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Wild Flowers
Down in Roding Valley Meadows, there are lots of amazing wild flowers, some of which I can name:

Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife

Marsh Orchids (wrong, wrong, wrong. see comments)

Marsh Orchids



And some I, as yet, can't.




And the obligatory photo of the LDD

Draco Has a Drink

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A lovely collection. My favourite was the 'Teasle'. Have you got a new camera as these pictures are seem clearer and higher res then before?


However, if you go onto flickr, they've implemented a new page which allows a slightly higher quality medium size. I tend to post medium size, and I like the new version.

I love that option too and used it in my LB Post with the Cloud Topped Mountain pic.

I remember commenting on that one!

Oh! Another question. How come it's so dark behind the 'Marsh Orchids'?

Those particular orchids are in a little valley, and they were lit quite nicely by sunlight, with shadow behind.

It makes for a very stark contrast and really enhances the photograph.

I have other photos of Marsh Orchids from further along the river, but that one (and another taken at the same time) is by far the best because of that contrast.

Lovely pics - and I do like that one of Draco :-)

Have been trying and mostly failing to take pictures of the Peacock butterflies in the garden today. My cheapo camera is actually not bad a close-up shots, but it's a bit noisy, which does tend to frighten the wildlife :-) And I am no great shakes as a photographer. But I did get one decent shot. Maybe I just need to practice more.

Lots of butterflies in Roding Valley and not a single photo to show for it! temeres recommends the early morning for photographing insects when they are a tad more torpid.

Maybe I'll give that a try. I spotted a pretty little orange butterfly earlier on, one I don't know, though I think it was a Small Copper or possibly a Gatekeeper. I really need to look it up to be sure. Usually all I get is Peacocks and the occasional Tortoiseshell, and of course the Cabbage White :-) But the lawn (or rather the weeds on the lawn) seems to be crawling with orange and black caterpillars.

It's only since my mum got ill that I've spent much time in the garden, to be honest.

We get lots of Meadow Browns and Wood Browns and Gatekeepers, plus the good old Large and Small Whites, various Skippers, the odd Blue, and we have Commas in the garden because we have a hop which is one of their food plants. Saw Red Admirals today, and a Peacock, and we get Painted Ladies, but all of those three come over from the Continent early in the year, and they have been very few in numbers.

However, this is because we live in an area where there are lots of nature reserves - Epping and Hainault Forests (not to mention Chigwell Row Wood) are deliberately cultivated for wood and heath insects, and Roding Valley Meadows are one of the last areas managed as water meadows in the old fashioned way in Southern England.

If the caterpilars are on Ragwort (tallish, raggedy leaves, loose umbels of yellow flowers like miniature sunflowers) then they're probably Cinnabar moth.

Of the unidentified plants, the first is definitely a burdock, probably Lesser Burdock. The second is Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) or possibly Dropwort (F vulgaris), and the third looks like the seed head of Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondyllium).

I'm afraid I'm not convinced that the 'marsh orchids' are actually orchids. There are clearly several plant species together in that photograph, so it's hard to tease them apart, but your orchid seems to have a square stem (which is wrong), a serrated leaf with complex venation (also wrong) and a globular flower head rather than a spike (wrong at least for Dactylorhiza orchids). I'd say it's far more likely to be something in the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae) but I wouldn't like to say what.

Well,with respect to the 'Orchid' -that seems to be what the local Wildlife Trust thinks it is..

I think sidhe_woman got it right - Himalayan Balsam, or a close relative. I knew I'd seen those leaves somewhere before, but the flowers look a bit small.

I'm sure she's right and will change, with apologies to both of you.

As always, your photos are gorgeous!

Marsh Orchid I know as Himalayan Balsam, and it's an invader *g*.

Don't know the first mystery plant.

The second is meadowsweet, which was a medieval strewing herb and also has medicinal uses.

The third looks like seedheads of Giant Hogweed, an invader.

The fourth is a fairly rare variety of Canis Minor Scamperii.

Himalayan balsam Another vote for a) himalayan balsam and b) meadowsweet.

Himalayan balsam has an obligin tendency to grow in damp and shady places with a nice dark background!

I particularly like Unidentified #1!

Can't make this format as I'd like - sorry about absence of margins.

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