No change with the wind this morning , it was still 'blowing a hoolie' , as described in some parts . It was still sunny , so I decided to take Carol for a drive in the Kentish countryside . We made a reasonably early start as Mayday Bank Holiday is the day hundreds of motorcyclists head for Hastings along the A21 , a busy road at the best of times . As we made our way , groups of bikers were gathering at pub forecourts and the like , but the main action hadn't yet started . After about an hour , we found ourselves near the small village of Marden , how that happened I couldn't imagine . As we were so close , I thought we could stop at Marden Meadow , famous for it's show of Green-winged Orchids at this time of year , and as it happened , I did have the camera in the back . This site never fails to amaze , with thousands of the orchids covering two of the three fields . Even the strong wind couldn't take the edge off the scene . The majority of orchids are purple , like this one growing amongst Dyers Greenweed/Genista tinctoria , which will fill the fields with yellow when it comes into flower . But there were a few pink specimens found , and just 3 white specimens , which really show how the plant got it's name , the green veins of the sepals forming a hood over the flower . Also found on the site , Adderstongue / Ophioglossum vulgatum , no more than 70/80mm. high , easily lose amongst the grass and other vegetation . The parasitic Yellow Rattle/Rhinanthus minor is found in profusion here , and the first flowers are just emerging . Birdwise it was quiet with just a couple of Common Whitethroats in the hedgerows , a flyover Grey Heron and a few Mallard on one of the ponds . Talking of which , no sign of any Water Violet in the small pond by the road . Carol enjoyed the visit , but to balance things up , we stopped at a couple of garden centres on the way back . Also on the way back , the bikes were still heading South on the A21 , with people on many of the bridges waving as they went under . Even more bikers were doing a 'pit stop' at one of many 'tea and burger' vans that were lining the route . The smell on passing was 50% burger and onions and 50% testosterone .
After lunch , a look around the garden produced my first blue Damselfly of the year , a male Azure , and soon after another female Large Red Damselfly , this time the form fulvipes . 6 species of butterfly were recorded , Orange Tip , Speckled Wood ,Green-veined White , Brimstone , Holly Blue and this male Large White . Also found amongst the vegetation , this Common Wasp/Vespula vulgaris queen .
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