Thursday, February 18, 2016

Stanner Rocks

The recording group had a treat this week. A visit to Stanner Rocks to see the 'Radnor Lily' flowering. This is the only site for this plant in the British Isles and it was discovered only in 1968, having been missed by the Victorian botanists who swarmed over this unique habitat - in the summer when the plant is totally dormant.

We had a great day for it and the sun brought a third plant into flower that day. The best was at a higher location than I have ever seen it with great views. I think Andy, the voluntary warden, took the best picture:
Early Star-of-Bethlehem, Seren-Fethlehem gynnar or Gagea bohemica

Sue's picture of the whole flower and plant

Mine of the one just opening near where another unique rarity grows later in the year. (Perennial Knawel)

More pictures of our day:

Red Wood Ant or Formica rufa, just waking up in the sun.

Please note that access to all parts of the reserve, apart from the quarry floor, requires permission and usually a guide.

Pictures from me, Andy and Sue

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Waiting for Spring

I did get out with Hereford Botanical Society a week or so ago and it turned out to be one of the few goodish days we have had since the New Year. This was a walk near Bishop's Frome - home to the "Bishop's Frome Limestone" that outcrops here near Hay and continues in a thin band westwards.

It was a lovely walk. The highlight for me was Aspen trees larger than I have seen before:
Aspen, Aethnen or Populus tremula - not a view I am used to!

It was a big tree.

Male catkins

Watch out for these right now (they were too high above us, if present, near Bishop's Frome)- the male type as above are much more likely to be seen but there is a female tree near Llangorse lake that bears catkins with red stigmas. (Thanks to Ray Woods for pointing that out to me.) 

We also saw plenty of this - Herefordshire is the county for it after all.
Mistletoe, Uchelwydd or Viscum album

The group

 A fungus we met on the way.
Meanwhile, preparations for the BSBI Welsh AGM to be held at Brecon in July continue, triggering an update of the Brecknock page on the BSBI Website.
And here is a reminder that we have had some (very little) weather below freezing.