|Southern White Admiral (Martin Kelsey)
|Pyrenean Oak glade
This year, thanks to the opportunity of taking a visitor round who was keen on orchids, I returned. It was mid-April and the path exceeded my expectations by a league. Dotted along close to the path were magnificent creamy Sulphur Orchids, in perfect condition. Early Purple Orchids appeared on higher slopes, whilst Narrow-leaved Helleborines were just starting to flower. My hunch had more than paid off, but now the path enticed me further. I was not convinced that the remnant pinkish orchids I had found the previous year were Early Purple Orchids, especially since they had not been growing where this colony was present. Three weeks later, I secured a return visit. With the acceleration that is spring, three weeks is a huge gap and the Sulphur Orchids were now barely recognisable. But what had emerged in the interim excited me still further. Langei's Orchids were now beside the path and were clearly the pinkish-flowered species that I had found a year earlier. But a little further along the path, I found what I had really been hoping for: a stand of Dactylorhiza insularis, scarce and highly localised species in Extremadura.
|Dactylorhiza insularis (Martin Kelsey)
But the walk that May morning had added further attractions to the lure of this path. Beautiful Demoiselles flitted across the glades, moving from shaft of sunlight into shadow and on the newly opening bramble flowers and patches of blue scabius on sunny banks, butterflies wandered.
|Beautiful Demoiselle (Martin Kelsey)
|Amanda's Blue (Martin Kelsey)