Anything But Common

From our small but perfectly untidy (sorry lived in) cottage with a short walk up hill we have access to the most amazing cattle grazed common land. Due to the unique nature of how this land is grazed there is an incredible collection of wild plants and flowers that have become really quite rare in other places in the UK… In particular, the Bee Orchid.

This crazy little orchid appears for only a couple of weeks a year and is just the most joyful little flower… It looks exactly like a belly laughing bee!


Today Elli and I took Hutch up to a different part of the common with cameras to see what other beautiful flora we could find in amongst the cow pats! Much to Hutch’s disappointment we kept stopping to take pictures (the disciple is good for him honest!).

I am so pleased with all of our finds, there were more orchids out than I thought possible… Fragrant, common spotted, pyramid and even some bee orchids, all in full bloom and scattered throughout the beautiful grassland of Rodbrough and Selsley.

Please excuse the terrible photography I am in no way a professional but I do like my macro shots of flowers!


Luckily today there was no flower based damage caused and as he’s grown up recently he’s less and less interested in following me round and checking out what I’m doing all the time. Today however there were a couple of occasions when he’d run out of doggy friends to sniff and so he thought he would check out these amazing fragrant orchids with us!




This is the close up of the fragrant orchids I was trying to achieve when I was pounced on by the ginger snoofer with a wet nose!


I am always amazed at the variations of colours and sizes of seemingly one type of orchid… This being the common spotted orchid (although we didn’t see as many of these today as we did the fragrant ones). For the most part they were pale pinky, mauve and purple but this white one really stood out to me… Really striking and so pure!


Just the most beautiful example of the orchids, grasses and all sorts of meadow flowers (all of which Elli told me the name of and I promptly forgot!). The commons are so incredibly beautiful at the moment especially this year… I can’t even begin to express the depth of natural beauty that we stumbled across.

I am so so so guilty of being wrapped up in my own thoughts when I walk the dog, I’m usually at the very beginning or end of the working day, tired and I just don’t take the time to have a look around and explore all of the beautiful seasonal changes going on around me. Today was a real treat… A chance to explore at foot level like being a child again.


One more Bee for good measure from today!

If you would like more information on the commons you can find it on the National Trust Website. It is highly possible that in the process of writing this you will notice spelling mistakes denoting to the wrong name of orchids… I have tried my hardest as the worlds biggest amateur to get them right but am willing to accept I am only scratching the surface of orchid watching!! All I know is that they are incredibly beautiful in a special and really unique way… There is something so captivating in their beauty.

Other interesting plants found on the commons include – Birds Foot Trefoil, Wild Thyme, Fairy Flax, Cowslip, Daisy’s, Early Purple Orchids, Pyramid Orchids (they are out but not quite flowering yet), Red Clover, Rock Rose (which is just beautiful but I couldn’t get a good pic) and so so many more…! It’s worth taking a good book with you if you have the time.



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