At last, for me, the number of butterflies have increased since my last spells of duty here.  Showing well were Meadow Brown,

Meadow Brown nectaring on thistle

Gatekeeper , Green-veined White and Red Admiral.  A spectacular butterfly on top, I think the Red Admiral underwing is just as interesting and exquisitely marked, rather like that wonderful marbling effect that you may find on the inside cover of some old books.  

Red Admiral underwing

It was also good to see quite a few Brown Hawker dragonflies, although none of them would stop still long enough to have their picture taken.

A short stroll along the path to the Ivy South Hide and beyond whilst we trimmed back bramble and overhanging vegetation, took us to the far side of Dockens Water. 

If you know what to look for hiding under the trees by the side of Ellingham water there is a good display of Broad -leaved Helleborine. 

Broad-leaved Helleborine flower spike

The tall spike of flowers doesn’t look much at first, but a close-upof an individual flower reveals their family similarity to the orchids

Broad-leaved Helleborine flower

 Having made the effort to get down low to photograph this beauty, and at my age thinking ‘ Whilst I’m down here is there anything else I can do?’  I thought I’d take the opportunity to include a shot of the very common, but possiblly much overlooked Self-Heal flowers.


Whilst trimming back you often notice things which have been there for years, but of which I was unaware. One such discoveery was the presence of a fine, but now depleted crop ( eaten by birds?) of Redcurrants.

Remains of the Redcurrant crop

There are several small bushes, so probably the remnants of someone’s garden .



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