News on the radio this morning that this year’s ‘Good Beach Guide’ has just been published. We don’t really have any beaches here, at least not the sort that you might sit and sunbathe on, they are too muddy. But the cleanliness or otherwise of one of our ‘beaches’ – Cow’s Mouth just to the south of the village – is regularly a newsworthy item, since it has often been reported as the dirtiest beach in Britain. The litter there is flotsam and is due to the vagaries of the tide and the slovenliness of sailors rather than any local lack of civic pride. Thinking about it reminded me that our little kingdom between the Motorway and Morecambe Bay is only ever the focus of wider attention for all of the wrong reasons: Chinese cockle-pickers drowned in the Bay, a court case over a house crammed with neglected pets. I suppose that it is in the nature of news reporting to focus on the negative. The news is so shocking these days. The BBC news tonight was reporting not just on natural disasters, but on the rapid break up of the Arctic Ice-Cap. I know that I shouldn’t simply look away, but I think that I might grind to a halt if I actually properly absorbed the enormity of disasters current and imminent.
I set out tonight in search of particular flowers, but it was already late and since the sun was setting almost as soon as I set-off …
…I knew that I was likely to struggle for light.
Never-the-less, in a wet meadow there were Bugle, Marsh Marigolds, Cuckoo Flowers, Stitchwort, Buttercups, Ragged Robin:
and Yellow Rattle:
In the woods, Water Avens:
And this shrub, which I know has yellow flowers which I’m afraid I might have missed this year:
Finally, this is Lady’s Slipper Orchid and is the flower that I came out to see.
A couple of years ago this very rare plant hit the national headlines when it was apparently dug up during the night. Fortunately, as you can see, it’s still there, still flowering.