22/07/2017 Arnside Knott,

Broad-leaved Helleborine: (Epipactis helleborine) There is always a perk having family-in-laws who live up in Carnforth, it means I can sneak off and go wildlife spotting up nearby Arneside Knott!
This is precisely what I did after dropping Dawn off at her dads, I headed up the knott in the heavy summer downpours. And despite the rain and the grey clouds Arnside knott was stunning.

Soon the rain eased off and then disappeared leaving way to warm weather and sunshine, then Arnside Knot looked even better. I had such an enjoyable time up there.
My main aim was to see the Broad-leaved Helleborine and Dark Red Helleborine that were both in flower somewhere on the knott.
I was also hoping to see a few decent butterflies but didn't hold out too much hope as the weather was so poor when I arrived.

It didn't take me long to find the Broad-leaved Helleborine, which was strikingly standing out on the edge of the woodland.

The most common of the Helleborines and preferring a shady location these Orchids get their name from base leaves, which are broad and rounded as the leaves develop up the spire they tend to get longer and narrower. The flowers also develop from the bottom upwards.

These unassuming plants are brilliant, just take a look at their tongue like flower petels known as the Labellum.

High Brown Fritillary: I needn't have worried about not seeing a decent butterfly - as soon as the rain stopped (and for a while I didn't think it would) they all came fluttering out.
The one I was keen to see was the High Brown, a first for me. They frequent flowery meadows, woodland edges and uplands basically the similar habitats the Pearl-boarded Fritillary and easily mistaken for Dark Green Fritillary.
The two species are most easily distinguished by their undersides, where the High Brown Fritillary has a row of brown spots known as pearls between the outer margin and the silver spangles, which are missing in the Dark Green Fritillary.
A less-reliable identification guide is that, as its name suggests, the High Brown Fritillary has a predominately brown hue to the underside, whereas the Dark Green Fritillary is predominately green.

In either case I was thrilled to see my first High Brown!

Gatekeeper: As I was heading back to the car I thought I would give the steeper slopes of the knott another going over in search of the Dark Red Helleborine and although I couldn't find it I was happy to spend a few moments watching this Gatekeeper.
With it's vibrant colours I would surmise this is a newly emerged individual who was setting up a territory and chasing away any other butterflies who fluttered past.