Friday, 14 August 2020

14th/15th/20th/24th August 2020 - A morning on the beautiful Gentians - Holme Stints and Holme Park Fell. Also showing Harebell variants

Northern Greenland Wheatear (Oenanthe o. leucorrhoa)
Crossbills (chicks in late December etc)

Monday 24th August 2020

More Autumn Gentians today. In fact there could well be up to a 1,000 or more on both Holme Stints and Holme Park Fell. I was trying to assess some of the different varieties especially the "White" forms eg: the Septentrionalis (the northern white form) and others.

Besides the more regular purple looking flowers, (1) we seem to have got the almost pure white form known as Septentrionalis, and these also show a green to cream on the corolla, (2)  then we have another form which is a general white colour yet tinged with a slight purple wash to the white petals. And with these you also note a strong purple wash to sides of the corolla. (3) And finally I have found another variety over the last few days which does show a sort of mixed ratio specimen with 50% of the petal is white, whilst the other 50% of the petal is a very light purple giving a vertical dual colour effect, these too have a purple wash to their sides of the corolla.

This 50/50 dual colour effect is so unusual and I have made up a small collage of photos taken from just one plant, although there is also at least one further plant in the near vicinity.

and here below are 2 photos from the other dual coloured petalled plant that I found not too far away (30 yards) from the one above:

And finally below are the rest of the photos from todays outing.

Will turn out Septentrionalis

Will turn out Septentrionalis

Thursday 20th August 2020

More Autumn Gentians on Holme Stinted Pastures and Holme Park Fell

Check out more Autumn Gentians today and wanted to get GPS for records. Although the sun was out this morning there was too much wind and preventing a lot of the Gentians from opening up properly, but there were odd ones which were OK for a photo and here they are below.

It's certainly going to be a special years for these, they seem to be coming up really well, but only on the west facing populations, and to a far lesser extent on east facing.

Difficult to be sure but so far I think it is probably 50/50 on classic purple coloured amarella and septentrionalis, with odd specimens of the 50/50 white/purple petalled specimens.

the Holme Stints "bank" is without doubt one of the better places and certainly I can say there will be in far excess of one hundred plants or more, but if you leave the Stints and head up on the main track through Holme Park Fell, the are all on the edges and the centre of the track and here I guess we will end up talking in 500 plus.  

The same area along the Fell is also covered with Spring Sandwort with thousands of specimens still on show.  Also found yet another small population (under one metre) of White Harebells, but far too windy for photographs. 

I am still seeing Grayling butterflies plus a Meadow Brown and Common Blues.

 Autumn Gentian (Gentianella amarilla)
Photo: 20th August 2020

 Autumn Gentian (Gentianella amarilla)
Photo: 20th August 2020

 Autumn Gentian subs: Septentrionalis
Photo: Holme Stinted Pastures on 20th August 2020

 Autumn Gentian subs: Septentrionalis
Photo: Holme Stinted Pastures on 20th August 2020

Saturday 15th August 2020

This shows the variance we have in Harebells on 
Farleton, were just on the approach there are

This morning I decided to check out the Autumn Gentian sites on the Farleton side and found it really disappointing with only about 25 found in an area where I normally would have a few hundred.

So after such a superb morning yesterday I just took it that it would be automatically be replicated on this other side (the East side or Farleton Knott side), because you are only talking in a little distance between both sites - maybe 1/2 mile away, but obviously that is not the case, now whether this may have something to do with water access I really don't know, and that would not add up to how things have been on previous occasions. 

Gentians are the strangest things going! they just do not like sticking to regularity or uniformity or thats how I have found them. 

A beautiful Autumn Gentian showing a mix
between both purple and white

Beautiful sunny morning, ideal to check out the grand array of presented varietal Autumn Gentians(Gentianella amarella). 
I knew I had not dreamt it! but about three years ago I do clearly remember seeing Autumn Gentians displayed on this banking leading up through Holme Stinted Pastures, but last year was different in that I did see Gentians on this same banking but they were not Autumn Gentians but turned out to be Field Gentian (Gentianella campestris). Now today the banking is full again but with Autumn Gentians, both the regular purple looking and also the white version known as
"Septentrionalis" and even others that don't match up with a purple or a white, a sort of in between of the both.

So looking back on last years records the Field Gentian came through a little later, a fortnight or so further on.  I wonder if we will get them again this year, I do not see why not! but we could well have said the same thing about the Autumn Gentian which seemed to be absent last year.  Now then say they both come through together on the small piece of banking, will that mean that it may be worth searching for a hybrid! is there such a thing between these two species?

I later went up on the nearby Holme Park Fell because I know in good Autumn Gentian years I should find the whole  track across the fell lined with Gentians, I was not to be dissapointed, perhaps smaller numbers than some previous years, but still plenty and far better specimens this year, although several were already out, I cant wait for another week or two and there should be hundreds out (if not a thousand or more), some will be reaching 6-8" and full of flowers.  Even today I managed to find both purple and white versions next to one another. Here are a few photos to show: