Who am I?

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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Thursday, 3 July 2014

A Newland's first and a surprise!

I have made no secret about my lack of interest in botany and all things botanical. That said, I made an effort to ensure that the plants, which grow in my garden, were chosen specifically for their ability to attract moths and butterflies; so I am aware of the role that plants play, just never been enthused enough to bother getting involved. Over the years I have been pointed in the direction of several species which, if I am honest, were interesting, some were bloody spectacular (Lizard Orchids at Sandwich Bay take some beating) - but the spark failed to ignite the flame.
The very last scrap of wild ground on my Newland's Farm patch.
I have no idea, therefore, why my recent discovery of a small colony of Pyramidal Orchids has given me such pleasure. The fact that they are on "my patch" in the small remnant of The Old Rose Garden surely has an awful lot to do with it, but I've found myself drawn to them and studying their intricate flowers. Must be getting soft - time to "man up!"
 
Six, of the seventeen, spikes of Pyramidal Orchid that I discovered in the remnants
of The Old Rose Garden

I don't care how common these plants are nationally.
On my patch they take on a whole different status.
I was so amazed at this discovery that I got in contact with Mr Burbridge, the land owner, and took him to see this display. These are the first orchids I've seen on Newland's; so I have to ask the question, of myself, have I previously overlooked them? Or, as seems more likely, did the mild, wet weather of the previous winter provide the ideal conditions for these plants to colonise? Whatever the answer, they are there now and have given me a sense of why plants are able to provide enjoyment in the same manner as birds, moths, bats or stamp collecting! No-one has to justify, to me, why they get fulfilment out of their chosen hobbies.
 
The derelict Scaffolder's Yard, just beyond the wheat. I was standing within the
un-harvested strip of potatoes when I took this shot. Pyson's Road Ind. Est. providing the horizon
With the sun shining brightly I decided, this morning, that a tour of the patch would be a good idea and getting some images of these plants was number one on the priority list. I also made an effort to check the barn for signs of Swallow occupancy - a pair feeding a brood is an excellent result. Two Common Whitethroats continue to occupy territories, with a successful outcome in the Scaffolder's Yard at least. Even better news was the discovery of newly fledged Yellow Wagtails in the narrow strip of potatoes which awaits harvesting - the first proven breeding for five years!
 
Looking south, from the end of Vine Close, St. Luke's playing field and the "Kent Peg" flint barn
on the right, the tractor track, which runs directly behind our garden hedgerow,
on the left. The un-harvested potato crop in the foreground - that Yellow Wagtail family were
extremely fortunate.
And so to my surprise! Well; whilst I was happily clicking away in the East Blean woodland, I managed to secure an image of a rather special moth. Being a complete dullard, I didn't realise the significance until today, when I had chance to do a bit of research. Esperia oliviella - this is a "Quality Street" micro with a very limited UK distribution - result!
 
Esperia oliviella - a very scarce micro, within a UK context - I wish I'd done more with the photos.


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