Sunday 23 June 2013

OH...Booger!! Three and one half new orchid species....

Well, thanks to the rainy weather, we have now found four new species of Orchids...
the half being yesterday's Pyramidal Orchid [Anacamptis pyrimidalis]Orchis pyramidal...
I had the chance to mow the verger [orchard] and on the second tour round with Betsy I noticed something pink lying at the side of the previous cut...


I'd cut down an Orchid...
so, sadly, here it is... in a vase!!

Goes well with the repro Art Nouveau lamp!
The first bend in the stem isn't moving... but the growing tip is trying to compensate...

You can see, from the curve of the stem, that it was probably lying on it's side... having been trapped under the windblown grass. As with all the new orchids seen this year, it is in an area that is, normally, regularly mown...
I know roughly where it must have been cut from... somewhere between the Quetsch and the Mirabelle... so after a late cut this Autumn, I shall go looking for rosettes!!

The other species which wasn't spotted when I made the previous entry is a Bee Orchid [Ophrys apifera] Ophrys abielle along by the front fence...

As you can see... clearly marked!

It is interesting to observe orchids on your own patch as you can watch the same one day after day...
from that ability for a period of observation....
I now know that, for the Ophrys orchids....
the next flower does not open until the previous one has "gone over"....
this avoids self-pollination completely!!

The lower flower is the new one in the previous picture... just one left to open!
Susan has commented:
"Your observation of the Bee Orchid pollenisation is not quite right for the plant generally. 
They often have multiple flowers open at once and frequently self pollinate. 
They have a window of about 6 hours, after which they panic if they haven't been insect pollinated, and self pollinate. 
They are the only Ophrys that behaves like this."
So, although the Bee Orchid appears to have a mechanism to avoid self-pollination...
they make damned sure they reproduce if no one calls!!

The Pyramidal and the Greater Butterfly orchids were found on land that, until nine years ago, had been worked... the last crop was sunflowers in 2002 and Richard ploughed and sparingly sowed an unspecified grass mix on it in September 2004.
Since then, it has been left to its own devices... and Mother Nature!

Tuesday 4 June 2013

A whether or knot report for May!

Just a quicky... 

Cloth of Gold at the end of a Rainbow...
[taken from our lounge window]

Wot a munth... 
wot a depressin' munth!!!
Still... here's a weather revue...

...for our very grotty May

Temperature in °Centipede
Minimum*          1.3°C on the 24th
Maximum          27.0°C on the 7th
Highest Minimum  13.1°C on the 8th
Lowest Maximum   12.4°C on the 20th
Mean Minimum     6.6°C
Mean Maximum     19.1°C
Air frosts*       0

Rainfall in mm [given what we have had... think of mm as Metric Metres!!]
Total for month  64.5mm
Wettest day      10.8mm on the 21th
High rain rate   16.2mm on the 8th
Rain days        17

Wind in kilometres per hour
Highest Gust     15.8km/h on the 8th
Average Speed    0.0km/h
Wind Run         0.4 km
Gale days        0

Pressure in millibars
Maximum          1014.4mb on the 13th
Minimum          989.0mb on the 16th

Here's hoping we get a better dose in the next couple of months... for the farmers as well as us!!

* For Susan.... on the 24th the Apparent Temperature was below Zero°C from 4:30AM to 6AM...