I had a very good couple of days last weekend. On Friday I saw some lovely (if rather 'turbo-charged' in the hot sun) Heath Fritillaries
at a Butterfly Conservation reserve in Devon and on Sunday morning a new orchid for me, not actually a named species but a very rare hybrid between Bee Orchid
and Fly Orchid
. I got up very early for this as it is on the side of the A303 (a very fast and busy road at the best of times) somewhere in Somerset. It is, as far as I'm aware, the only site that this hybrid grows in the UK. I left home at 5am and had seen it, lived to tell the tale, and arrived back by 8am. Stunning plants well worth the effort!
It's taken me until today to post my photos because I've had a very busy week after my car was broken into on Monday while I was checking on the Marsh Fritillaries
. I still haven't fixed the door yet as I'm hoping a friend can do it this weekend. I'm quite eager to avoid taking it to the dealer where something tells me I'll get ripped off! That's all I need after being robbed once already! I've had to replace all my cards and driving licence as the **** stole my purse. It's probably in a ditch somewhere as they were obviously only after cash, because my scope was in the boot and they left it there, which was an immense relief!
The Marsh Fritillary
situation isn't looking that good at the moment, as instead of numbers increasing they appear to have simply dispersed from the site and no more have emerged. I'm starting to think they may have been an unlicensed release. Time will tell though as I've not been able to check them since Tuesday because of the poor weather.
A very obviously egg-laden female.
The only open winged shot that I managed. They were very active and when they did stop to rest or feed they did so with wings closed due to the high temperature. It allowed for some nice underside shots though...
This male has only got three functioning wings.
You can see the stunted one here. It just hasn't expanded at all.
It didn't stop him flying though.
Two males vying for the attentions of a female.
A nice plant growing on the site was this Bastard Balm
Fly x Bee Orchid
Parent one, Bee Orchid.
Parent two, Fly Orchid.
Fly x Bee Orchid
It's easy to see characteristic features of both parent plants.
Is it just me or does this flower look like an evil purple teddy bear with an elaborate horned helmet on? Yes, alright, it's just me...I'll go and take my medication now.....