Success today and yesterday. The Heath Spotted Orchid. Not rare but this is the only place I've found them in this area. Shame they're not Marsh Orchids given that I have to negotiate such boggy ground to find them, but never mind. Below is a fraction of what faced me and caused very wet feet:
Yesterday I found this little clump but they were still fairly closed up:
But today produced this beautiful little specimen.
On the way home I saw.............
These three foals:
A Meadow Pipit or Skylark (not the best identification angle) escaping the camera
A sheep trying to hide:
That troublemaker galloping in again. I had a VERY good look at him yesterday and he is NOT a gelding after all. I think we know what next year's foals are going to look like.
The horrible Fernworthy Forest looking rather sculptural beyond the Longstone.
A lovely Large Red Damselfly:
And back home, as I was pottering in the kitchen, I saw something yellowy green flash across the garden in my peripheral vision. I'm pretty sure it's a juvenile Siskin. Very exciting as I've never seen one in the five years we've been up here. One of my favourite birds.
Unfortunately, it remained hidden behind the feeder but I caught a glimpse of its open mouth as it tried to get first a Sparrow and then a Chaffinch to feed it. I really hope it comes back and perhaps I might get a decent shot of it!
At last we have stuff to eat from the garden; it's been two years since our last crop thanks to last year's disastrous weather.
The dry shade border is looking okay at last:
A TINY Blue Tit:
Yesterday evening, the late evening light looked gorgeous, casting shadows on the wall around this mirror:
A strange day of sultry heat under dark grey skies which have now cleared. I wore my sandals for only the third day this year - yippee. Until next time, here's that dog in need of a beardy trim. The moor is at last beginning to look green.....ish.
Beautiful wild orchid.ReplyDelete
You should show more of your garden Em, it looks lovely.
It's still work in progress so close ups are probably best! My stripey hedge hiding the wood-chopping area is annoyingly unsuccessful so far which doesn't help matters. I will try though....Delete
You have certainly captured some gorgeous photographs Em. The stallion looks determined to 'visit' one of the mares, or chase off a rival!...he has a lovely marking, like a white arrow almost, I'll call him Arrow, although of course the marking could look completely different on the other side...hey ho!ReplyDelete
I like Arrow. You are the official pony-namer Ann!Delete
You always post lots of moor photos which I love but I too would love to see more of your garden.ReplyDelete
Okay....I'll try and take some flattering photos of it, avoiding the trampoline and endless Snippet sticks!Delete
Beautiful photos. I guess more paints next year in the foal department.ReplyDelete
What is so terrible about the forest?
The forest is a Forestry Commission commercial enterprise which juts out onto the moor and I think looks horrible, especially when they cut great swathes of it away at a time. Dartmoor was covered in native deciduous oak woodland before humans cut it down, so the pine trees just look wrong here. Just my opinion!Delete
The orchids are gorgeous!ReplyDelete
I have to admit, I like the troublemaker.
Your garden looks lovely.
He's certainly charismatic. Better than some of the stallions I've seen over the years.Delete
Very pretty orchids, so distinctive. We gets siskins here but I haven't seen a baby yet - the spotty tummy on yours is certainly very siskinish.ReplyDelete
I'm pretty sure it is, but it seems to have come from nowhere in that I've never seen its parents. Just a confident youngster I guess!Delete
Em, just a thought- we had a baby greenfinch here yesterday who also had a spotty tummy. I'm going to post a pic over the weekend but I just wondered if yours could have been a greenfinch?Delete
Worth a look but I think they (there are two now!) are a bit small and the beaks, now I have a good shot of them, are not finchy enough. I've been scouring pictures of Siskin juveniles and they're a perfect match. Would be definitely be really interested to see the Greenfinches in case though. Thank you!Delete
I quite like the skewbald stallion - nicely marked and "Dartmoory" - great length of stride too! Next year's foals should be easier to identify.ReplyDelete
Great bird photos and I loved the orchids (any on the verges in these parts get cut . . . as do ANY wild flowers, however rare, full stop. We have had the occasional Siskin here in the past - hope yours comes back and you can do a proper ID.
I agree with you about Fernworthy - we live near Brechfa Forest, which is another non-native pines abomination.
To add insult to injury with Fernworthy, they've started charging for car parking! Glad you're of the same mind....there are lots of illegal raves there over the summer which we can just hear sometimes if the wind's in the wrong direction.Delete
I am always bowled over by your pictures of the foals Em - they are such a delight. And if that big lad is going to be the dominant male dad next year, there are going to be some pretty foals around.ReplyDelete
Your weather sounds much like ours up here and rain is forecast for today - we shall welcome it on our salad leaves - watering them from a can is not the same.
You're right - even if it's rainwater from the water butt it doesn't have the same effect.Delete
The Heath Spotted Orchids are beautiful and it's great that you saw the young Siskin. Love the Damselfly, too.ReplyDelete
I'm having real macro issues recently with both cameras rarely focusing properly, so I was very pleased with the Damselfly, who was anything but 'Large'.Delete
Lovely photos as always Em - lovely to see the orchids and the foals are just gorgeous :)ReplyDelete
Good news re: the siskin :)
Completely lost track of the foals though. I was so good logging them last year but I just can't do it this time!Delete
Hi Em yet another set of great shots. I loved the Dragonfly and the foals are beautiful. Was interested to see the Orchid as tomorrow I am having Orchids n my post and I really don't know what kind/s they are. if you could have a little look for me, perhaps you could tell me the names. I think they may well be all the common one. MargaretReplyDelete
Of course, though I'm no expert - believe me! Either send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or let me know where to go to have a look.Delete
Beautiful pictures as ever! That stallion troublemaker is rather handsome even if he is mischievous :-)ReplyDelete
He's growing on me.....saw him again today and he started chasing Snippet off. I got out of the way smartish!Delete
The orchids are lovely Em. Sounds like you needed wellies instead of sandals to get the photos though ;-) Lovely to see the red damsel too. I think you are right about the Siskin, the only other possibility I thought of is juvenile Greenfinch but it doesn't look quite right for that. You certainly live in the right place, we only see them here in the winter and early spring.ReplyDelete
I'm about to post some more pictures of it and it's sibling (I think). They've almost cleared out the seed feeder between them in two days!Delete
Hi Em, you always have such an interesting group of photos, that I dont know where to begin. However I will pick my favourite as I did before....and I'm going to go with the two foals together, because I love the way they are both standing and the cotton grass behind them. Delighted you got the orchids-sorry to hear about your wet feet! It's good to see your garden, I like to know how peoples garden are doing in their different environments and Dartmoor must certainly throw up some challenges.ReplyDelete
Those two foals are looking at Snippet out of shot which is why they appear so alert. Last year he got to play with some of them but this year they seem more wary.Delete
The challenges are VERY acidic soil huge amounts of wind and rain and a humongous slug population!