Friday, September 18, 2015

Two weeks out and about

I've been out on my own the last two weeks. It probably means a lower species count than when I have company but rewarding nonetheless.

Last week it was a check of a (onetime) Road Verge Nature Reserve with query Bifid Hemp-nettle, Galeopsis bifida.

It was delight to walk along and record. (Do go and see - the Brecon end of the Taff Trail where it goes onto a public road. I was passed by two cyclists, the post van and two cars in the whole 3 or 4 hours I spent there - no walkers at all !)

Just one example:
Betony, Cribau San Ffraid or Betonica officinalis

The Galeopsis was all the more common species (there was a lot):
Common Hemp-nettle, Y benboeth or Galeopsis tetrahit

But we do get the other relative mentioned above in Brecknock. There is plenty of this plant around flowering at the moment - if the DARK markings extend to the edges of the lower petal let me know!

Then on Wednesday I went to a randomly selected square on the map near Cilmery for an initial look at the plants growing there. There was plenty and some varied habitat with a common to wander around at will and plenty of species rich road and lane verges. We will be back next year to complete this survey.
Comin Cefn-poeth from the top of the land.

I love these old Silver-birch trunks with knobbly bark and lichen. There was plenty of both Downy and Silver birch here.

There was an intriguingly marked "Sulphur Spring" on the map - which I take to be this pool full of Broad-leaved Pondweed. It was surrounded by an abundant Sedge I am still pondering over (only one very dead inflorescence and it looks like C. riparia or maybe a hybrid) as well as Yellow Flag Iris and other pond edge plants.
I fancied I got a vague sulphur smell at times but maybe my reading of the map is wrong - it's often hard to know exactly where a map a label this this is referring to...

Broad-leaved Pondweed, Dyfrllys llydanddail or Potamogeton natans

The common was not overgrazed by very sturdy healthy looking sheep leaving plenty to record including abundant Cross-leaved Heath. The sheep must prefer Ling as that was only to be found lurking in the Gorse.
Cross-leaved Heath, Grug croesddail or Erica tetralix

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