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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wed 18th June - Brading Down.

Carrie's Photographs.

Ranger Bob's Photograph.

Aerial Shot.

Back to PPP (Pesky Plant Pulling) again this week, this time it was Ragwort that had our undivided attention. With a special 3 pronged fork in one hand and a plastic rubbish sack in the other, it is just a matter of moving to the next ragwort plant, dig it up, place in sack and then move on to the next. Not exactly the most riveting job in the world but when you see how few plants there are now, all our efforts over the years seem to be paying off, so it is somewhat rewarding. Other jobs tackled included repairs to an existing gate and the posts installed to convert a conventional gate into a "kissing gate". The sky was overcast but it was pleasantly warm which encouraged a good turnout.

The aerial photograph was taken from a Blade 350QX quad copter fitted with a Gopro Hero 3 camera, during our tea break. I will include a video clip at a letter date IF I can ever work out how to get Blogger to upload the file....!

Carrie's Nature Lesson.

This week's find was made by Marian during our ragwort session on Brading Down, and kindly identified by Nick the Ranger.  This is a Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) and this highly distinctive wildflower was chosen as the Isle of Wight's county flower.  It is found in good numbers on our chalk landscapes, however as with most orchids, it needs a specific fungus to be present in the soil in order for it to flourish.  This hardy plant has an average height of 10-25 cm with an erect and unbranched stem.  The arrangement of hermaphroditic flowers in this pyramidal shape is very distinctive, giving this orchid its common name.  Its colour varies from pink to purple and sometimes, although this is rare, white.  The best time to see them is when they flower during June and July.

A big "Thank You" to everyone who contributed to the blog this week.

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