Saturday, June 01, 2013

"Mixed Tussocky Moorland, Alder Carr Woodland and Meadows"

Well the full "promise" from Steph and myself was "We will walk up through some mixed tussocky moorland, Alder Carr woodland and meadows before returning on the footpath from Nant y Beudy".

In the end we couldn't quite achieve this - being frustrated by a new deer fence of which we were unaware. The going was hard, we had to turn back eventually and go by car to the final meadow but boy was it worth it !

The prettiest of the Horsetails, Equisetum sylvaticum, abundant near Crai

The estate had been assessed by Steph in 2007 and was well worth a return visit (with permission of course - this is private land). The difficult going is partly due to grazing by cattle and the wet local climate but it made for interesting botany and quite some challenges for us to identify things not as far advanced as would have hoped.
An example would be the Lousewort we encountered that appeared to have the diagnostic "second pair of lateral teeth" on the flowers to make it Marsh Lousewort but proved on further examination to be the common species. Only to encounter rosettes we are fairly sure are of the Marsh species later on:
Marsh Lousewort - yet to flower

In all we managed to record about 80 species we could identify with certainty - a rich area.
But then the deer fence problem thwarted us and we elected to retrace our steps and use the car to get to Steph's meadow from 2007 with "some" Globeflower. My expectation of "some Globeflower", based on experience (with the honourable exception of speciality reserves like Cae Pwll y Bo) is not  for what we found:
Globeflowers near Crai

Our conservative count of plants gave a figure of at least 110. So all in all an exhausting but rewarding day for me and I hope for my companions.

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