2016: the year of spaciousness

Because there's more to life than work

Wild flower bonanza

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As the heatwave is forecast to be followed by some rather sharp showers next few days, we thought we’d take advantage of the slightly cooler conditions to have a walk down to the dunes – last weekend it was just too hot to do anything but sit in the shade. It was amazing to see the changes in just the last few weeks since we were there. IMG_1678The hot weather’s really brought the flowers out in their thousands, and I’ve never seen so many butterflies – the air was thick with them.

IMG_1681You can understand why when you see the variety of flowers, it must be like visiting a gourmet restaurant for them. The whole place is just teeming with wildlife:

IMG_1676All the ragwort plants were covered in cinnabar moth caterpillars. We saw lots of cinnabar moths last time we were down here, but not as many today although there clearly isn’t going to be any future shortage! There were also quite a few of these beautiful striped snails:

IMG_1685But the real stars of the day were again the wild orchids. I was delighted to see more of the pyramidal orchids which were just starting to go over…

IMG_1683…unlike the Marsh Helleborine Orchids which were flowering profusely. I’d never seen these before and had to check their identity when I got home, but am pretty sure that’s what they are.

IMG_1687

IMG_1689I was excited enough at seeing these, but then on the last stretch back to the car, spotted just one of these growing in what had been a small tarn earlier in the year:

IMG_1694Again, have never seen one of these before and think it’s a Green-flowered Helleborine Orchid rather than a marsh one – quite tall, nearly a foot in size.

IMG_1696Such a treat to see these beautiful, rare plants so near to home. We walked about four miles altogether and hardly saw a soul. A few hundred yards away the beach was crowded with day trippers, cars, ice cream vans and all the noise of a weekend seaside town, but we could have been a million miles away. Just flowers, butterflies, swooping martins and the sea in the distance. Perfect Sunday afternoon.

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