Winks Meadow just outside Metfield is a place that regular readers of this blog will know is one of my favourite places - and yesterday I needed an orchid fix! The Green-winged Orchids on the meadow are a sight to behold and I don't know of any other site where they grow in such a wide variety of colours from deep purple through various pinks and mauves to the pure white 'alba' form of which I found 4 plants yesterday. I spent a happy time here photographing them whilst being careful not to lay on any others, or for that matter on any of the thousands of Cowslips. Around the perimeter Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat and Garden Warbler were all in song. In the adjacent Millenium Wood it was nice to compare White and Black Poplars which are very handily labelled plus a gorgeous aromatic Bird Cherry humming with insects.
White Poplar bark
White Poplar buds
White Poplar leaves
On the way back I called in to Mendham and had a short walk in the Waveney Valley, another place that has a special place in my heart. Nobody can tell me it isn't just as beautiful as the much more popular Dedham Vale in 'Constable Country'. Here I managed to find my first Small Copper of the year plus some lovely plants some of which were new to me - Meadow Saxifrage, Thyme-leaved Speedwell, Wall Speedwell, Sweet Vernal Grass, Common Mouse-ear Chickweed, Marsh Marigold and in the woods Water Chickweed, Ramsons and plenty of Yellow Archangel. Then back on the lane a Cuckoo called from a row of willows, my 2nd earliest ever.
Sweet Vernal Grass