Monday, May 18, 2015

Geology, Botany and Finding a Wood

We knew where the wood was - but how to get in ?

I had memories of being shown a route some years back and permission from the owner to go and explore for plants but in the event we had trouble finding a fence we could scale without damage (or getting ourselves soaking). The wood was in the general area of Llangorse and we made of on the lanes and through commons, circling around our goal and finding some good records on the way.

Water Avens in hedgerows (and its cross with Wood Avens) was one of the delights.
Water Avens, Mapgoll glan y dwr or Geum rivale
(not from last week)

When we stopped for lunch, Mike noticed that we had the true Spanish Bluebell alongside us - not actually that common "in the wild" unlike the cross between it and our native:
Spanish Bluebell, Clychau’r-gog Sbaenaidd or Hyacinthoides hispanica

In the wood I photographed:
Greater Stitchwort, Serenllys mawr or Stellaria holostea

Marsh Valerian, Triaglog y gors or Valeriana dioica
(a female plant in this case)

and there were several very good specimens of:
Early-purple Orchid, Tegeirian coch y gwanwyn or Orchis mascula

Earlier in the week I had been on a geological walk organised by James Cresswell of Geoworld Travel and we visited Bwlch Quarry to see the signs of an ancient river profile in the Old Red Sandstone rockface:
Bwlch Quarry (long out of use)

But what was also interesting was the evidence all around us that Old Red Sandstone is not devoid of lime-rich layers which had contributed to a rich flora on the old quarry floor:

Mouse-ear-hawkweed, Clust y llygoden or Pilosella officinarum

There was a lot besides - mostly not flowering - including many Carline Thistles and it was nice to see:
Rustyback, Duegredynen gefngoch or Asplenium ceterach

- growing in a rock face which, even if still man-made, was more like its natural habitat than the usual stone walls it is found on.

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