Friday, 3 May 2019

Carney Commons - 1st May

On May Day, I visited Carney Commons, North Tipperary to look for signs of orchids. It's an interesting site, a calcareous fen that floods in winter, where I regularly find Fly orchid, several dactylorhizos, Marsh Helleborine, Fragrant orchid - no sign of any so far. I shall try to document it regularly through the seasons this year.

However, at one end of the site is a small area of limestone pavement overlaid with limestone rocks (probably cleared from nearby fields and dumped) raised a few feet above the winter flood level. There I found numerous Early Purple orchids (Orchis mascula), including a pure white form.

Also pictured, an anthill - much favoured by Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum) and thyme (Thymus serpyllum). I'm fascinated by how different the flora of an anthill is from its surroundings.

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