Wild orchids emerging, though sadly not abundant

Late yesterday afternoon I ventured from Hangmoor Hill down into Folly Bog.

I did find some Heath Spottted Orchids alongside the heathland track on Hangmoor hill, though in far less abundant numbers than in previous years. Also, those that I saw were far less vigourous in their growth than those that I’ve seen at this time of the year in the past.

Must say that the bog isn’t as boggy as it has been in the past, and so I got deep into the bog. Obviously, standing in one spot for too long means sinking into the bog. Also, as cattle have trampled the area, creating humps and hollows makes it difficult to negotiate. – a soggy shoe resulted.

Enough about the bog.¬†On a more positive note, I did find emerging Early Marsh Orchids in Folly Bog. Again, not as abundant or as vigourous as in previous years. Here are my phone camera images, not geat photos I have to admit, at least they’re a record.


Searching for the elusive wild orchids in our local heathland

Yesterday I went searching for the first signs of wild orchids in the local heathland and bogs.

I had limited success. I’d expected Heath Spotted Orchids to show strongly by now, as it flowers through June and July. Sadly not so.

Since last spring and summer, the verges of the heatland track have been scraped. That scraping also caused a lot of vegetation to end up in the ditch on one side of the track on Hangmoor Hill and approaching Folly Bog, where they are to be found. Perhaps that’s the reason for the paucity of examples. I’m sure that the spectacular Bee Orchid I saw alongside the track has been scraped out of existence.

Down in the boggy area of Folly Bog I found just just one example of the Early Marsh Orchid. I thought I’d found another, but it was so small I struggled to identify it as an orchid. Below are my two photos. To be absolutely certain of my identification I’m going to print the relevant parts of A Beginner’s Guide to Orchids of the British Isles, along with some measuring tools, and a magnifying glass to assist in identification.

I hope not to tread or kneel in dog poo, or be assailed by an inconsiderate mountain biker.

Grrrrr, dog poo and aggressive mountain bikers on the heathland

The heathland surrounding Lightwater is a shared resource for us all to enjoy.

Not all users respect the enjoyment of the rest of us. On a heathland walk yesterday to espy the arrival of wild orchids, I naturally wandered on the heathland track and into the heathland in Folly Bog and Hangmoor Hill in search for the little beauties.

What did I experience, sadly, plently of dog poo, and an onrushing mountain biker. Dog walkers, having picked up their dog poo, dump it in a bag by a gate into the heathland, thinking it’s then somebody else’s responsibility. No it’s not. Why do this dog walkers? Having carried it to the edge of the heathland, all you have to do is carry it home and put it into your grey recycling bin. Job done.

As for mountain bikers, with whom we share the heathland track. For goodness sake, when you’re hurtling down the track, at least give warning via a bell, shout, or whatever. You’re simply selfish, arrogant, and aggressive disregarders of others.

Things I notice on my heathland walks

I think I’m an observant chap, though not generally of what people say, because of my dodgy hearing.

I observed something missing in the heathland this week. On my regular heathland walks I’ve places where I stop and look around. It may be the site where fungi are prevalent, or where wild orchids can be seen, or it may just be the view, or it may be the junk left behind from military occupation – not the explosive kind I hasten to add.

What did I notice was missing? A rusted axle from a small vehicle that has lain in among a clump of birch trees for many years to my recollection. Now it’s no longer there. Who has taken it and why? It not the sort of thing you casually pick up.