Monday, 26 April 2010

Wishing my life away

As the late spring slowly warms the woodland floor, I wait impatiently for the flowers and insects to appear. Pacing this way and that, hopes suddenly raised by a movement.... but no - a leaf blown by the wind.
A glimpse of purple..... not an orchid, but another spike of ground ivy. It's still too early, still too cold.

Willow warblers, chiffchaffs and blackcaps sing, but there's no nightingales here yet.

I sit down on the dry hard ground. Sitting is good - I should do more of it. Closer to the ground, the world of small is seen. Beeflies come and go, ants clamber amongst the blades of grass, and in the delicate bloom of a primrose, death.
A crab spider has its prey, and clings on. The spider - probably a female - can change colour chameleon-like to match its background.
A flutter of wings low across the ground is not a leaf this time, but my own quarry - a Duke of Burgundy Fritillary, briefly seen, quickly lost, not to be refound.
More pacing up and down, eyes on my feet. Buds of Lady Orchids are seen, but it will be a week or so before they are in full flower.
In nearby Park Gate Down, no orchids yet, but a strong clump of Oxlips.

On the downs escarpment, just a couple of rock roses.......

But on Samphire Hoe, among some tight-shut buds, one Early Spider Orchid is open......... spring is underway. Foreshortened, late, but underway.

Memo to me : sit down more. Or lie down if appropriate.


abbey meadows said...

Great post. I can only dream of species like that. A trip down South will have to be planned soon!

Greenie said...

Steve ,
If I'm right on the locations , that was quite some trip around East Kent , and an early 'Duke' as well .
Have a good rest now .

Warren Baker said...

Are those crab spiders common Steve ? I will have to keep an eye for them if they are, love to see one in action :-)

Kingsdowner said...

Nigel, come on down! I think it's going to be an interesting summer.

Fred, a little poetic license obscured the fact that the locations were visited on different days, mostly en route to or from work. But I'll have a lie down just the same.

Warren, that's the first crab spider I've seen, but they are small and I only saw this one because I was just about sitting on it.

Mary said...

Sitting is good! I like the crab spider shots.