Friday, August 24, 2007

Mixed day

"Private woodland - please don't start fires" - great attitude and very botanically rich paths into it. Just a pity they hadn't added to the notice "logging in progress" ! So I had to divert.

But then I got back and my pictures weren't that great. Realised I hadn't photographed Galeopsis tetrahit before (and so should have taken more pictures of it with more care !) and had probably seen G. bifida (a closely related species) as well ! (The carry-able book I take with me in my rucksack doesn't mention G. bifida.)

And my Heath Speedwells in this locality were blue, not lilac as usual. I still think they are that species, after careful checking in Stace when I got back - and the species is "highly variable".

I was partly hoping to get near Kilvert's Graig Pwll Du - not to see the waterfall which I know is regarded as a dangerous exploit these days** but just to see the scenery around. Well I did the latter briefly before diverting from the public footpath because of the logging and a lot of confers have just been cleared from the land above the area - hopefully to be replaced by broad-leaves...

** No doubt Kilvert was in full Victorian gentleman's garb when he climbed down to it with the Mole catcher...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Walking to Clyro

You don't have to walk along the road - the walk over the fields that Kilvert described is still a public right of way and reasonably easy to find. (Not much trodden though - the usual way to see where a path crosses a field from trodden grass doesn't work - at least at this time of year.)

Nice to come across a Welted Thistle at last - it's not particularly rare but eluded me until now. Because it is a tricky identification I took plenty of pictures of the "relevant bits".

And the marshy area by the Clyro Brook was a delight - particularly for the blue of Skullcap all over parts of the area. I must look out for mention of it in Kilvert's Diary - but I wonder was it called Skullcap then in this area ?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Nothing new

A lovely day for a walk along the Wye Valley Walk towards Glasbury.

I didn't actually find any species I had not photographed for FloralImages before but several good examples of some I need better photographs of.

The slight surprise was Marsh Woundwort in what seemed a dryish place. But it was near the Wye and a baby frog did leap out of the undergrowth as I positioned myself !

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A disappointment (and worry)

The point of my first meeting with the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust was to find and count Bog Orchids.

So it was a disappointment to hear from the warden at the start that there were very unlikely to be any as they had been stolen.

It's sad that such people are still around (and worrying to hear that this sort of thing is on the increase again). Those, like me, who seek out rare plants to photograph undisturbed are going to have to be careful about revealing locations.

Hopefully some of the bulbils that grow on the leaf edges will have been scattered in the plunder.

But such meetings are never wasted - I would not have been able to identify White beak-sedge without having it pointed out (at least not without hours with a lens and book and some swearing) ! And it is an interesting little "grass" - declining in most places but increasing in the Elan valley.

This was my first encounter with flowering Marsh St-John's Wort as well.