Saturday, May 27, 2017

Chiltern Orchid Safari part II - Hartslock

If you are going to drive for a couple of hours, then take a long walk on the hottest day of the year, then climb up a slope to see some orchids, you might think it a good idea to have done your research on what you are about to see before you go. For some reason I don't do this. I turn up, have a look, take lots of photos, then go home to find out what it is I've seen. Despite the obvious flaw in this approach, it seems to work for me.

And so to Hartslock. We parked in the centre of Goring. If I was doing this again I'd park on Manor Road which runs south from the village and has an area where you appear to be able to leave a car. It is away from houses, quite wide, and seems to be free. Anyway, we made our way along to Hartstock and up the slope to the mass of orchids.

Hartslock is famous for Monkey Orchid, Lady Orchid, and in particular  a successful hybrid of the two. After consultation of the identification board I realised that the small pale orchids were the Monkey Orchid.

"The Monkeys often look as if they have been thrown in a heap."

The hybrids are extremely impressive plants. I guess they have the "Lady" sepals and the "Monkey lip. They would not look out of place in a garden, centre-piece of a border.

We were told the Lady Orchids had all gone over, but looking at the photo below I think this may be one of them. There are two lips visible, and both these are the flatter wider lips of Lady Orchid not the longer spindly legs of the Monkey Orchid. 

Otherwise we had a Dingy Skipper on the surrounding plants, and lots of Brimstones, but not much else. Nevertheless, a special place with a very picturesque view over the Thames Valley. Apart from the mainline railway going through it. 

Looking up the Thames from Hartslock.

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