Lizard Orchid

Lizard orchid which I photographed in France a few years ago…. It would be nice to come across one of these in Gloucestershire. I have seen them on Newmarket race course many years ago.

Relaxing

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The view from my recliner….. yesterday…… Today the same Oak tree would be there but not the blue sky and it would not be relaxing.

Hunting the Birds nest Orchid

Today I went hunting…. not a bear hunt, not even a bird hunt, just a Birds nest orchid hunt…. I know they like Beech woodland and I know they are difficult to spot as they are brown (lacking any chlorophyll) and so I set off in an area near Staunton where there are some extensive woods and they are predominantly Beech.

Lots of Ramsons about and some Bluebells. Fairly soon I spotted some woodruff which is a nice little wild flower, not spectacular but different.

Then I spotted some Herb Paris, this is an odd plant it has just 4 leaves and it has a weird spiky flower but the first ones I saw were a bit ratty and did not have any flowers.

This was an extensive area of woodland with lots of good paths and I roamed around searching for the Birds nest orchids, I came across quite a lot of Twayblades which are orchids but with small green flowers, not that stunning. Also some other plants which I think were orchids but not in flower…could be Butterfly Orchids, I will return in a few weeks to check them out.

Then I found some Herb Paris which were in flower, again green but I quite like them.

The peace and quite was gradually eroding away as I was getting close to a massive quarry.

In this area I came across more Herb Paris but also some Early Purple Orchids, these are quite common but also quite impressive.

Whilst photographing these I spotted a little Fly Orchid, now this is special and quite rare so I was very happy.

If you look carefully you can even see a small greenfly at the top of the flower spike. No Birds nest Orchids but a good day…

Garden Safari…Maputo

It is quite rewarding to have a close look round your garden to see what little creatures are living there. More so if you are in a garden which is some distance from home. This one is about 9286 km, or 5770 miles away from home, I looked it up!  The garden under investigation is that of Caroline and Felix Wood, and it is in central Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. As you might expect there are lots of interesting creatures to be seen.

This slug is quite an up front sort of slug. It chooses to rest during the daytime on a garden wall which receives the sun from about 10am to about 4pm. In the shade today it is going up to 37C which is hotter than usual but even on a normal day it is 30-33 and in direct sun that will be considerably more.

These photos of the slug were taken after a rare shower of rain, I have tried to find the name of this slug but no luck. Also after the rain shower several frogs started to ‘plink… plink’ but I could not locate them. More easy to spot and photo are various lizards. This one has a favourite stone and is about 25 cm long.

There are lots of little chaps like this gecko. They grow up to about 15cm and sometimes are in the house.

Of course some little chaps could be younger versions of bigger chaps, like maybe the next one. He was tiny, only about 4cmm long, he could be another gecko.

A particularly striking lizard was this one which marched along the top of the wall and underneath the security wire. This I think is a type of Agama Lizard.

There are lots of insects, particularly butterflies but they are very active and so far I do not have any decent shots. This also applies to dragonflies and damsel flies. So in terms of insects I have this shot of a bee.

There are several flowering plants in the garden and I was hoping they would be visited by sunbirds but not so far. This next insect is a sort of cross between a grasshopper and a mantis it is called a Katydid as in ‘What Katy did next’  so it has a particularly silly name in my opinion.

Ants of varying sizes are everywhere so here is a medium sized one (6mm ish)

Finally, there are a few birds about but not as many as in their previous garden. This little chap came along yesterday and is an African yellow white eye. Which is not a bad name except its eye is actually black.