Saturday, April 09, 2016


It's difficult choosing the right day at this time of year and the forecast was changing every time I checked in the days leading up to last week's expedition to northern Brecknock. Despite arriving at the start point by Y Garth hill in pouring rain, we had an enjoyable day with worthwhile finds and the promise of more to find later in the year when we plan to revisit this area that has not been recorded recently.

But it really was as though winter was only just reluctantly passing in this area which I now realise my rather shaky geographical knowledge had failed to identify as the south eastern edge of the Cambrian mountains.

So in no particular order:
This really was Blackthorn (see last month's blunder.)
Searching for identifiable plants near the stream.
A wet period
Of course the lichens and fungi were amazing
Examining a Polypody

Usnea lichen in the woodland - many of the Oaks were bedecked with this and other lichens in the higher branches - some of which had fallen.

A lichen - laden Hawthorn

Hairy Bitter-cress, Berwr chwerw blewog or Cardamine hirsuta

We spent most of the day saying we hadn't seen any Primroses or Violets (apart from a very few leaves of the latter). But then approching the end I saw a very sorry looking Primula plant with no flowers only to find that nearby in a sheltered flush there was this display of Primrose with Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage (which we had been seeing all day). We had also just before this found some (Common dog-) Violets sheltering under grass.
Primrose, Briallen or Primula vulgaris

It would be good if someone buys this woodland and manages for ground flora - it was very heavily grazed.

An orange fungus in the wood.

Blinks, Porpin y ffynnon or Montia fontana
This was a new species for all my companions - the picture is from Brechfa Pool in a previous year. Our plants had buds that were only just breaking with a tiny show of white. Definitely a worthwhile find.

Thanks to Sue and Anne for many of the above pictures.
And is Hay last week I snapped with my phone this which just turned up in a pavement:
Springbeauty, Porpin y gwanwyn or Claytonia perfoliata
It hasn't been recorded in the county before I think but isn't a native. Here is a better picture from Weston-super-Mare:
I have noted this being included in posh salad mixes (eg at Talgarth Mill) so growing for this purpose is probably the source. Of course we have plenty of this close relative:
Pink Purslane, Porpin pinc or Claytonia sibirica

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