Saturday, September 16, 2017

Around Llanfihangel Nant Bran

We set out to record and area that has had over 200 species recorded in the past; but none since 2000; yesterday.
It took us up to the common above Llanfihangel and up the Nant Bran. I was preoccupied with making more than 250 records so it is mainly thanks to Sue that there are pictures of the great views and plants we saw.
Field-rose, Rhosyn gwyllt gwyn or Rosa arvensis

(still readily identifiable at this time of year from the long style remnant)
Hop Trefoil, Meillionen hopysaidd or Trifolium campestre
Red Bartsia, Gorudd or Odontites vernus

The Beacons in the distance
We also saw a wide range of Waxcap fungi on the high common including this one:
Pink Waxcap or Ballerina Waxcap, Hygrocybe calyptriformis
Inspecting another Waxcap:

When nearly back at the car we inspected some hillside springs and found several boggy ground specialists including this which I photographed:

Marsh-bedstraw, Briwydd y gors or Galium palustre
In all there were 156 different species recorded. (And as some of the 200+ records mentioned at the beginning haven't been seen since the 1970s that is doing OK I think.)

Friday, September 08, 2017

Brecon Gaer

We explored around the Roman Fort Remains near Brecon last week.

We found plenty eg in this ditch by the ramparts of the fort.

And some plants were intrepidly clinging on to the Roman Walls like this Musk Mallow (photographed by Sue):
Musk-mallow, Hocysen fwsg or Malva moschata

But only a few botanical pictures were taken!
Reed Canary-grass, Pefrwellt or Phalaris arundinacea

Wych Elm, Llwyfen lydanddail or Ulmus glabra

Musk-mallow again, Hocysen fwsg or Malva moschata and Photographer

The field within the camp had several patches of Blackening Waxcaps - this is the first we saw:
Blackening Wax Cap or Hygrocybe conica var conica

And Bev's pictures here show the variation as they blacken.

Pictures of the Fort, Usk and Afon Ysgir:

Bristly Oxtongue, Tafod-y-llew gwrychog or Helminthotheca echioides (was Picris echioides)
Found by Anne from our botany group last week month between Llangattock and Gilwern.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Just some squares near Tirabad

I noticed this area hadn't been recorded before so we set off to explore - it's actually getting quite close to our western border. The map showed forestry and farmland mixed and we ended up with a good long list of species after walking the roads, forestry tracks and farm lanes.

These pictures from Sue illustrate the variation you see in Common Hemp-nettle - which was abundant in the area.

Common Hemp-nettle,
Y benboeth
Galeopsis tetrahit

Generally we saw things that like wet places where you might not expect them - implying a very high rainfall for the area (which was backed up by more rain on the day than we felt the forecast had predicted). This is one I was photographing as it was an elegant specimen.
Y ganwraidd goesgoch
Persicaria maculosa

There was plenty of Water-pepper as well.

And in one of the forestry sections we saw several of these:
Fly Agaric
Amanita muscaria
There were large ones near the path and we could see them right into the depth of the wood that were "younger".

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Cilieni Valley

Last Thursday while the army range was quite for graziers' week we went again to explore the Cilieni Valley. We saw a lot of plants and lichens and were grateful to have the company of Ray Woods who was able to tell us all about the things we hadn't seen before.

Sue took a lot of pictures and so did I - so I will let them largely speak for themselves:

Sand Spurrey, Troellig arfor coch or Spergularia rubra

Trailing St John's-wort, Eurinllys ymdaenol or Hypericum humifusum

Bristle Club-rush, Clwbfrwynen wrychog or Isolepis setacea

Usnea florida (? I think)

String-of-sausage lichen or Usnea articulate
(A rare lichen in Brecknock)

 Schedonorus giganteus, Peiswellt mawr or Giant Fescue

New Zealand Willowherb, Helyglys Seland Newydd or Epilobium brunnescens

This is what happens to a hedge in an area such this when it is left for years without attention!

And finally a gall that affects Oak Trees:
Artichoke Gall or Andricus foecundatrix

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Drygarn Fawr

Wednesday was a good day for an explore of this area which hasn't been recorded for some time. We hoped to find Bog Rosemary but didn't. However we came back down at the end of a long day with a good list for such high moorland. Much of it was hard going and we were glad to be guided very ably by Joe Daggett from the National Trust, which owns the land. It was also a boon to have a 380m start on the climb involved...

Nant Gewyn

In particular we found all the possible moorland [****]berries for the county (? I think ?): ie Cowberry, Crowberry, Cranberry and Bilberry. These are confusing enough names - except that the Latin ones are even worse...

Cowberry we saw quite soon after we started on a rocky outcrop but we were to see more including at the target peak.
Cowberry, Llusen goch or Vaccinium vitis-idaea

And Cranberry was soon spotted by eagle-eyed Steph and occurred in some abundance in many areas (including one that, on the map was meant to be a pool). Only a few places had berries though (and flowers were, of course, well over).
Cranberry, Llygaeren or Vaccinium oxycoccos

And here is Drygan Fawr (peak in the distance) with its two cairns
Once again thanks to Sue for many of the photographs.