Walking along Penrhos Beach, the tall cliff of sand on your landward side gives no clue to the beautiful flowers that are blooming behind it.
At first glance, as you climb (or stagger) over the sand dune there seems to be a carpet of yellow flowers. Mainly this is made up of vetches, trefoils and bedstraws, with some beautiful acid yellow stonecrops too.
The first impression is of a carpet of yellow…
…yellow bedstraw flowers…
But amongst all the yellows, there are lots of other colours including the pinky purples of orchids, wild liquorice (restharrow) and wild thyme.
One of the many orchids behind the dune cliff
Dotted amongst the yellow flowers there are several different orchids
The pink and white flowers of restharrow creep close to the ground
Patches of wild thyme form little mats, their flowers hardly bigger than pin heads
The flower heads of the grasses are beautiful too, like this little sand cats tail
And these beautiful pinky orange seed heads on a tiny little grass – possibly a dune fescue
It’s a bit of a shame when you come to the end of a beautiful walk through these flowers and arrive at one of the areas that were “improved” over the winter and spring…:(
One of the cleared areas on the edge of the dunes
In the forest, the first froglets started clambering out of the pools and ditches at the start of June. Those forest froglets were big, strong and quite golden in colour.
Today, out on the warren, some of the froglets in one of the pony watering holes were climbing out. These froglets are tiny and so dark they look almost black.
A tiny froglet making its way out of the pool
The water level in the pond has dropped meaning that the froglets have to clamber through sand before they can get anywhere: becoming completely coated with sand grains in the process.
…scrambling up the sand bank…
…getting coated with sand…(there is a froglet here – right in the centre)
On the edge of the warren, a clump of hemlock water dropwort (the UK’s most poisonous plant) must have caught the eye of lots of people as a path has been worn to it through the scrub and rushes.
Closer still to the tide line, pretty little sea milkwort flowers carpet the path.
Sea milkwort (Glaux maritima)
There are plenty of colourful orchids flowering, and plenty of twayblades too – also an orchid, but an easily overlooked one as it has fairly inconspicuous green flower spikes with two broad leaves at the bottom: hence the name twayblade.
The bee orchids (Ophrys apifera) are just coming into flower at Newborough. They are particularly plentiful along the track (now called the Postman’s Trail and waymarked as a horse riding route) at the edge of the forest.
Bee orchid, Newborough, 3rd June 2014
Newborough Warren is well known for its orchids. For the next few weeks, they will be in their full glory.
Common twayblade – probably the UK’s commonest orchid, but also one of the least conspicuous.