Alan Dalton post's birding diaries and original artwork from Sweden. Established in 2006, this now long running blog is now a complete overview of my birding experiences. As an artist I greatly enjoy sketching birds in the field and you will find a wide selection of that work here, from fieldwork to finished paintings. I am very passionate about my artwork and try to depict birds in their natural habitat, as I see them in the wild. My artwork is for sale and can be viewed at http://www.alandalton.net/
As regards to my photography, since 2008 I have used a Nikon D90 DSLR camera coupled with a Sigma 150-500mm OS lens for since March 2012 for bird photography, all previous images being digiscoped. Regarding sound recording, I have been usung a Telinga Stereo Dat Mic and parabol to record birds in the field, coupled to a Marrantz 661 digital recorder, a superb piece of kit. Interest in butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies has recently seen the accquisition of a Sigma 150mm macro lens. I hope you enjoy the blog and please feel free to leave comments or contact me at alandltn@gmail.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

Elder Flower Orchid; Dactylorhiza sambucina; Sandemar; 23rd May 2011

A stand of orchids was impossible to pass today at Sandemar reserve, perhaps 80 plants in close proximity were screaming out to be photographed.


Elder flower Orchid, Dactylorhiza sambucina, a shot of a plant including the leaves and stem...




Extreme close up of the purple flowers...




A close up...this time of one of the paler plants. The species is commonly found in both purple and yellow forms...



Detail of purple plant crown, lemon yellow tones at the centre of the flower...



A detail of the individual flower heads of a pale lemon plant. Quite stunningly delicate...



Three pale plants together in the sunlight...


Images here of Elder Flower Orchid. I came across today at Sandemar. A quite simply stunning plant. In a stand of about 80 plants today the purple form was predominant..

A remarkable and for several reasons a very exceptional Dactylorhiza orchid. Apart from being the smallest of the genus and one blooming in the earlier part of the spring ,the most intriguing fact, one rarely seen with orchids, is that its specimens appear in two completely different color variations. Besides the generally more abundant yellow specimens, larger populations also include plants with purplish red flowers. As today, certain stands may contain more purple than yellow specimens.

Dactylorhiza sambucina winters on its two forked egg-shaped tubers. Its hollow stem is up to 12 in/30 cm tall and covered with 4-7 elongated lanceolate spotless leaves . The edges of the tepals, the upper part of the stem and the scales, are reddish to purple on the red flowered plants. The inflorescence, or flower crown, is dense, rich and short and it bears 10-25 relatively large flowers. Apart from the aforementioned colors, the flowers can also be colored in white, pink or even a combination of yellow and purple . The flowers are dominated by a very thick, long spur attached to the back of the base of the unsegmented or only slightly three-lobed lip. The flowers smell like elder berry, hence the english name. Dactylorhiza sambucina prefers light forests and somewhat dry infertile meadows in medium and higher altitudes.mit blooms between March and July and grows only in Europe.


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