Saturday, 27 May 2017

Our first Schmalhauseneii is on it's way plus lots Holly, Reptiles etc etc

Schmalhauseneii No.1 (Click over to enlarge)

Saturday 27th May 2017 - Dalton, The Common and Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 1000hrs to 1400hrs

Very humid sort of morning which did eventually break down with thunder storms and terrential rain showers. Just got caught out at 5 minutes from home.  Nice to have a good soaking now and again - cools tha down lad!

Right from the off it was Garden Warblers in Dalton, two on the Common (which were known to me from previous years) and also three singing in Lancelot. I had the redstart calling in Dalton Crags, Tree Pipits (4) all on territory in Dalton and Lancelot. Green Woodpecker (2), Cuckoo (1) and that beautiful Whitethroat going at it with repetitive mode.... brilliant call!

I had 7 Small Heath Butterflies in Dalton and Lancelot.  In fact I could have sworn I had a Ringlet in Dalton, which would be really early I guess, but can't thing of anything else it could have been and it was without doubt proper Ringlet territory.

The Limestone Bedstraw is coming out with force and can be seen all over the place.  Here is a photo of todays little patch:

Limestone Bedstraw (Click over to enlarge)

We have both Limestone Bedstraw (the rare one) and also Heath Bedstraw on Hutton Roof.  But to tell the difference they say you must get your glass (at least 10x times) and check down the side of the little leaf and if the short hairs are going backward towards the stem it will be Limestone or if they are going towards the front then it will be heath. See following sketch.

A sketch to show whether it is Limestone or Heath Bedstraw
the small hairs running down the side of the small leaves tell you
eg: Backwards (as shown here) = Limestone
I checked out Hypericum Montanum No.3 and its doing well with at least three plants coming through here below shows you the main plant and it also has last years remnants next to it.

Rare Hypericum Montanum (Pale St. John's Wort) in Dalton Crags (Click over to enlarge)
This photo shows last years spike and todays show.
Now moving on over to check out the Holly Ferns and aren't they doing well. No.1 is usually straightforward and probably the more conventional of the two.  But No.2 has always come through as a joint effort from the same rootstock with aculeatum.  This year just one large Aculeatum fronds but maybe a couple of smaller ones to the rear of the plant.  Of special interest to me this year is the miniature frond been thrown up of the lonchitis - thats really interesting because normally if we are to have a runt it would be from the aculeatums never before the lonchitis. Here are the photos:

Showing Holly Fern No.1 above and Holly Fern No.2 below (Click over images to enlarge)
And now for it! what about this I just could not believe my eyes but did manage to get a couple of shots without disturbing them! looked like they were really busy...

Click over to enlarge
 Next up was a quick check up on the Asplenium Viride's (Green Spleenwort).  I have three separate colonies of this species which lies about 300 yards apart from one another, but the one I am checking today is the best and has 8 separate little populations in it.  Here are two nice photographs to show you just how they are doing:

Asplenium Viride (Green Spleenwort) (Click over to enlarge)
They are far more tapered than the commoner Maidenhair plus they have a green (viride) rib.

Especially for our ferny friends I have included the "Cystopteris fragilis" - Brittle Bladder Fern, because I am constantly being asked by others if this is the rare "Brittle Bladder" found at montane altitudes, but I dont think so in our case because it is only about 850 ft were this population is, but I might has well let you look at the photos just in case you know different:

Cystopteris fragilis - Brittle Bladder Fern (Click over to enlarge)

This is a lovely plant I had today whilst over in Lancelot - very strong plant

 Epipactis Schmalhauseneii No.1 (Click over to enlarge)
This was fantastic to find this all OK today because what it means for me is that it has made it for another year, bringing it to 5 years as far as we know although the last two years it has been predated by slugs, so lets keep our fingers crossed for this rare hybrid.

And we must include this very special Epipactis Helleborine variant Purpurea which I have listed as Specimen No.15 and has produced some fabulous bluish/purple flowers in the past.  Well this is where we are today:

Specimen 15 - Epipactis Helleborine - var purpurea

And finally for the fern lover I have taken this photo of the rare Southern Polypody (Cambricam)

Southern Polypody from last year (photo taken today).  It always one of the last ferns to show.