Lady Orchid: (Orchis purpurea) Let me open with a brief introduction to Hartslock Nature Reserve. This is by far one of the most beautiful little places I have had the pleasure of visiting. It's located on the north side of the Thames between Whitchurch and Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. .
One of the rare orchids little Hartslock is known for its the lady's orchid, second to lizard orchid the lady orchid is the biggest orchid we have in Britain.
The sepals and upper petals are known to be purple, hence the lady orchid adopting the Latin name purpurea. The lady orchid gets its name from its sepals and upper petals shapes as they are known to resemble a lady wearing a white dress and purple bonnet.
The orchid family has adapted wonderfully for cross pollination, with the flowers’ complex shapes primary function being to ensure that its own pollen does not reach its own stigma. In turn insects and other pollinators have adapted to the shape of specific orchids.
Hybrid Lady x Monkey Orchid: (Orchis purpurea x O. simia) Hartslock is famous for the monkey and the lady x monkey hybridised orchids found in recent years.
Grizzled Skipper: Hartslock is also home to the particularly scares grizzled skipper a butterfly with a checkered type pattern across its wings and the dingy skipper, a duller and but equally scares butterfly.
Small Copper: I could have spent hours exploring the orchid patch but in this beautiful setting, sitting in the sun and gabbing away with the locals. But with the bank holiday traffic on my mind I thought I should make a move.
Green Hairstreak: Big shout out to Chris Raper, the wonderful warden of this wonderful Hartslock Nature Reserve. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the skippers.
Pasque Flower: (Pulsatilla vulgaris) vulgaris alright, they super bright flowers stand out across the swaths of green grasses of the chalk hill.
The golden yellow anthers at the flower’s centre are a perfect contrast to the velvet-textured purple petals. These are worth travelling miles to see, even if these particular flowers are from an introduces stock.