Balsam bashing, PART 3…

Spent another day bashing Himalayan Balsam today at Hawthorne Dene. In the process we spotted the following…

• Ringlet butterfly

A relatively common chocolate brown butterfly with distinctive eye-spots.

• Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)

We spotted this unique orchid, which can take 5-8 years to flower (!) in Hawthorn Dene’s meadow.

Why is it unique? Well, this orchid amazingly mimics a bumble bee resting on it, taking nectar. In fact, the ‘bee’ is the beautifully marked lip of the flower, and this elaborate charade has the purpose of attracting a real bee, which will bring about pollination (in the case of British bee orchids however, unlike other European species, this ruse is nearly always superfluous – the plants usually pollinate themselves!).

Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

The UK’s most common orchid (as it’s name suggests!).

Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria)

We saw lots of Speckled Wood butterflies dancing in the dappled shade whilst we were picking away at the Himalayan Balsam.

Blackbird nest

We also came across a Blackbird’s nest amongst shrub on the woodland floor, a seemingly unusal place for a Blackbird to nest!


Kate | National Trust

Kate | National Trust


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