Field Survey 30th June 2020

What a difference! 10 days between surveys due to severe weather and the field has totally changed. 

GONE the Pig Nuts, without a trace the tall white canopy flowers have vanished, flowers have seeded and gone away, amazing. GONE the Speedwell, that blue carpet of multitudes of little icle flowers all gone to seed. These two had been the dominant flowers of the field, no more. 

INCOMING: Tall Thistles starting to flower with the most delightful purple flowers being swarmed by little yellow bees of a type I cannot identify, so a new bee that’s great!. Many many NEW Lesser Butterfly Orchids, 160 counted this day spreading out from their previous strongholds to colonize new areas further up the slope, more on this later. INCOMING new flowers i do not recognise, some look like wild peas some are like big Daisies new to me,mail me if you know them. There are dozens of lush new Aspen suckers just waiting for the sheepies to gorge on them when they are given access to the field. such a lot of change, it is very exciting.

I also noticed a major uptick in insect life, this could be the new damp conditions or just the natural progress  of the calendar. I saw but could not photograph Meadow Brown Butterflies, Large Blues and small and large Whites. There must be 10 different types of moths and so many odd looking flies and things, it is bewildering. And lastly Bees, i believe i saw at least 6 different kinds, some working the Thistle some the clovers and one small black bee seemed to be focusing on the pea like purple flowers. So interesting.

Back to the Lesser Butterfly Orchid This is the flagship species in this field, it was the counting and then managing for the increase of this rare species that started much of my thinking about whole farm health. So I will write a seperate piece to be published this week about these special plants and why they matter and how I altered the management of the field to prioritise them and by extension the other flowers. 

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