Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nature in close up ... getting inside a dandelion . Windsoredge , Cotswolds May 2012

Please click the pictures once and then a second time to see the full detail on these tiny botanical wonders.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Butterfly Orchids, Buckholt Woods, Cotswolds 27/05/2012

Just a few of these delicate Orchids starting to flower near a clearing in the centre of the woods.
Please click the photos to enlarge and a second time for full quality.

Labels: ,

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tiny Fly Orchids, Cranham Common, Cotswolds 27/05/2012

I don't know how my friend managed to notice these tiny plants amongst the grass peppered with dying cowslips at the centre of Cranham Common. I just couldn't find them a couple of days ago so needed him to take me to the exact spot. They are only about 6 or 7 cm high and the flowers about 1 cm long. 
Even when standing a couple of feet away they are hard to see , they just don't stand out like the pink or purple coloured Orchids do . This is the first time I've seen Fly Orchids in the wild and they are amazing looking things. I'm hoping there are more of them to find but although we searched for a while we couldn't see any more than these two very small specimens .

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Sun sets behind May Hill as viewed from the edge of the Cotswolds 12/05/2012

Please click on the images to make them larger ( a second click for full quality )
On the way back from searching our little part of the Cotswolds for Orchids you couldn't miss this rather splendid sunset highlighting the iconic May Hill and her little clump of trees.


The strange Bird's Nest Orchid , Buckholt Woods, Cranham, Cotswolds 12/05/2012

These splendid but strange Orchids are just starting to poke their heads above ground in Buckholt Woods . They look a little like white asparagus or a strange fungi until the flowers open and even then they look pretty strange. They have no green colour and do not photosynthesise , they feed entirely by digesting a specific fungus that lives on their roots . They must have quite tough stems as we discovered the site by the presence of last years dead plants and seed heads. Please click the pictures twice for full detail and to see their tiny insect friends.

Each bud will open to a small typical Orchid flower but remains the same colour as the rest of the plant.

Last years dead plant showing the empty seed heads.

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Cotswold pursuits , The 2012 Amberley Cow Hunt 05/05/2012

Perched just below Minchinhampton Common with amazing views across the Stroud valleys, the Cotswold village of Amberley with it's lovely collection of ageing stone buildings hosted it's annual cow hunt. Timed to hail the release of the real live cows onto the common each spring it seems the costume cows were really for the kids and the adults were kept happy by an olympic display of homemade cakes.
Please click the photos once and then a second time to view in full size and quality.

Approaching the village from Pinfarthings 

Signing on on the village green in front of the primary school

A classic example of the puns being rolled out for the occasion

A great cow ( maybe the best ? ) and inquisitive kids ...

Amazing backdrop for cow hunters on the trail

Given recent conditions the weather was kind and the rain kept away

This is where the grownups are ...

And this is why ... !!

Face painting ....

Which was amazing ... just one example 
more punnery 

Things turn a tad sinister 

Disturbing ....

Still the good doctor is nearby to help out 

Not a bad setting ..

Kids still enthusiastic on cow number 33

Labels: ,

Friday, May 04, 2012

Green Winged Orchids, Minchinhampton Common, Cotswolds 02/05/2012

Nestling amongst the grass and cowslips on Michinhampton Common , the purple spikes of the wonderful, tiny, Green Winged Orchid are easily mistaken by most people for the more common Early Purple Orchid.
These were in a rather larger colony than the Early Purples seem to be this year but restricted to a smaller area of the Common. Again battered by wind and rain in their exposed position but it was possible to get up close with the camera where you can see the differences in the tiny flowers between the two species.

Labels: ,