Tim Woodcock: Blog https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog en-us (C) Tim Woodcock (Tim Woodcock) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:54:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:54:00 GMT https://www.luminous-sundial.com/img/s/v-12/u675350247-o844335594-50.jpg Tim Woodcock: Blog https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog 97 120 Wet, Wet, Wet! https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2016/1/wet-wet-wet I think that sums up the weather for all of us this winter. What it has meant for me is that I haven't really had the chance to go and search for the 'early-risers' in the orchid families, not because I don't like the wet, rather that I don't want to go trampling around on soggy ground potentially damaging the habitats.

I have however been able to grab a few photographs of other subjects, notably my resident kingfisher and a rather fine cormorant on the millpond. I would now like to capture some action shots of both and with the kingfisher try and apply some of the techniques used by Ernst Haas just to see what happens.

The days are now noticeably longer and the mornings spectacular, just a few short weeks until the clocks change and we will soon see the spring. Something I am really looking forward to. Alcedo atthis, KingfisherAlcedo atthis, Kingfisher

(Tim Woodcock) https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2016/1/wet-wet-wet Sun, 31 Jan 2016 08:34:34 GMT
Ernst Haas https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/8/ernst-haas With the proliferation of camera phones and current attitudes to photography, I rather like this quote from one of the twentieth century's greatest photographers Ernst Haas. If you have a chance, do have a look at his work, quite brilliant.

“The camera doesn’t make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE.” – Ernst Haas

(Tim Woodcock) https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/8/ernst-haas Wed, 19 Aug 2015 17:38:02 GMT
New Forest Gallery https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/4/new-forest-gallery I have come under some criticism from a small number of people for posting photographs that do not show the anodyne, rose-tinted-spectacle view of the forest. I make no apology for this, the New Forest is as much about litter, fly-tipping, death and desecration as much as it is the beauty, plants and animals. My intention has always been to represent the truth. If you do  not like what you see, then make a fuss, tell the authorities (heaven knows there are enough of them!) help put a stop to the litter, the road deaths, using the forest as a dump, if we all made an effort, some of these things could be stamped out.

Now I think I should get off my high (well, medium sized) pony and go and have a cup of tea.

(Tim Woodcock) https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/4/new-forest-gallery Thu, 02 Apr 2015 14:58:29 GMT
Hunting for Bird's nests....Orchids that is. https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/3/is-it-a-birds-nest-is-it-a-plant-no-it-s Roger and I went to North Hampshire again yesterday, this time the quarry was Neottia nidus-avis or the Bird's nest orchid. A real poser this one, hard to find at this time of year, but the remnants of last year's flower spikes have a good chance of still being upright in the ground (so at least we knew we were in the right place). So, we found a scattering of about half a dozen spikes, took some snaps and scouted around for some more…Bingo! we found a couple of areas with at least thirty to fifty plants and are sure that there will be a lot more when they come into flower.

This really is a most curious little plant, named after it's root system which needs a very vivid imagination to draw the analogy with a bird's nest, however, that aside It is non-photosynthetic, contains no chlorophyll and no-one knows for certain whether it's reliance on nutrition from an associated fungus is parasitic, symbiotic or heterophytic.

At the end of the growing season the tips of the roots form little rhizomes and the rest of the plant withers, these rhizomes then produce more flowering plants so it reproduces vegetatively as well as by seed, a most successful strategy!


(Tim Woodcock) beech. beechwood bird botany chalk hampshire limestone nature. orchid plant winter https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/3/is-it-a-birds-nest-is-it-a-plant-no-it-s Mon, 09 Mar 2015 13:42:38 GMT
Notes from the New Forest https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/2/notes Cool but bright day, yesterday Roger and I  took a toddle over the heath near Brockenhurst to try and locate any Neottia ovata (Lesser Twayblades)  that might just be coming in to leaf, no luck on that one. A very useful exercise though as, if we had found some, we would have to look even earlier next year!

Following that, we found a lot of very healthy (and large) Spiranthes spiralis (Autumn Ladies-tresses) so we hope for a fabulous display later in the year, we also went on the hunt for Orchis morio (Green-veined orchid) knowing that a lot of them may have had their leaves nipped off by the ponies…and..we found a few tucked away under the protection of the Gorse. Now, it could be argued that the animals are a nuisance having eaten the plants, but it should be remembered that the reason heathland habitats in the forest support a diversity of wildlife is precisely because they are grazed by animals. This is a very difficult time of year for the poor creatures with very little normal grazing available and most of the plants should recover anyway.

(Tim Woodcock) botany brockenhurst hampshire new-forest orchid plant spring winter https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/2/notes Mon, 16 Feb 2015 08:56:00 GMT
North Hampshire produced some startling results! https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/2/fly-orchids Well, an expedition to north Hampshire produced some startling results! We found some Fly Orchids in leaf. pictures are in the gallery 'Orchids in Winter"

Many books suggest that these plants are in 'winter-green' but we are of the opinion that this is not the norm. The plants that we did find were few and far between and more importantly those were all in a 'blanket' of sphagnum moss so we think that these are isolated examples growing in their own micro-climate.

Your comments/observations are welcome.



(Tim Woodcock) (natural-history) botany chalk fly hampshire limestone nature orchid plant https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/2/fly-orchids Sat, 07 Feb 2015 15:26:42 GMT
Notes from the New Forest https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/1/notes-from-the-new-forest This year I hope to continue the success from my forays looking for orchids last year, with a slightly different emphasis and, hopefully a more scientific approach.

This year I will be looking for plants in 'winter-green' in other words orchids that keep some growth through the winter. Indeed my friend Rodger and I have already made a good start and it's only January. So far we have found Bee, Pyramidal, Green-winged and Autumn-ladies-tresses orchids and most excitingly, a solitary bog-orchid flower spike still attached to the 'tuber'.

This weekend were off on a little expedition to seek out Fly orchids, or at least try and find some, watch this space!

(Tim Woodcock) botany discovery expedition foray orchid plant winter https://www.luminous-sundial.com/blog/2015/1/notes-from-the-new-forest Sat, 24 Jan 2015 13:48:19 GMT