Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The rising temperatures as well as the different shades in the wood now mean that it is summer at Scrag Copse. This means that the canopy is a harder shade of green and spring flowers such as bugle and garlic mustard are no longer in bloom, but I assume and hope that their leaves are being munched by butterfly larvae. So, yesterday I went in search of new things in less visited corners of the wood. It is still early for some of the classic woodland butterfly species such as white admiral but I was happy to see a meadow brown hanging around the 'Scrag Copse' sign along with a speckled wood. I think I need to bash a bit of the bracken here too to guarantee more flowers in this clearing next year as this appears to be a favourite basking spot for woodland butterflies. In the bracken area itself I was very pleased to see a female broad-bodied chaser dragonfly exploring the area. These are very dynamic dragonflies and seeing one scouting around prompted me to make a consider my decision soon regarding ponds!
I was most surprised though, when exploring a boggy area near the stream to find 27 (yes, I'm so sad I counted them!) common spotted orchids. I knew I had orchids popping up but wow, 27! I noticed that most of them were very pale in colour and although there is a lot of variation in common spotted orchids, these were almost white. Maybe it is something to do with the wet ground and the low light as I normally see this species in drier habitats.
However, the find of the day, was several ragged robin plants in flower; this really is a lovely plant which particularly like damp edges and I never considered that I would find them at Scrag. The camera gear was already set-up in place for badgers, so I couldn't record them and I'm not sure if I will be able to get there in the next few days, so they may have to wait a year. This boggy patch is turning up a lot and could potentially be another spot for a pond, a small one maybe just to encourage wet loving plants such as ragged robin.

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