Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Not very lady-like

A pleasant evening was spent at Bonsai Bank in Denge Wood, and at Yockletts Bank. At least four Duke of Burgundy butterflies ('Dukes' to their mates) have already been seen on this bank this year so far, but the evening air was too chilly for them to show. Another trip in the middle of the day will be required, which is no hardship.
These woods are also excellent for orchids - you know the kind of thing.....delicate feminine flowers, of which the lady orchid is a particularly fine example.

Except that when they are in bud, they look anything but lady-like.

There are a number of fine specimens in the sun on Bonsai Bank, that will presumably open in the next few days, while those at Yockletts, below, being in the deep shade of the wood will take a little longer.
Also stirring are good numbers of twayblades...
...and a single early purple orchid.
A group of a dozen or so of these bizarre plants had my reaching for my handbook, as I've certainly never seen anything like them before (a sheltered life) and they turn out to be Herb Paris, or True-Lover's Knot.

Very strange things, which seem to have dispensed with the concept of petals. They do attract some insects (presumably by smell rather than sight) and also propogate by tubers, hence the grouping.

Not only is Denge great for insect and plant life, but also the bird song was lovely.

A tawny owl was hooting away as the sun started to set, green and GS woodpeckers called, a male kestrel swooped down to take a worm or a small slowworm, yellowhammers sat on a barn at the entrance, and marsh tits, blackbirds, a song thrush, blackcaps, willow warblers, chiffchaffs and a nightingale filled the evening air with song.


Warren Baker said...

Sounds like a magical place Steve. I wish I such a place to visit!

Anonymous said...

That Herb Paris is a strange one - never seen one before, thanks for showing it. Lovely clips of bird song.

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Thanks for the nod on the 'Duke' .
Must have led the same sheltered life as you , I've never seen Herb Paris either .
Like the Marsh Tit shot .

Goosey said...

Those bird sounds on the movie are wonderful, I have never heard a Nightingale that what it was?

abbey meadows said...

Herb paris is one of my favourite plants. It was first discovered by the botanist William Turner in Morpeth, Northunberland in Cottingwood and still grows in the same place to this very day. He called it 'one berrie'

Kingsdowner said...

Thanks for the comments -
Goosey, that is indeed the gorgeous nightingale, which exploded into song as I walked past.

AM, thanks for the local info on that weird plant.

Mary said...

Spring is so great! All of those flowers are great. I like the Dukes and that neat Herb Paris. Even without petals, it is so interesting. Liked hearing the bird songs....I really need to learn to recognize different birds by their songs.

NW Nature Nut said...

The Herb Paris kind of reminds me of Trillium. Do you have those? Love the birds singing!

Kingsdowner said...

Mary, the nightingale is king of the woods - stunning!

NW, I agree - I thought it was a trillium at first (having seen them in Canada) but it seems that they don't grow over here.