18 July 2013

Double flowers and dragonflies

I have visited the High Woods several times during the current heatwave and it is much quieter than usual.  Perhaps people are going to the beach instead.  However, there is plenty to see.  The woodland edges are rich with flowers and delicate grasses (as below: common bent, Agrostis capillaris., tufted vetch, Vicia cracca, and marsh bird's-foot trefoil, Lotus pedunculatus).

Common blue damselflies are very numerous this year and there are some interesting dragonflies.

Most summers there are golden-ringed dragonflies, Cordulegaster boltonii, often around some of the smaller, acid streams, one of the places they breed.

Today I saw a species I have not seen in the Woods for nearly 20 years, though it is a common enough in England and Wales: the  black-tailed skimmer, Orthetrum cancellatum.

Surprisingly hard to see when settled among twigs and grass.

A floral curiosity is growing by the gate to the Old Wood Yard.  There are a couple of plants of double red campion, Silene dioica, again something I have not come across before.

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