The Great Flowering
The resident botanists are refering to it as a once in a lifetime event. I am just grateful that I was able to witness it. Due to the wet, cool spring and early summer, Dungeness was blessed by a late and profuse flowering of many species, the quantity of which was only surpassed by the vigour of the blooms. When I arrived the Nottingham Catchfly was peaking, the subtle scent charging the evening air. Cat's-ear, Sheep's-bit, Viper's Bugloss, Mouse-ear Hawkweed and even the normally shy Dodder were putting on a spectacular show. After a week went by the modest Wood Sage burst into life, millions (literally) of plants carpeting the shingle with great rafts of off-white flowers. But, nothing lasts for ever... when I left Dungeness the Catchfly was all dried seed head, the Sheep's-bit looking sad, the Wood Sage browning at the edges. The following images cannot capture the event, but apart from my memories it's all that I can offer.
|Wood Sage - dominated the vegetation in more open areas of shingle.|
|Nottingham Catchfly - hard to believe that this species is found in only 37 ten km squares in the UK|
|Cat's-ear - if I had taken a picture to the left, right and behind there would have been a similar number on show.|
|Sheep's-bit - in places it created a blue haze above the shingle.|