spikes of beauty were unmistakable, small and delicate in their perfect beauty.
fuzzy photos from my phone. When I walked back the same way to take another picture a few hours later, the flowers had already begun to fade and wilt in the dappled sunshine. Short lived beauty. But now I know where they are I can come back every year to see them :)
On May Day I remembered that my mother always celebrated this time of year with bunches of violets, we never see them here any more, although they grow wild in the woods and there are a few in my garden.
This is a picture from about 5 years ago, picked in the woods here, it would be hard to find this many in 2017... an indication that things are changing in nature and a reminder of how important it is to protect wild flowers in their natural habitat. I have learned over the years not to be tempted to pick flowers like this, they have delicate root systems that can easily be damaged, they also don't survive in houses, wilting within hours of picking, my grandmother never allowed cut wild flowers of any sort indoors as she believed fairies lived in them, I am inclined to agree... with age comes wisdom. . I feel more responsible for my footprint on this planet these days.
Fly agaric. Last seen here about 3 years ago, one of my most favourite finds... not so often seen here now. They grow in the same place year after year so if disturbed then a small and beautiful sighting could be lost forever. As they like beech and pine wood as a habitat, the woods behind me are a good place to search in Autumn, but there have been none the last few years, I am always on the look out.
Winters like this are a rare event in the UK now too, an indication of our changing climate. We still reminisce about this Winter as, apart from the beauty of it all, there was a wonderful quiet in the woods, the snow didn't just blanket the earth, it blanketed sound, all that could be heard were the birds, and then they stopped to listen too.
Here are some more snaps of the things I saw on my 'orchid walk' yesterday....
cowslips - hardly ever seen around here, I was surprised to see so many in one place.
and the last of the bluebells are dying off, a whole year to wait before we can enjoy them again. still beautiful in faded glory.
My library book this week is Chris Packham, Fingers in the Sparke Jar ... if you are in the UK and watch Springwatch, you will know him as a wildlife expert. The book is all about his amazing childhood, a boy who seems to be on the autistic spectrum (we have people wearing that badge in this family). After much research and planning he finds a nest and helps himself to a fledgling bird of prey and rears it, his journey and its detail is brilliant.... he tells all about how his fascination with the natural world he has encountered or sought out has shaped his future. This is a book worthy of a film, I hope you get a chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I have.
I am off for a holiday in the sun with hubby, our first overseas holiday together for 23 years! Our boys will be looking after our house and Amber cat whilst they revise for college and university final exams. I will be back soon. It was nice to chat with you, maybe you will leave a comment so I know you passed by this little corner of the World.