Sunday, 19 July 2015

Montanums are OK, Schmalhauseneii No.1 bites the dust!

Schmal No. 1 in her prime about 3 years ago (click over photo to enlarge)

Schmal No.1 was a absolute beauty in her prime as you can see from this photo.  She would come up in a more or less similar pose each year and this was the very first Schmal I ever found on Hutton Roof.  But sadly this year she showed as a runt right from the start, and checking her out today there was nothing left other than a little of the stalk and the large basal leaf,  and the evidence of 5 years of old stems. So although I have only had her recorded over 4 years it must be at least 5 or more. See the next photo to see her position today. 
All thats left of Schmal No.1 today (19th July 2015) (Click over photo to enlarge)

Although I did check her out a couple of weeks ago, I was disappointed at the progress, she had at that point come through as a runt with much stunted growth, but looking now at the remnants of the stem and the basal leaf, the plant looks like it may have made some sort of recovery, yet later succumb to the "snip" only very recently looking at this photo and looking much evident to a "predator affair".  Obviously another one to be written off this year, but still worth keeping a eye on for next year.  Just look at the five old stalks which may be giving its age away, but there again, like most good ladies would she be showing you the true age?

I managed to check out a few pavements today with my main motive to see how a Atrorubens Pallens variant (No.3) was doing.  I had just not realized how fragile this specimen was, but safe enough tucked away down a gryke (see photo).  Although a poor photo you can see the yellowish starting to come through.  I dont think this will be ready for at least 5-7 days.

Epipactis atrorubens var: Pallens No.3

I spent most of the afternoon checking out lots of atrorubens which were probably somewhere near their best (in 70% of cases), but nothing caught my eye in regards to hybrids or variants.

A beautiful photo below, showing lots of Lady's Bedstraw and Wild Thyme growing on the anthill and Harts Tongue Fern stretching out from the limestone fractures.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I can chill out looking at photos like these.
Stunningly beautiful 

My last excursion today was to check out a pavement which holds the rare Hypericum Montanum (var: perforatum).  I am pleased to be able to report that I had ten flowerheads over two separate colonies. At least for now they have managed to escape the Roe Deer.  Here below is a photo of the main colony and these are the rarities with the "perforatum" leaves.

Hypericum Montanum var Perforatum (Pale St. Johns Wort with perforated leaves)
A rarity and doing well for another year.  Also checked out another couple of colonies which are closeby (within about 15ft) and they too are doing OK.

To finish off here is a photo of one of the pavements I was on today.  Its a superb pavement, and sadly the photo tends to flatten it and you don't get the depth.  But gives does give you a idea to what some of our local pavements look like!  I am on them on most days checking out the grykes, some of which are almost 15ft deep and seeing what sort of rare flora I can find in the shallow ones.  Without doubt they must be some of the best limestone pavements in the UK, and what a privilege to live within a short distance.