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Friday 25 April 2008

Loder Valley

At 09.55am, before the opening of Wakehurst Place at 10.00, I was waiting keenly to get tickets for entry to the Loder valley nature reserve, which are restricted to 50 persons a day. It is a magical place. The bluebells were not quite in their prime on this overcast day, yet are beautiful as the above panoramic shot shows. The picture below is from the viewpoint overlooking the reservoir. You can expand any picture if you click on it.

This row of mature black pines (?) below, is on the hill above the badger hide.
Just what do they feed those badgers?

This pretty flower is a broomrape Lathraea clandestina, Purple Toothwort. It is a garden escapee, perhaps from the bog garden at Wakehurst. This was growing quite profusely in the woods alongside the public footpath near the footbridge over the lake. The 12 native broomrapes from the family (Orobanchaceae) have no leaves or chlorophyll and are parasitic on the roots of various plants, including clover, daisies, hazel, elder. Quite a lovely plant to see!

Above is a grainy shot of a sleeping tern! Earlier a kingfisher flew across the lake in a straight line , like an iridescent missile! And below another poor quality pic' of a kestrel on the fence by the deer enclosures. I must read the manual to figure out how to use this camera!

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