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As more and more orchids are now appearing, I thought I’d post a few photos of those I’ve seen so far this year. The first were the aptly named Early purples (Orchis macula), though this year they were even earlier than usual I’m told – I spotted these beauties at Lavernock Nature Reserve on 23 April.

190525 early purple orchids

Next up were these pretty little Heath spotted-orchids (Dactylorhiza maculata) found growing at the Aberbargoed Grasslands National Nature Reserve on 15 and 21 March, when I was visiting for the Marsh fritillaries.

190525 heath spotted-orchid

During Monday’s wander at Lavernock I spotted the first open flower of a Common spotted-orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsia) and on Thursday, 23 May, I found the first couple of these at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park.

190525 common spotted lavernock190525 common spotted cosmeston

And today’s delightful discovery, also at Cosmeston, was my first Bee orchid (Ophrys apifera) for 2019. I look forward to the warm summer days when the fields at Cosmeston are awash with (mostly Common spotted) orchids – they’re a joy to behold!

190525 bee