The constant round of either waiting in for deliveries, waiting for (so-called) tradesmen and assembling things is drawing to a close. Fortunately, the bad weather that accompanied our work schedule also seems to have drawn to a close. At last we have had time to go out and play.
Today, a couple of friends were off up the Bérnia, our local Snowdon-sized mountain, for a Sunday lunch. I really don’t like to “do” lunch but, in the interests of being sociable and having some enjoyable company, having been invited to join in we readily agreed. Before sitting down to eat, though, we thought we’d take advantage of the clear, sunny conditions and spend an hour or so scouring the Bernia’s rough vegetation for any interesting nature that might present itself. Our lunch companions would find us up there when they were ready.
Our main target was orchids, one of which Francine had spotted around the Bérnia on a previous trip. There’s usually a few butterfly-throughs, too, though, so I was hopeful of some heartbeat interest. We parked, donned some rough ground footwear and started combing the vegetation.
My hopes went unrealized; there proved to be very little in the way of insect activity. Francine, however, had much better fortune and soon spotted an orchid. Where there was one, there were others. There were actually two species, both about 10cms tall. One was a greenish orchid, the other had purple tones. Both looked like Ophrys species, the same family as the Bee Orchid. The greenish specimen is the one Francine had seen on a prior visit and seems to rejoice in the name of Dull Ophrys (Ophrys fusca). Poor thing! Fancy calling such a plant dull.
The purplish character required a little more book searching but Francine thinks this one is a Sawfly Ophrys (Ophrys tenthredinifera). It’s always a good day when you see something new for the first time.
We tried to keep a very sociable lunch light, ordering a couple of tapas, a plate of squid and a plate of duck livers along with a mixed salad, to share between us.
In an attempt to walk off some of what was intended to have been a light lunch, we wandered along the river back in our valley scouring the banks for any dragonfly activity, in particular one pool that had proved interesting on a previous year. Another blank – nothing fluttered to announce the new season. It’s like that at the start of the year, several blanks are drawn before the action actually gets underway.
A good day for orchids, though, with a new species to add Francine’s list.