A Fawn, Branched Bur-reed and More Orchids.


A couple of days before I took these photos, we were seated around the kitchen table, which is right beside our patio windows, when a Roe Deer doe walked rather brazenly across the patio, as if we weren’t even there, just a couple of yards away. I didn’t take any photos, because I didn’t want to move and risk breaking the spell. She clearly was carrying a good supply of milk and when she took exception to one of our cats and chased it off the patio I wondered if she had a fawn hidden away somewhere nearby. Later, I checked, without really expecting to find anything, so wasn’t too disappointed when I didn’t.


But the idea of finding a Roe Deer fawn was planted in my mind and, when a walk through Eaves Wood and along The Row brought me to Lambert’s Meadow, I was particularly aware of that possibility, perhaps because I’ve often seen Roe Deer in Lambert’s Meadow before.


So, at the edge of the meadow, I stopped to look about and whilst I didn’t find a hidden fawn, I did see a fawn and it’s mother.


Admittedly, they were quite far away, but I think these are still the best photos I’ve taken, so far, of a fawn.


Just before I reached Lambert’s Meadow, I passed Bank Well and paused a moment to look for the Newts B and I had seen on a recent visit. They weren’t rising to the surface like they had been, but I did notice this…


Branched Bur-reed, which I haven’t knowingly seen before, but was pleased to see it because I recognised it from a Robert Gibbings wood engraving which is on the front-cover of my copy of his second book about the Thames, ‘Till I End My Song’.

Image result for robert gibbings till i end my song front cover

This isn’t my copy, but an image I’ve pilfered off the internet. I’ve written about my affection for Robert Gibbings writing and illustration before, so won’t repeat myself (for once). I still have ‘Coming Down the Seine’ on my monumental ‘to read’ pile, maybe I’ll get around to it this summer.

Branched Bur-reed has separate male and female flowers, the female ones being the larger globes and the males the smaller ones nearer the tops of the stalks.

Once the deer had disappeared from view, I turned my attention  to the many orchids growing along the margins of the field.


I think that all of the photos below show Common Spotted-orchid, but also show the enormous variability within a single species of orchid.



“The labellum is three lobed, the lateral lobes rhomboidal and the longer central lobe triangular. The labellum is marked by a prominent symmetrical double loop of broken lines and dots in darker mauve.”

Wild Orchids of Great  Britain and Ireland by David Lang.


Colour, shape and markings can all differ from specimen to specimen however, by quite some margin.


The fawn of course, was dappled too, which puts me in mind now, of Manley Hopkins ‘Pied Beauty’. Worth stopping, I thought, to take a closer look at the orchids and notice their fickle, freckled variation.


A view to Eaves Wood.


I noticed, not without some concern, that there was a bull in with the cows, in one of the last fields I needed to cross on my way home.

I needn’t have worried: he was very bashful and much more interested in the longer grass around the perimeter of this recently mown field than he was in me.


A Fawn, Branched Bur-reed and More Orchids.

7 thoughts on “A Fawn, Branched Bur-reed and More Orchids.

  1. The old story springs to mind of the famous golfer told by a fan how lucky he was playing a good shot, “funny the more I practice the luckier I seem to get!”

    By the way I recently bought a guide to the Cotswold Way by Mark Richards, published 1973 – nothing to do with you I presume? It is illustrated with drawings and maps very similar to Wainwright’s guides and the author consulted with AW and got permission to use that style and format – it is a delightful little classic.

    The Cotswold Way, Mark Richards. ISBN 0 904110 931 – published 1973 with eight subsequent re-prints and revisions up to 1988.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I was still in the Infants class in 1973! I am a big fan of his books though. Back in my university days I did persuade some of my Hiking Club colleagues that I was the author of those guides, before they realised what a wind-up merchant I am. His Peak District guides are superb, particularly the Dark Peak one in my opinion, although my view might be coloured by the fact that I lived in Manchester and relied on Public Transport, so used that one a lot. I also have his guide to Offa’s Dyke LDP, picked up second-hand, I’ve never walked the path. I also covet his series of Lakeland Guides, although I think that in those the drawings are supplanted by photographs, and hand-drawn maps are superseded by more accurate maps, not sure whether Harvey’s or OS. They’re also rather expensive and I already have numerous books about the Lakes, so I’ve managed to resist temptation. So far.

      1. beatingthebounds says:

        Are you planning to walk the Cotswold Way? It’s a path I’ve often thought I would like to walk.

  2. I don’t think I’d ever tire of seeing deer in my garden, if I ever did of course. I tried that same wind up on the kids that you wrote those books but they’d already sussed me put by then. The Cotswolds are not somewhere I like particularly. The well known stone villages are over-run with tourists and large tracts of it are just nondescript arable farmland. The edge that overlooks the Severn valley is nice but it’s an area I file under over-rated

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I know what you mean about the Cotswolds, but the LDP follows the edge of the escarpment where the Jurassic limestone meets softer rocks alongside, so I have a feeling that it might be better then you would otherwise expect. Hopefully, Conrad will let us know, if that is his plan.

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