Common spotted

Orchids – in gay profusion! We have a decent crop in our back garden – a dozen flower heads (it’s probably a sign of neglect…), on plants which just arrived, quite unexpectedly, a couple of years ago. If they’re in bloom, the wild ones must be blooming too. The land near Benthall Hall is now looked after by the National Trust, though whether they’ve done anything to encourage them, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, there are hundreds – ones and twos and small colonies in the meadows, and in the little area of scrubby woodland, great clumps of them. They’re mostly common spotted, varying in colour from almost white to a deepish purple, but amongst them are a handful of (late) early purple orchids. Quite a sight!

Benthall Hall NT

Scarlet fields

Just occasionally, at this time of year, the eye is caught by a field of brilliant red – thousands upon thousands of poppies. We saw these yesterday, not far from home on our way to Statfold. We’d better go back and have a look today.

After the poppies, one of us (who hadn’t been with me on Friday afternoon) decided she’d like to see the orchids near Benthall Hall. That huge clump is still standing, of course. “How many are there?”. I’d underestimated on Friday. “167”. It wasn’t easy – they kept moving around in the stiff and unseasonal breeze. I’ve no idea* what the little bright orange flower is, growing nearby, but it seemed worth a snap…

found out later…

Pyramids

Orchids – little conical-topped ones – dozens and dozens of them. And one solitary (greater?) butterfly orchid (they’re not common). We’re walking on Wenlock Edge, the same route we followed on a misty day in February (see “A hazy day on Wenlock Edge“). It’s virtually midsummer now – no mist today, instead there’s warm sunshine, and it’s pleasant in the cool shade under the trees.

The map below is the one used in February:
today we walked clockwise – out below the edge, back along it.

MapView OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=359285&Y=298596&A=Y&Z=120