Monday, 19 June 2017

Dinghy Skippers, Meadow Browns and lots and lots of Orchids (19th June 2017)

Looking over to Warton Crag and the Bay (click over to enlarge)
Monday 19th June 2017 - Hutton Roof 0900hrs to 1100hrs

A new Chiffchaff to book.  Manage to get a good bite from a "Cleg" fly, he did not come again!  I saw a beautiful "light lemon coloured hawker dragonfly", lovely colouring but too flitty to get a photo - seemed to be enjoying the tops of the bracken. A regular Garden Warbler was singing away having moved his territory some 100 yards further East. Found another Common Spotted Orchid (not that Common on Hutton Roof less than 50). Again another day with Small Heaths everywhere.  Had my first Meadow Brown's today (x2) also had one of the larger bronze fritillaries (1st of the year) but its still a little early for Dark Green but spot on for High Brown so I am left wondering......had a Dinghy Skipper and also marked two places off with Common Blues (males). Lots of Fairy Flux flowers showing. The nationally rare (but locally common) Limestone Bedstraw is opened up everywhere you go. In fact it is so common you will struggle to find any Heath Bedstraw! 

Also I have Robert Ashworth (Kendal) report from: 14th June 2017:
Cuckoo - at least one bird still present, no calling and more elusive. Crossbill - One calling as it flew north over Burton Fell. Recorded a new fly orchid and also a Common Spotted. Increase in Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries. (Thanks Robert)

Checked on Specimen 70 (Schmal 70) which is coming through very well and as usual a very light green.  This year also it has come through with a new specimen at the side of it which for now is labelled 70a and which so far does look very much like a positive offspring of 70 which you can see in the following photograph.

Specimen 70 and the new 70a (Schmal 70) - Click over to enlarge
Here below is a photograph of how Specimen 70 looked last year. It is a striking plant which first of all hits you by the very light green throughout.  Also as you can see from the following photo it shows lovely red/magenta flowers which contrast so well with the green.

Specimen 70 (Schmal 70) LAST YEAR 13th July 2016   (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen 70 (Schmal 70) LAST YEAR 13th July 2016   (Click over to enlarge)
Such a beautiful plant which in my opinion does have similarities to Schmal 8 (2014) and also Schmal 11 and 12 (2014).  see old photos below. The position of Specimen 70 from the other plants (8,11 and 12) is approx 200 yards to their direct West. 

Specimen 8 (Schmal) from 7th July 2014)
Specimen 11 (Schmal) from 7th July 2014)

Also decided to check out Specimen 14 (Schmal No.14) which sadly has been predated by Mr. Hare.  He is up to his old tricks again and although we love him dearly I just wish he would eat what he chomps!  If you look closely on the photo you will see a little minced pile of the flowerhead which he has made.  Also shown below this photo is a photo of how Schmal 14 looked on the 12th July 2016

Spec 14 (Schmal No.14) Click over to enlarge

and here below I have put a photo on of how Schmal No.14 was last year on 12th July 2016. I noticed that around this plant are another two nice atrorubens, but obviously they must not have been so tempting.  If you look at this photo also you can see that this plant may well have qualified for the "Lemon Petalled" status.

Spec 14 (Schmal No.14) in better days - 12th July 2016 (Click over to enlarge)

I was really pleased to see that var: Westmorlandii is alive and well and just starting its growth....

And here is showing 9a which is doing well.  In fact all that family seem to be doing well 9,9b,11,12 etc etc. 
Nice development on 9a taken on 19th June 2017

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Checking No.66,55, Variagated and "Little and Large"

Saturday 17th June 2017 - Hutton Roof 0900hrs to 1130hrs

Today I thought it was probably apt for me to try and map out a productive area which includes such rarities as Specimen 66 and 55 (both Lemon Petalled specimens) and closeby is the "albiflora".

I first of all checked out No.66 which is a superb light green showing plant which you can how it is showing with today's photos here.

Shows the full Spec 66 (Lemon Petalled) plant approx 12" as today (Click over to enlarge)

Spec 66 (Lemon Petalled) showing very green stem and lower leaves (Click over to enlarge)

Spec 66 (Lemon Petalled) showing a very light and full flowerhead (Click over to enlarge)
Spec 66 (Lemon Petalled) photo taken last year 2016 and shows just how colourful the plant is
(Click over to enlarge)

And here below is how Specimen 55 is showing today.  This plant is usually very early and can be the first of the main Lemon Petalled varieties to appear.  Its also a tall plant when fully mature it will probably be about 18" high and will usually have about 21 flowers. Notes have been taken on this specimen since 2015 so this is now it's third year.

