Second time around

After a few days of rest at home, I’m back in Funäsdalen. I started by taking the northern road to Ljungdalen, I knew the new road was finished so I was curious to see it and it was also nice to be driving it westward, can’t remember if I’ve ever done it before… normally when I take this route, I’m on my way home. Anyway, I can definitely recommend the road, maybe it’s nothing out of the ordinary but it’s worth the detour at least once. You start seeing the mountains nice and early, with a few really photogenic spots along the way.

Mountain avens (Dryas octopetala)
Mountain avens (Dryas octopetala)

In Ljungdalen, I headed straight to Torkilstöten. The snowfields are getting smaller and I was absolutely sure that the mountain avens would be blooming now a week later, and yes indeed they are. I was happy! After that, I checked out a couple of places for lapland marsh orchids and early marsh orchids ssp. cruenta. I knew these places to be good especially for the lapland marsh orchid and oh boy was there ever so much of them… And as always, when I took a closer look at some orchids which looked a bit unusual, I started wondering which species it really was. A light version of a lapland marsh orchid? A darker version of heath spotted orchid? Or something in between? By the time I got down to photograph the early marsh orchid ssp. cruenta, I was totally confused. You can be dead cert you’re looking at a cruenta when the leaves are spotted or completely dark on both sides. But if you just look at the flowers – like I did through the viewfinder – I couldn’t really tell the difference from some individuals of lapland marsh orchids. Which I knew must be lapland marsh orchids because the colour was right, and spots only on the upper side of the leaves… dactylorhiza is by far the most difficult orchid genus to make sense of!

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