I had a phone call yesterday telling me that there was a patch of Pyramidal orchids on the grass verge not far from my house.
The grass verge is on a slipway of the dual carriage way, but right at the top, allowing us somewhere safe to park and walk back down the path along the side of the road.
The grass verge has not been mown this year. Wild flowers and wildlife really benefit from the council not mowing the grass verges and along this part of the road it is safe to have tall grass as it doesn’t obstruct car drivers view.
There were about 20 Pyramidal orchids in a group with a few odd ones scattered amongst the ox-eyed daisies. Pyramidal orchids are 20 to 40 cm tall, they flower between June and August and are quite easy to spot due to their colour and shape.
As I was taking the photos, cars and lorries thundered past on the main road. I was trying to capture how close the cars came, and how most people driving past probably didn’t notice these beautiful flowers were even there.
Scattered around these flowers were cans, cigarette boxes and other rubbish that has been discarded. Apart from not just looking horrible, rubbish on the side of the road can have a harmful affect on wildlife and habitats.
As I was kneeling down I noticed that behind the Pyramidal orchids was a single Bee orchid. Standing out from all the green.
The Bee orchid can grow from 25cm to 45cm tall and flowers between May and June. It can sometimes be mistaken as a bee crawling into the flower because of the way it looks, this is its way of making sure it is pollinated. Unfortunately, the right species of bee doesn’t live in the UK, so the Bee orchid has to self-pollinate.