Specimen 55 (Lemon Petalled) as on 17th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen 55 (Lemon Petalled) Lower Sections as on 17th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen 55 (Lemon Petalled) flowerhead as on 17th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen 55 (Lemon Petalled) flowers as on 1st July 2016 (Click over to enlarge)
This next plant I found today is still within the productive area and is already looking very unusual with a strange leaf pattern

A interesting specimen found today very patterned leaves (Click over to enlarge)
This was a striking "atrorubens" plant showing a little variagation within it's leaves. And today I did check out the beautiful "variagated" helleborine which is coming along nicely but still a mystery. Here is today's photo of the plant

A cracking specimen but so dark a stem for a "Helleborine"
(Click over to enlarge)
Also today I found yet another variagated "seedling - leaves only" growing about one metre away from this plant.  

Checked out several others which are doing OK.  To finish off today check out this photo of "Little and Large"

Todays photo of "Little and Large" 17th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge

Friday, 16 June 2017

Zig Zag and all that! and Specimen 3a.

"Zig Zag Clover" from a couple of years ago - just starting to come through today (Click over to enlarge)
Friday 16th June 2017 - Hutton Roof  0900hrs to 1100hrs

Decided to check out a area of Hutton Roof on the other side to where I have been working recently. I wanted to check out some old Schmalhausenii or for that matter some of the fabulous "Atrorubens" etc. But initially it proved very disappointing with most of the Schmals having now disappeared and just not come through. I have realised it has been a downward trend in this part of HR for some time now especially in connection to the hybrids. However all was worth it to find a very special new plant and here is why I think so.

Probable relation to long gone Specimen 3 (Click over to enlarge)
So what makes this so interesting to me! well first of all geographically it is only within approx five feet of the original Schmalhauseneii No.3 (which failed with no growth in 2015 and 2016).  This plant is one of the bolder specimens which I call "aerials (television aerials)" meaning their leaves are exceptionally narrow and elongated together with the additional feature that the leaves are not opposites but "alternate" around the stem and not only this but also show abnormally extra large lower bracts!  It's a very local feature which I have only registered with this particular part of the Hutton Roof area, I don't recall of it appearing on any specimens outside of this local area. Yet several of the past schmals from around this area have had these features.

Another photo of a cracking specimen possibly related to our old Spec 3 and
which shows the "aerial" large bracts and 30 plus flowers which go all around the stem. 

3a showing the very narrow elongated spiralling leaves

It was over five years ago that I found this beautiful population of Zig Zag Clover - Trifolium medium (see header photo above). In fact on the whole of Hutton Roof I have now found only three populations of this beautiful clover.  Today I checked out one of the populations and it was obvious from the moment they came into view that this year is going to be something really special with the colony having swelled by five times on last year,  although it will be a couple of weeks before most of them are in flower and what a glorious spectacle that will be.  Here is a couple of photos from today which show some of the area they are covering and a little bonus to see one of the plants just coming into flower.

Zig Zag Clover (Trifolium medium) Click over to enlarge
Shows about 1/4 of the Zig Zag population at this particular area - Click over to enlarge
Close up of Zig Zag leaf - 16th June 2017 - Click over to enlarge

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Helleborine probable Purpurea's variants and other stuff

Epipactis Schmalhausenii No.1 as featured today 15th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Thursday 15th June 2017 - Checking out Orchids amongst other things on Hutton Roof  1300hrs to 1600hrs

Checking out some Helleborines today - Purpurea specimens - First to check was Purpurea No.17 which is also known to me as "Big Leaf" because it comes through every year and if not predated it is expected to show as a beautiful "Purpurea" specimen.  Here is a photo showing its progress today. You can see from this photo why its called "Big Leaf"

"Big Leaf" Helleborine - Purpurea No.17
This was a interesting fungi on a old log pile which I saw whilst on my way up to some orchids.

A couple of Montanum's now showing the flowerhead (Click over to enlarge)
Although the majority of Montanum's are not where near ready for flowering, these two which are at a record (for us) with a height of over 16" do already have their flowerheads and I can see them opening up in the next week to ten days.

One of today's Atrorubens - not long to go! (Click over to enlarge)
And to finish off what better than see Schmalhuasenii No.1 Hybrid now showing buds and could actually be flowering within the next week!

Schmalhausenii hybrid No.1 as today 15th June 2017

First Self Heal and HR Orchid updates etc

My first of the year "Self Heal" (Click over to enlarge)

Wednesday 14th June 2017 - Hutton Roof 1400hrs to 1730hrs

On way up to Mossy Stones it was great to hear birds again and plenty of them singing away. The Garden Warbler (already recorded) was quietly bubbling away, but further along the footpath it was great to hear a new to me for the area a Whitethroat really going for it!  so this was booked down in the records, also further along the root were regular Willow Warblers and Blackcaps.

Also managed to record at least one Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary.

Checking out Mossy Stones although I should know it like the back of my hand by now, but it really is surprising everytime you visit you have every chance of turning up with something new.

