Sunday, 25 June 2017

Atrorubens, Schmalhauseneii and Helliborine updates etc.

Saturday 24th June 2017 - Hutton Roof 1000hrs to 1600hrs

Crossed some really good "orchid" areas on all parts of Hutton Roof today and found my first of the year "Dark Red Helleborines" with at least 15 in flower or part flower - found some Angular Solomons Seal (new to me) at 1 metre, checked on our little population of Rare (for here) Northern Bedstraw, found some new Common Yellow Sedge, also found some new Flea Sedge, found some new Brittle Bladder Ferns, some fungi, lots of Wild Thyme everywhere, also for the book some "white Herb Robert", had first Lemon Petalled variant Atrorubens.

Birds were really quiet and because of the strong winds the only butterfly showing was one Red Admiral.  

Not sure at the moment what this one is I am having a "mental block" but that's nowt fresh these days. 

Not sure what this is? I think it might be Red Bartsia on the start
We do have just one little pocket of "Northern Bedstraw" on Hutton Roof which probably measures something like 6ft x 2ft across. And although it might be common the further North you go it is quite rare around our area, in fact ours is the most southerly population in Cumbria.  A title I think that may at one time have been held at Gait Barrows! perhaps until the 1980s....  Here is a photo I took today of the small population.

Northern Bedstraw today 24th June 2017
Northern Bedstraw (Click over to enlarge)

Checking out all our best orchid sites and we have now got about 15 atrorubens in flower.  For now this is one of our interesting specimens No.33 and is considered a Schmalhausenii No.33. The bottom two flowers have just opened up today and you can see where the epichile and bosses are almost white. 

Specimen 33 (Schmal) as photographed today 24th June 2017
 (Click over to enlarge)
You may noted it is lemon-petalled but even more interesting
is the almost white epichile and bosses

Specimen 34 (Schmal) as photographed today 24th June 2017
(Click over to enlarge)

This shows part of specimen 34 photographed today which is showing quite a lot of lemon petalled and also considered last year to be a possible Schmalhausenii.  The plant is within one metre of Schmal 33.  The plant also was monitored both in 2015 and 2016.

Schmal 1 photo today on 24th June 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

The two photos above are Schmalhausenii No.1 as seen today.  Note the bottom two flowers are both turned upwards showing off their epichile and bosses and other bits and pieces.  The plant had its main large basal leaf part predated and chopped a couple of weeks ago but since it has romped on. This plant has been monitored since 2012 and is to my knowledge at least 5 years old.  The plant failed in 2015 and just showed as a small runt indicating early day predation.  Also last year 2016 it came through OK but fell victim of a "deercut" and we were left with only the basal leaf which is low down (18" down in the gryke)

Schmal 15,16,16a - (Click over to enlarge)
This was the situation today, its quite obvious Mr. Hare has demolished our new plant No.16a, but why he has to do what he has to 16 beats me, its a regular trait were he gives it the snip and leaves it dangling without actually eating it!.  In fact below is the photo from 2015 when it was the turn of Schmal 15 to get the snip!

Schmal 15,16 back in 2015 (Click over to enlarge)
fell prey to the Brown Hare and received the "Harecut"
Now then I found a plant that looks like it will be a cracker when it comes out. Its quite close to our Schmals 15 and 16 and I am sure by the build it is a "offspring" from them like many more around there.  Just look at the flower yield on this - theres got to be around 40 on this one!

I am not sure I think we have this one on record already (click over to enlarge)

This one was a new plant for me a lovely looking thing as I was crossing over the fell.  In fact there are several around this tree which do look interesting and I will shortly spend some time there and get more information and photos but for now here is this one.  Straight forward atrorubens!! well I think so.....

A lovely atrorubens with standard coloured flowers
(Click over to enlarge)
The Roe Deer have just started their predation with several of the atrorubens falling victim together with one of our better "Helleborines" which you can see in the photo.  The general picture so far is pretty good with predation on the low side (at least for now!)

Roe Deer predation on Atroruben groups (Click to enlarge)
24th June 2017

One of our better Helleborines falls victim of Roe Deer
(Click over to enlarge)
25th June 2017.

Another atrorubens from today (Click over to enlarge)
This plant is really forward with most of its flowers open, but it is within the minority, because most will be opening over the next ten days or so.

Another Atrorubens which has just started to open up
(Click over to enlarge)