t was a warm, muggy cloudy morning for our last walk of the season where our aim was to find autumn lady’s tresses, a tiny spiralling flower hiding in low grass. Amongst the damp grass along the main path we passed white, red and bladder campion as well as agrimony, lady’s bedstraw and, as the path widens out to the sunny bank, harebells. Here also we had rock rose, eyebright, fairy flax and quantities of autumn gentian, common centaury amongst field scabious, small scabious. On the bumpy knoll where the leaves of the pasque flower could still be seen, we found devil’s-bit-scabious and plenty of yellow-wort and our target spoecies – autumn lady’s tresses. A number of our walks have been rained off this year so it was good to finish with such a rewarding morning at the flower rich site.
It was a cold, windy morning as we set off up the track to the woods but masses of celandine soon cheered us as we passed the first clump of sweet violets. Goldilocks edged the path and as we reached the wood, bluebells and early dog violet mingled together. Up into the woods the wood anemone was at its finest, however the early purple orchids were a long way off flowering. Around the corner the warm banking was carpeted with celandine, ground ivy and common dog violet interspersed by a few barren strawberries. Abundant tiny cowslips were just emerging on Ledsham vale with hairy violets dotted amongst them. The pasque flower was fully formed and should be in flower in a couple of week’s time.
It was a bright, sunny day with a hint of autumn for our visit to the vale. Corn sowthistle, rough hawksbit, both black and white bryony, creeping buttercup and cross-wort lined the pathway into the vale. Harebells blew gently amongst the rock rose and cat’s ear with self heal, eyebright, milkwort and tormentil still visible. Three species of gentian – common centaury, yellow-wort and autumn gentian were a pleasure to see. The banking was a sea of blue with three species of scabious – field scabious, small scabious and devil’s bit scabious. After much searching we finally came across the elusive autumn lady’s tresses, a very small member of the orchid family.