Saturday 15 June 2013

A potter around the grass

Been for a wander round our long grass to see how our orchids are doing. Apart from the patch of Early Purples Niall unexpectedly found this April we have always had the odd Lizard and one sole Bee orchid.

'Our' Bee orchid
This year behind the old swing frame where we hang the hammock chair I've just counted 14 Lizard flower spikes; last year there were about 3. No doubt in amidst the long grass there are other juvenile rosettes which won't flower this year. Lizard orchids are supposed to emit a pungent smell -- ours obviously failed that class on how to be a good orchid as they don't. They're in shady places; we also have 2 'old faithfuls' under our Linden tree and all are just on the point of flowering. Give it a day or two and the first ribbons will appear. I like them, but they are a 'messy' flower.
Pretty but small: compare it to the canes
Our Bee orchid, after being indadvertently chopped down by the mower last year, has come back better and stronger. In our defence it is very small and though we knew its location we just didn't see it quickly enough when trundling along on the mower. This year's flower spike looks to have at least 4 if not 5 flowers and the first is open! It is still our only example and I do wish we had more as I think it is one of the prettiest orchids you can find around here. You can see how small it is when compared to the stakes we set round it this spring to protect it.

Taking photos with crutches is a bit of a challenge, but just being able to potter about and photograph what catches my eye is great fun. Snapped this butterfly which obligingly sat still at my feet while I sorted crutches and camera. Then I used Susan & Simon's excellent information blog: Loire Valley Nature to find out what its name was.
Black veined white [Le Gazé in French] butterfly


the fly in the web said...

Crutches and camera....I'd have been base over apex trying that!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly - well it did require some nifty moves ;-)

Vera said...

Lovely camera work. Makes me think that I really ought to update the camera I use!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Vera - thanks :-) it would have been better if I'd been able to get down on my knees -- should be possible again by next week.

Perpetua said...

If you can manage those images with crutches, there'll be no holding you once you can move around normally. :-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - merci :-) but I do have a very nice camera which compensates for lack in skills.

rusty duck said...

Your bee orchid is beautiful.
Wish we had something interesting in the long grass. Other than the stingy and spiky things, waiting to catch me out.
Great hip progress too :-)

MorningAJ said...

I can't imagine needing crutches. I think I'd have to give up on the camera if I did.

Well done on the orchid count. And thanks for the iris advice. I'll give it a go.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Rusty Duck - we don't really have what you'd call grass; it is simply green and it gets cut by the mower :-)

Hip is making very good progress :-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@AJ - well thankfully it is only temporary for me. But agree it can't be easy for those who need them full time.