Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A Change of Seasons

After such a late onset of spring, the countryside continues to burst into life; just about every kind of wild flower came out in profusion, and still, in early June, it continues. Near Port Eynon Point, grass verges along limestone walls are awash with tall hogweeds, many covered in insects. These sturdy plants seem to thrive on Gower, even along high exposed hedgerows. True flies, hoverflies, and the odd bee buzz over their flat blossoms, which also attract weevils, shining iridescent in the bright mid-morning sun. An eleven spot ladybird opens its elytra, launches itself into the air almost vertically, and is gone.

Even by the sandy car park there are other interesting plants. Clumps of red valerian, long ago escaped from gardens, blend with native red campions and henbane, which can be toxic. Dune fescue, a scarce grass, mixes with stunningly beautiful bloody cranesbills, and so much more, making me lament once again at not learning enough about the rich plant life on Gower. In the sand dunes proper, bushes of sea radish, with lovely yellow flowers make a wonderful show, combining with dame’s violet. Along the path towards the Point, a few fading flowers of spring squill, cowslip and early purple orchids remind me of the passing spring, and a now rare small blue butterfly signals high summer just around the corner.

Around the headland it’s all about the sea. Gulls, maybe non-breeders, pass back and forth, and a tern offshore is too far away to identify properly. The plants change too. I’m now in a world of succulents and lush grass. Sea campion and thrift flows over rocky outcrops, and I bed myself down in a hollow hoping for a seal to pop up in the little sheltered cove below. There are no seals, but I make do with a school of harbour porpoises; it’s a lucky day again.

No comments:

Post a Comment