Thursday, October 09, 2014

Ireland - Update

Here is the updated blog from Ireland with better pictures:

Botany was not really my priority for a while as we enjoyed excellent weather in Bantry Bay.
A quick stop on the way over at the old Chetwynd viaduct near Cork that last carried a train in 1950s. There's a cafe...

Bere Island - once a defence station for the UK and still inhabited
A shopping trolley joins three cars (one mine) on the ferry
Goats and...
a British gun still in place
Rocks covered in lichen and Sea-spurrey / Thrift
Hungry Hill from Bere Island briefly free of cloud at the top. I mean to climb this one day - when conditions are completely clear as the risk of cloud when you get to the top is very high.
Gateposts that have lost their way
Golden Rod - still a delight in the lanes

I saw lots of botany but little in get-the-camera-out state as it is so dry. It took me a while to recognise dessicated Purple Loose-strife - everywhere in ground that must normally be wet but isn't now.

At the heritage centre I saw and purchased a new book - "The Wild Plants of Bere, Dursey, Whiddy and other islands in Bantry Bay" which will be a great stimulus for further exploration here. Pleased to see that I had spotted many of the featured species for Bere - even if dessicated and past flowering.
Plantago coronopus - Buck's Horn Plantain rosette
Golden Rod and Devil's Bit Scabious in the lanes
There were five cars / vans going back - just possible and hemming me in my drivers seat as "the one in middle". You reverse onto this ferry - which is just something you pick up from observation !

Later we got to Whiddy Island just near Bantry where I chased up a site from the book - Asplenium onopteris - Irish Spleenwort which is rare in Ireland and "one of 16" species that occur in Ireland and not Great Britain. There is some doubt about the true identity of this population and my photographs don't provide definitive evidence. There were some plants of Black Spleenwort (which we do have) nearby.

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