Freisinger Buckl Revisited

Earlier this year – on the second of April to be exact – I wrote a short post about the Easter Flowers (Pulsatilla vulgaris) in the Freisinger Buckl, a nature conservation area just South of the Isar river. Some two weeks later, I visited the area again. When I visited the area then, it was still quite early season for most plants. The soil looked barren and dry, but the dead standing biomass from the previous year told me that there could be some interesting vegetation here in the summer season. A cold month with lots of rain followed, and for some reason the thought to go and have a look once more did not cross my mind. Until today.

What we encountered today was a different scene. Flowers so abundant that they make the Dutch tulip fields look like a joke. (Well, at least in terms of diversity!) I had heard that this area was also an important ‘hotspot’ for butterfly diversity, and although I have little reference to judge this by, it seemed like a good competitor for this title. Unfortunately I had only my phone to take pictures, which proved to be quite challenging. I seem to have lost all skill to sneak up close to any of the butterflies. Or let’s blame the warm weather. Ectotherms, such as butterflies, are most active in warm weather. Approaching them is easier on cold days, or colder parts of the days, but obviously they are much more active on warm days, so the odds of spotting some drastically improve with temperature. (Of course there are limits to this too!) For today, you’ll just have to do with a couple of pretty flowers, and some unrecognizable smudges in the distance.

Enjoy 🙂

A beautiful red-tail bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) queen feeding on the highly abundant meadow sage (Salvia pratensis)
Flowers of the ever-pretty maiden pink (Dianthus deltoides (?) ) were abundant
My guess is that this is creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum), which was also locally very abundant.
Which legume is this – Edit: my friend Rutger Wilschut kindly reminded me that this is the esparcette (Onobrychis viciifolia)
I think red clovers (Trifolium pratense) are pretty, great nectar sources and highly underrated
Some blue butterfly (Lycanidae – no clue which one) on the thousands of horseshoe vetch (Hippocrepis comosa), Colias butterflies that use this species as their larval host plants were abundant but uncooporative…
In the more humid vegetation, these irises were abundant, my guess is they’re Siberian flag (Iris siberica).
In a small area these common columbines (Aquilegia vulgaris) were abundant. They pop up in various color forms. Not sure if that is all ‘wild type’ or maybe some garden escapee cultivar mixing in?
What is this pretty little thing? About 10 cm tall, 1 cm wide flowers, poor and rather sandy/pebble soils. Edit: another kind identification by Rutger Wilschut. This is American blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium montanum), not a native around here, but apparently introduced to France long ago.
I think this is the good old ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), lovely plants.
This species of orchid was highly abundant, but all were nearing their ends. If any one has any idea of the species, feel free to let me know. The barely had leaves, so I think they are not Dactylorhiza or Orchis, although the flowers have some resemblence. Edit: Another kind suggestion by Rutger Wilschut. It might be the green-veined orchid (Anacamptis (Orchis) morio). This certainly fits habitat, range and the looks.
I found a small bunch of these – what I believe to be – ball flowers (Globularia bisnagarica), which looked pretty sweet too.
One of the prettiest grasses I know, and one that I have worked with – quaking grass (Briza media)

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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