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Signs of Spring

The last couple of years has spoiled us with fine settled spring weather. This year seems to be reverting to what we used to get, with September rainfall 198 mm and a couple of quite good gales, although they were thankfully reasonably short duration. I’ve just been over into the Inlet, and a good 35 knots of Southerly blowing, occasional showers but nice sunny fine periods between. But never the less the signs of spring are still around us.

Ulva Island

Yesterday I took a couple to Ulva … my first visit in a few weeks. And I was delighted to spot the first of the seasons orchids just out. Tiny “embryo” blooms of “Dancing Spider Orchids” Corybas acuminatus out everywhere.
I use the word “Embryo” advisedly as that is how they appear to me. I tend to expect flowers to go from the bud to the full bloom quite quickly. But this species seems to take several weeks to arrive at the full bloom. And the developing stage after first appearing looks like nothing so much as a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. The sequence of slides shows the development. The first photo is from this year, the rest are of course from years past.

Last year I found only around 5 blooms. This year so far perhaps half of all plants appear to have either tiny buds or the bloom out. 

Dancing Spider Orchid

 

Embryonic Flower just out

Dancing Spider Orchid

 

“Embryo” slightly more developed

Dancing Spider Orchid

 

Almost fully formed

Dancing Spider Orchid

 

Flower is fully ripe

Clematis, Sails Tours

Spring Clematis

I always look forward to Clematis appearing, and a couple of days ago there it was. A cluster of blooms bright in the morning sun draped across a bush.

And just to reinforce the Spring thing my guests on Ulva saw a fantail busy collecting dry rotted timber “fluff” presumably for a nest.