Saturday 1 August 2015

After the May Flower

As the hawthorn blossom fades, and after three months of non-stop change, the park enters a quiet period. There are few new flowers coming into bloom, most of which are  fairly inconspicuous. 

Yellow irises overlooking Dickerson's Pit
Dickerson's Pit - 26 May 2015

One flower that does make its presence felt at this time is the yellow iris.  I remembered the irises as quite prominent and ubiquitous.   But to begin with, so few of these flowers appeared that I began to think they had all died out over the winter.  Eventually, they appeared in small clumps all around the edge of the water, and in something of the numbers that I expected.

The clump shown above is on the eastern edge of Dickerson's Pit.

Yellow irises amongst reeds and trees on edge of lake
Dickerson's Pit - 1 June 2015

This stand is also at the eastern edge of the same pit.  Its presence betrays a small shallow inlet from the main pit which is all but invisible amongst the vegetation.

Something Less Common

A quiet time gives the opportunity to look at some of the plants that are less common in the park.

Single flower of dog daisy in focus in surrounding out of focus vegetation
Wetlands - 6 June 2015

The dog daisy is a common sight along road side verges.  In contrast, in the park, I only saw the plant in two places.  This clump was on the bank at the south western tip of the Wetlands.

Most of what I have found in the park so far have been plants that are generally common  in the surrounding countryside. However, I have not seen the other two flowers that I am featuring in this post in the immediate area surrounding the park.  

Single plant of toadflax growing in meadow
North End of Park - 17 June 2015

The first is toadflax. This plant was growing in the meadow at the north end of Todd's Pit. There were also other clumps of this plant scattered through the park.

White orchid in grass and horsetails

The second, real surprise, is to find this orchid in growing on a piece of grassland at the north of Dickerson's Pit.  I cannot identify it, but scouring the internet suggests it could be the white form of either the early purple orchid or the early marsh orchid.  Either way it had me dashing back for my camera to photograph it before it trampled, eaten or picked.  Any help on identification would be much appreciated.

Goodbye Spring

Intimate landscape of dandelion heads besides path
Southernmost Path - 24 May 2015

I was originally going to call this post 'Goodbye Spring' and lead with this image of dandelion seeds.  This is exactly the type of image that I am aiming for generally in this blog: it is an intimate landscape which gives good prominence to the subject without sacrificing the environment.  

Unlike the previous two plants, the dandelion is far less common in Milton Country Park than it is in the wider area.  Here, in the park, are only a few isolated clumps, and prior to this I had not found any that produced a convincing image.   This was taken at the western end of the park at the southern end of the park that runs by the A14.


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