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’.
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.