Yesterday's 7 mile hike didn't only reveal the whereabouts of the delightful Bee Orchids. As we tramped up the grassy slopes near the Shipley Park Visitors' Centre, we encountered many other 'spikes' of orchid flowers. Among the best were those belonging to Southern Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza praetermissa).
The flowers of this beauty are rather variable and can be almost any shade from a very pale pink, to darker, purple hues. The spotty 'throat' of the flower acts as a kind of 'landing strip' to pollinating insects and can be better appreciated in a closer view.
The most common orchid around these parts is - as the name would suggest - the Common Spotted Orchid ().
Both of these orchids share the family name 'Dactylorhiza' meaning finger-root which refers to the tuberous root system resembling the fingers of a hand.
Go on then.... one more picture of the Bee Orchids. This one shows how Bee-like the flower can actually appear.