Saturday, September 15, 2007

A reserve along an old track

It's not too late yet - and Llandeilo Graban Nature Reserve in Radnorshire will be even more worth visiting next year at peak time. The reserve is along the verge of a road that was part of the railway line from Three Cocks to Llanidloes. Must have been a wonderful railway trip. Amongst the signs of it's past use - the most obvious is that to get onto it you drive under the road and then do a double left to actually get on it.

The cars that use it now don't see anything as they flash past - they are not a danger though - bikes are (but NOT their fault !) as they approach unannounced from behind. The verges / cutting sides provide a variety of habitats and Welsh Stonecrop grows here amongst many other wild flowers. (Of course it wasn't flowering this late.)

Amongst other flowers not recorded by me before was Wavy Bitter-cress.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

It's always worth taking the camera

Even is that means an extra load up Pen y Fan.

The highlight (botanically) was finding a rush in full flower - but my preoccupation with catching up the rest of family meant poor details recorded and a difficult identification. (Actually rushes are always a difficult identification for me - but they are very worthwhile plants at the interface between the grasses and more conventional flowers.) Luckily Rodney Burton on the UK Botany Yahoo forum was able to help me.

And all the way up I noticed an unusual flower not quite open - found one open eventually - and it was obviously a Willow-herb on closer examination - turns out to be a New Zealand one that is spreading along paths like this one in the Brecon Beacons.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Tricky genus

After the first walk with no photographs for some time last week at least I found things to investigate and record in Cusop Dingle today.

Mainly Hypericum spp. (the St. John's Worts) - a tricky genus and no easier for finding different species all close together as is often the case for these. At least they have the good manners to flower (a bit) even at this time of year.

But my field guide (Rose), in my hands, is inadequate for these and although I am getting better at recording all the important features for checking in Stace later it still was hard to be totally sure what I found - so several this week have the "uncertain" flag in the database and resultant warning on the site.

Continued up to meet the modern road into the Llanthony valley and came back down that way, finding a Hawkweed on Offa's Dyke path that I think I was able to identify to the section (only amazingly erudite botanists go beyond this for this genus).

The road up from the Dingle is I think the older route and clearly traceable (and a public footpath) up to the modern tarmac road. I think Kilvert will have come up this way as well as on the Welsh side.