Saturday, 14 May 2011

Orchids at Ynyslas

Its now mid May and the start of the orchid season at Ynyslas sand dunes to the north of Aberystwyth. The marsh orchids -(Dactylorhiza spp.) are starting to appear in the damp dune slacks, before you get to the sand dunes;we have the early,southern,northern and western marsh orchids all growing and hybridising here. You'll see them with magenta, purple or reddish flowers and leaves with or without blotches. Most don't grow very high as its heavily grazed by rabbits in places.

I sat and sketched this orchid in situ;you can see the blotches on the chewed leaves.

There are plenty of mosses,sedges,horsetails and the strange adders tongue fern or Ophioglossum vulgatum- which is always good to see. I'll do a sketch of this curious fern soon.

Heres a picture of the dunes and Dyfi estuary;a very beautiful place.

While walking back in January,I collected quite a few shells,a mermaids purse and other little objects,like crab shells, on the beach.Heres a sketch of a few of my finds.

I'll revisit Ynyslas in mid June when the Bee and Pyramid orchids should be around-hopefully.
Meanwhile off to work xxxx

Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Disappearing Plant

Recently I've been so busy at work,what with 2 bank holidays ,school holidays and now we've the May ball tomorrow night.(This is a huge event taking place close to the hotel for students to get dressed up,watch bands and get drunk. Arggghh.)But I've found some time to quickly put in this post.

Before it got so busy,I'd been sketching some ladies smock plants that I had in a tub; making detailed preliminary sketches and colour notes. Checking on the plants this morning I noticed how much thinner they'd become,then I saw the caterpillars munching away;they are very camouflaged though . There are 5 of them and pretty soon there won't be much plant left to eat or for me to paint! But it will be definitely interesting to see them pupate.

Hopefully I'll get some time soon to start the painting !