KIMBERLEY; OLD GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY – A WOOD WEDNESDAY
A massive crowd turned out for this, the dullest, chilliest, June, Wood Wednesday of my experience. Though not really on a Glastonbury scale this bench got rather crowded and it’s a good job P-Nut had nipped off in search of Upright Brome leaving George and Hal to have a good old natter over an apple and a sandwich.
The Bromopsis erecta was difficult to capture as it wafted about in the stiff breeze and the 4k shooting came into its own.
But a firm grasp on a leaf blade enabled a portrayal of its ‘Camel’s eyelashes’.
Ten of us enjoyed the delights of this old railway complex but I’m afraid the 11th looked a bit lost; India seemed unimpressed by our enthusiasm for grasses and weeds though she would surely have found the floriferous grassland of our lunch break delightful if only the sun had shone. There was Viper’s Bugloss Echium vulgare, Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria, Quaking-grass Briza media, Betony Betonica officinalis, Common Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii and its hybrid with Southern Marsh-orchid D. praetermissa = Dactylorhiza x grandis.
With Common Spotted-orchid nearby, the lack of spots on the leaves and the much darker tones to the flowers were evident; the reduced extent of the central lobe on the lower lip ( the labellum) was a decider.
There were tantalising hints that a sun still shone in the heavens and my first Ringlets were having battles with the Meadow Browns at such moments and a Blackneck moth attracted attention.
It has extended its range through the Midlands during the last decade and is often evident in flower-rich grassland; its favoured food-plant is Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca which is also present.
Plant of the day for Dave and for others familiar enough with inland-seaside specialities, was Catapodium marinum – Sea Fern-grass, a road salt opportunist in the gutter of the A610 – look carefully on your next visit to IKEA.
Another of this ilk was on show at the side of the A52 as we crossed the Wilford-Ruddington road in the slowness of the evening traffic; the most inland Sea Wormwood is doing well where Dave first found it, in similar circumstances last year,