Much has changed since the last update in mid-May, but there are still Birdseye Primroses to be seen and Red Campion. The introductory picture shows some of the common summer flowers seen in the grassland, on the limestone rocks, in the woods. From the top left they are Wild Thyme, Horseshoe Vetch, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Hairy Rockcress, Salad Burnet, Crosswort, Meadow Cranesbill and Rockrose. Some of these are seen in abundance. Crosswort seems to have done very well this year. There are big patches of it in the fields and on the pathsides. Rockrose is often seen in big groups on the hillsides as well as in the meadows and Meadow Cranesbill often along the roads. Hairy Rockcress can seen on top of old walls, this group was on the rocks near Grassington Bridge.
A delight at the beginning of June was to see the Mountain Everlasting not far from Malham Tarn
This is a plant which as a group we have been pleased to find just one or two plants but here there were some large patches. A member of our group discovered them. There was also good ground cover by the Mountain Pansies. From the track nearer the tarn Northern Marsh Orchids
were beginning to show. These are a rich dark red usually with unspotted leaves.
The Orchids are a real contrast to the commoner plants above but they all have their own beauty.
A local site has the delicate Lesser Butterfly Orchid. This is a rare plant and the spikes counted each year. This year there are around 30 spikes which is good.
At Kilnsey Park, the Lady’s Slipper has had a good season which is now nearly over, but the Marsh Orchids are growing really well. I could see all colours and sizes! From the dark purplish of the Narrow-leaved Marsh, to the whiter form of the Common Spotted along with the salmon pink of the Early Marsh and all colours and combinations in between. What a shame they cannot generally be seen this year, but hopefully, next year will be a different story.
Photos Christine Bell