Friday, 24 August 2012

August Flowers and Bees at Lower Winskill Farm

Today I visited Lower Winskill Farm. Tom Lord was keen to show me the Field Gentians that he had been shown last week. Usually I visit in May and June. It was fascinating to see the difference two month's later - two months of a very wet summer.

In the ungrazed limestone pasture/meadows the Knapweed had grown extraordinarily well. It was in full flower (100m lower by the road to Settle it is over) (This year it has all come at once" said Tom.

We started off from his farm accompanied by Tanya St Pierre who would be running a workshop on bees at the weekend.

She was delighted by the abundance of Knapweed and bees on it, even on this very humid grey day.

Honey bee

Hoverfly - must look this up

Bombus terrestris    Buff-tailed Bumble Bee


We walked further north into the pasture that leads towards Stainforth.

We found several plants of Grass of Parnassus - Tom has not seen them in this field before.
Is this because he has reduced grazin - or because we have had a very wet summer?

The we came to what we were looking for. First some Autumn Gentian - Relatively Common at this time of year on shallow grassland on limestone

And then just a few plants of the Field Gentian. It has four petals and two big sepals overlapping two small sepals.

An interesting fungus on the way back.

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