Another angle on June's Nature Walk

<b>Berrow orchid field 2011</b>
Berrow orchid field 2011

<b>Berrow orchid</b>

We were in for a lovely surprise on our nature walk with Malcolm on this not very bright Sunday in June. We, like some others, did not find a direct way to Berrow Church, but instead took a tourist's route around Berrow village!

However, we were in time to catch the beginning of the walk, which is a good thing since the first great joy, after only a few yards was the small meadow full of Marsh Orchids. These were possibly the stars of the show, but we found many other (new to me) plants which made me rush home to look out my Fitter, Fitter and Blamey -the botanist's bible in the old days, and my Collins Photoguide. I thought that I knew most common plants, but obviously I had not studied sand dunes.

<b>Sea Buckthorn</b>

A first for us was the Sea Buckthorn. Yes, I think that we were the only people who did not know it, but hey! we had never seen it before. Then Evening Primrose was pointed out to us although I was sure that it was Morning Glory! Where have all my brain cells gone? However, in my defence, I am used to spotting the larger plant which is possibly a garden variety, and I had not realised that these belong to the Willowherb family.

<b>Berrow Meadow Vetchling</b>

The Ribbed Melilot, a member of the Pea Ribbed Melilot Family with its very pretty spears of tiny pale yellow flowers was another find. It was growing in the dunes across the middle of the Golf Course where we also found what I think was Buglos, a member of the Borage Family. The small five-petalled flowers were such a lovely true blue colour, but oh dear! it was so hairy. However, the crowning glory was the magnificent, huge seed heads of the Goatsbeard, found in the same area as the the above two. The interesting folk name for this is Jack-go-to-bed'at-Noon because the flowers only open fully on sunny mornings.

As for the non-plant life, John found lots of tiny grasshoppers, but the pond was nearly dry and only revealed lots of water snails end a golf ball a long way from any green! And we did hinder a few golfers! The sands and shoreline only revealed shells and some partly eaten cuttlefish which were collected for a grandmother's budgerigar.

We only just got back to the cars in time to avoid the rain, but it was a thoroughly interesting and informative walk. Please correct me if anyone thinks that I have got my plant recognition's incorrect and Malcolm's account will be far more comprehensive and accurate than mine!

Vivien and John Adlam