Today I managed to find yet another spot with at least 28 Carex Ornithopoda (Birds Foot Sedge), also several Mountain Melick Grass, Unusual marked Polypodys, beautiful Lady's Ferns and closeby Broad Buckler Ferns, additional (new to me) areas showing small populations of Common Rock Rose.  Here below are a couple of photos from today:

One of the many views of "Mossy Stones" which I cross over to get to the pavements
(Click over to enlarge)
Common Polypody - But so unusual in colour (Click over to enlarge)
A young Common Polypody with unusual colouring showing both light and dark throughout.

I wonder what had been going on here (Click over to enlarge)
This seemed strange because the fern was well down a gryke (maybe 3ft) yet had obviously been attacked severely by some unknown creature.  At first I thought I had found something really special!!

"Wood Melick" (Click over to enlarge)
Check out also "Mountain Melick" shown below
"Mountain Melick" (Click over to enlarge)
Found within 50 yards of each other
"Lady Fern" (Click over to enlarge)

"Broad Buckler Fern" (Click over to enlarge)

"Broad Buckler Fern - Close Up" (Click over to enlarge)
On my way up I also found these little beauties hiding under the canopy and could easily have been missed! What appealed to me was how long and narrow the frond was but what a carry on to actually get to the plant itself, a proper obstacle course"

Tuesday 13th June 2017 - Hutton Roof 1500hrs to 1800hrs

My first of the year "Self Heal" which are not far away from where I get the special "White coloured Self Heal" but these are not even showing yet.

The birds today again have gone mega quiet with just occasional Robins or Willow Warblers.  The butterflies were showing with plenty of Small Heaths and just the odd Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary.

The first orchid to check out today was No.66 which is a beautiful Lemon Petalled Specimen and this is the photo of the plant as of today:

Specimen 66 - Lemon Petalled on Green Stem (Click over photo to enlarge)
You can already see the overhall green involved with this plant.  Here is a photo showing the beautiful flowers this plant produced last year.

Specimen 66 - Lemon Petalled on Green Stem - Photo taken 2016 (Click over to enlarge)
On checking some of the main Epipactis yesterday they are doing really well this year with the initial checks although one or two are now starting to become victims of the Hare which we would expect anyway, just keep fingers crossed they take the ones which are not included in the studies.

The following shows you a example of the "Harecut" in this case to one of our E.Helleborines.  You can usually get a idea who the culprit is by the angle of the cut like you can see here.  With the Roe Deer they usually make their cut straight across (or at the slightest of angles)

Epipactis Helleborine yesterday (Click over to enlarge)
Fell victim to the Hare and you see the cut at a strong angle
Although you do expect many casualties over the season, occasionally it is noticed that the Hare gives the plant the snip and leaves the flower head dangling without even eating it.  That just is annoying!  I have noticed that the quicker the heads produce colourful flowers the safer the plant becomes.  It must be the colour in some instances that puts them off.

It was nice today to find another Carex Ornithopoda (Birds Foot Sedge) on this fell which now indicates populations of at least two here and in total we now have this rare species showing up at five different areas of Hutton Roof which brings the number of individual plants at somewhere around the 1600 mark.

Here is Schmals 15,16,16a all coming through well (Click over to enlarge)

What about this one I found today and have now christened "Little and Large" the largest one being about 2ft high and the small atrorubens about 6"

"In the shadow of" (Click over to enlarge)
Now checking one of the main "colonies".  A area which is full of Schmals with plenty of offsprings around and plenty of maybe's and breed backs etc etc etc.  To start I will now show Specimen 9a which generally comes through a very pale plant and it looks very much like this year will be the same.  Although it cannot be confirmed for sure all the evidence so far "especially the light colourings" point to the fact that it is possibly a offspring from Schmal 9.  So here is the photo today and also followed by a photo of last years little beauty.

Specimen 9a - a very pale plant - 15th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

And here below is a photo of the same plant from last year (2016).  I feel as though the 9a, 9b etc are from the original specimen 9.  This is based purely on geographical location and unique colourings only.  Samples from last year (2016) (under permit) have been collected and are waiting DNA analysis which will hopefully confirm this either way.

Specimen 9a from 7th July 2016 (Click over to enlarge)
Here is another photo of Specimen 9a from 17th July 2015 and following on with yet another photo of the same specimen against a "straight" atrorubens nearby, which does then show you the colour contrast.  These photos are so good in that they show quite good comparison on the previous years and eventually when I get time I will show you photos heading from the original 9 and its possible family members!!

Specimen 9a from 17th July 2015 (Click over to enlarge)

Specimen 9a from 17th July 2015 (Click over to enlarge)
This photo above shows the plant in situ with a "straight" atrorubens coming up at the side of it.  This plant never showed in 2016 and so far this year there is no evidence showing for this year, although the 9a is doing well as previously shown.

Several more plants were also checked out and so far it looks a good year!