By: Blonde Two
Mr Blonde Two and I had a whistle-stop visit to the lovely Malvern Hills on Friday night. I say hills but we only got to wave at them as we arrived and then again when we left in the morning. I did, however find a quick moment to sneak over to the common by my Mum’s house from which there are lovely views of the Wyche Cutting and Worcestershire Beacon. Luckily for those of us who grew up in the shadow of the Malverns, the word Wyche here doesn’t have any thing to do with scary ladies in black clothes although there were once gallows and there certainly used to be a witch attached to the top of the bus stop (not a real one)!
The Wyche cutting is one of three passes through the hills and was a main route between Worcestershire and Herefordshire for a long time. It is thought that it was a salt trade route bringing salt from the brine springs at Droitwich (did you spot the “wich” in that one too) into South Wales (presumably for their fish and chips). The word “wich” is often associated with salt although “Would you like wich and vinegar on those?” does sounds a bit odd – probably why they changed it.
Anyway, back to the common. Over the Winter, this common can become a bit boggy in places and quite often has a covering of snow but come the early Summer, it is often left to grow as a meadow with a few well placed paths running through it. I have a particular passion for meadows, all that wild messiness – nature in control but looking fabulous again. They appeal to my slightly hippy side – it is hard to see a meadow and not want to take your shoes off immediately to run through it humming the “Little House on the Prairie” music. My sister and I resisted the temptation this time but we have often done just that. In contrast, I also like to see a nicely mown path through a meadow. This must be the control-freak side of me emerging – just that little stamp of order on things!
Blonde One and I have found wild orchids on a couple of Dartmoor fringe walks before now but I have never seen them in such profusion as across this common. They were in all shades of pink and clustered around in huge groups. Such a beautiful sight, a heavy shower was on its way and the wind had got up making the grasses and buttercups around the orchids dance and sway. I could have stayed for hours but only had time for a quick photo to capture the moment.
Being Little Miss Curious – I have tried to look up which type of orchid they were but there are so many different similar ones that I am not sure. The leaves were feathery – if there are any orchid experts out there, please let me know…