Sunday, June 14, 2009


A beautiful June morning and a last walk to a favourite spot, though to be honest it was also to check on whether the orchids had appeared in their usual places. The start of the walk is by Sir Bevill's monument and here there is a patch of rough ground that hosts orchids and a variety of wildflowers, one of which I had'nt seen before a yellow bladder like flower, similar to white campion, but that shall be named another day.
Over the great stone stiles that mark this part of the Cotswold Way and down the stone path, probably used since prehistoric times as it leads from the Langridge/Lansdown to Charmy Down and Solsbury Hill. The grasses are in full flower, and this is the one time of the year when I suffer hayfever, as they puff their tiny powdered seeds into the air.
A three quarter moon, softly white in the bluest of skies battles against the sun, day of course wins as we approach the longest day of the year. Brown hedge butterflies dance around and moths also, there is an insect, black with red spots, a bit like a moth but is'nt. The birds in the hedges are muted in their talk, creamy heads of elderflower, dog roses are going over and being swamped by the long tendrils of old mans beard - the hedge is a thick mat of hawthorn with the occasional tree and at the moment goosegrass clings tenaciously as well.
Buttercups everywhere, pink campion, cow and field parsley are coming to an end, and the thuggish hogweed thrusts its white head above the grasses. What else, the pea vetch tendrils can just be seen, and silver weed, already losing its silvered edge of spring.
Down into the fields where the orchids are, white and red clover, the white clover flower is beautiful, more cream with a dark purple centre. The gate leads to a field that is not touched by fertilisers, it overlooks St.Catherine's valley with Freezing Hill opposite. Earlier there would have been ladies smock scattered through here, but today the flowering grasses, delicate shades of grey,brown and fawn, shot through with the darker brown/red hues of the flowers of plantains and dock.
The orchids are almost finished, but a few remain to be photographed, the grass is too long to go the badger's lair and the Langridge Barrows but they are both safe in this field, and not in need of human intrusion
Sight and sound, the naming of flower, birdsong and smell of course, elderflower, and the echoes of the strong scent of ransoms in the woods.....

Trefoil with my mysterious insect

Orchids in the Langridge field

St.Catherine's Valley

Looking down towards the A4 with Solsbury Hill/ Charmy down in the distance , this is where the Cotswolds come to a halt.

Mossy tumbled down walling

Orchid in the rough ground

Traces of old quarrying, could be from any time, including the Roman


  1. What a lovely walk, I'm sure you'll miss this when you move. Your insect looks a bit like a burnet moth? I'm a very long way from being an expert though.

  2. Thanks for that Rowan, think you're right,its something to do with how many spots they have 6 spot or something....