Monday, 23 August 2010

A suuny day in late summer ( a walk to the centre of Great Britain)

Monday Aug 23rd 2010
            Yesterday was a glorious sunny day it wasn't hot but it was clear and fresh, perfect for a walk in my favorite corner of Lancashire, I think it offers the best countryside that our lovely county has to offer. Part of the walk goes through the Royal Dutcy Estate and it is said to be one of the Queens favourite stretches of countryside.In parts it's similar to the countryside around Royal Deeside in Scotland.

      The walk of almost 10 miles starts and finishes in the lovely village of Slaidburn, it's a circular walk with lovely riverside scenery and good views from the edge of the moors All the walk is within the Forest of Bowland an area of outstanding natural beauty.

                       Along the banks of the beautiful River Hodder

    On route to Dunsop Bridge the exact geographic centre of Great Britain

 The Post office and Teashop known as Puddleducks in Dunsop Bridge

                         The Telephone boxes claim to fame
                 The walk back along the edge of the Bowland Fells

   One of the few flowers we saw on the walk.....the Meadow crane's bill

                                     Cuckoo Pint berries

              The finish of the walk.... the lovely old village of Slaidburn

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Something that I've never seen before

Saturday Aug. 21st 2010
             We just walked up one of our local moorland valleys on Thursday to see if the Grass of Parnassus was in bloom, but we only found one flower that had opened. It's going to be 2 weeks later than last year before the colony of several hundred plants are at their best, this is probably because of the cool coditions and the lack of sunshine over the last few weeks.


             I think the Grass of Parnassas is one of the most beautiful
             wild flowers we have in the British Isles 


                 Eye Bright growing amongst the Grass of Parnassus

 Now for the "never seen before bit".... growing on the stems of some rushes a strange type of fungus encasing the stems near the base of the rushes., it was quite hard to the touch not slimy as I would have expected. As anybody out there got the answer to my query?

                              What is this strange growth?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Two Sunny Days ( heather & the elusive orchid)

Tuesday !7th Aug. 2010
             It's hard to believe but we've had two sunny days without any rain (Sunday and Monday) so we've been out enjoying the sunny warmer weather, firstly  the countryside on our doorstep on a short section of the Pennine Way over the heather hills above Lothersdale and then back into Craven country around Elslack and Thornton-in-Craven.

                        Sunday 15th Aug.

                           Looking across into Craven Country

                          On the Pennine Way above Lothersdale

       A Bumble Bee licking up Minerals from a dried out muddy puddle

                         The Curlews have left for the coast but
                         we didn't expect to see a flock of Lapwings

  Monday 16th Aug.
             Anyone who follows my blog will have realized by now that orchids have an enormous appeal to me because their variation, beauty and vibrant colours and because we've come to the end of the orchid season for this year I thought I'd  have a stab at finding the last orchid of the season ...... the tiny delicate Autumn Lady's Tresses. It grows around the northern shores of Morecambe Bay in our own county of Lancashire in an area of outstanding natural beauty,so killing two birds with one stone Audrey, myself and Eric one of our friends set out around the shores of Morecombe Bay to seek out this tiny elusive orchid.

                             The picturesque seafront at Arnside

To give no clues of the location of the orchid distant views are being kept to a minimum

     The orchids are very difficult to find because of their size and colour.

   After much searching four tiny Autumn Lady's Tresses about 11/2 inches tall

                                Eric gets down for some closeups

                       Me and Eric enthusiastic after the find

               A closer look reveals the beauty of these tiny orchids

                               We weren't the only enthusiasts

Two more plants growing with the Autumn Lady's Tresses

                                     Lesser Centaury ?


The Autumn Lady's Tresses was the find of the day
and I think it concludes this years search for our beautiful wild orchids





Friday, 13 August 2010

Scotish Islands (part 3) South Uist, Benbecula and North Uist

Friday !3th Aug . 2010.
    I've only just found the time to continue and publish my blog on our travels north through the Outer Hebrides earlier this year in June and July. It was a holiday of walking and cycling but one of the reasons for our little adventure was to find the glorious wild orchids that grow on the machair.



                                    The Heath Spotted-Orchid

                         Cotton Grass a plant of acid bogs

                          Bluebells still in flower on the 18th June

                              Looking across to South Uist

                            Wild Pansies on the machair

                  The glorious beaches of North Uist around Solas

                         Overnight pitch on the edge of the beach

The walk along this beach leads to Machair Robach the area where the very rare Hebridean Marsh Orchid grows, after hours of searching it eluded us but as a compensation the machair was full of equally impressive
Northern Marsh, Early Marsh and Frog Orchids.

                                   Northern Marsh Orchid

                                    Early Marsh Orchid

                              Videoing the Tiny Frog Orchids

                                         Frog Orchids

                Another Wonderful waik around machair Leathann

 On most days the mist clung to the mountains like snow (later in the holiday we climbed that mountain)

                          The beautiful beach of Traigh Lar