With summer in full swing, there has been lots to enjoy on the local patch including a fantastic array of plants and insects.
A quick account of a fruitful few days spend admiring orchids in Newcastle, featuring Bee Orchids, helleborines and more!
Not only are brownfield sites phenomenal for wildlife but offer a rare look at what would happen if nature was permitted to reclaim larger tracts of our towns and cities.
Bee Orchids (Ophrys apifera) are like hen’s teeth in the North East. Sure, they’re fairly reliable at a few more calcareous sites in the near area (Silverlink, in particular) but by large, pop up sporadically in odd places. In any given year, I tend to only encounter a few away from my usual haunts –Continue reading “Bee Orchids at B&Q”
Few wildflowers capture the imagination quite like our orchids. They’re beautiful, of course, but also sufficiently scarce to provide a little jolt of excitement whenever you happen across one. They are also the only group of plants – to the best of my knowledge – that manages to unite all natural history enthusiasts, whether theyContinue reading “Chasing Urban Orchids”
Orchids capture the popular imagination to a far greater extent than any other group of plants. Indeed, birders, entomologists, mammal-watchers – those who would never, under normal circumstances, label themselves a botanist – often find themselves weak and the knees and enraptured by their blooms. Perhaps this is due to visual appeal – orchids areContinue reading “On the hunt for orchids”
For me, the Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) has always been somewhat of an enigma: a species I frequently encounter on TV, on social media and on the blogs of other naturalists yet never in the flesh. This petite yet flamboyant bloom, famed for its status as one of nature’s great mimics, eluding me at everyContinue reading “The beauty of Bee Orchids”