Saturday, May 28, 2016

Lanes around Hay

Last week we walked paths south of Hay that I haven't been on before, that took us past some old meadows and some rather more "improved" land. There was plenty to see, only some of which we photographed.

White Bryony was making it's way up the hedges rapidly aided by its spring-like tendrils.
White Bryony, Bloneg y ddaear or Bryonia dioica

We saw some later in an obviously very severely cut down hedge that was reaching into the air looking for former high supports - together with similarly expectant Honeysuckle.

Near Hay was a lovely field (mainly) of the third most common of our buttercups, easily recognised when you know how by the turned back sepals:
Bulbous Buttercup, Blodyn-ymenyn bondew or Ranunculus bulbosus

Quite near Hay we found a little population of Early Dog-violet on the slope above the Dulas Brook - flowering rather late I think in this delayed 2016 spring.
Early Dog-violet, or Viola reichenbachiana
(Photographed in April at Craig y Cilau)

Higher up we found Changing Forget-me-not among the rich collection of species in the meadows.
Changing Forget-me-not, Sgorpionllys amryliw or Myosotis discolor
(This picture also not from last week)

And later on this non-native but charming Speedwell.
Slender Speedwell, or Veronica filiformis

Sue took this as I was recording Wood Melick in a lane:
Wood Melick, Meligwellt y coed or Melica uniflora
Earlier in the week at Pwyll y Wrach I took this picture:
Bog Stitchwort, Serenllys y gors or Stellaria alsine. Was known as Stellaria uliginosa

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Llangynidr Mountain

Steph took us up Llangynidr mountain to seek out ponds / lakes on Thursday and we recorded the vegetation we could along the way.

Llyn y Garn-fawr is not as large as depicted on the map - maybe because it now drains into a peaty sinkhole and not into the stream marked on the map. (The stream still exists as it gets fed by water from the area around it.)
But Steph had a rummage around for invertebrates

Common Cottongrass, Plu’r gweunydd or Eriophorum angustifolium was abundant as was its smaller relative, Hare's-tail Cotton-grass

We also visited the Chartist Cave which actually yielded many of the records we made - with several species of fern in the cave and a variety of other plants nearby in the collapsed limestone boulders.

Maidenhair Spleenwort, Duegredynen gwallt y forwyn or Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens

Common Sedge, Hesgen gyffredin or Carex nigra

Last week I was in West Cork for the Bay run from Glengarriff to Bantry - as a spectator I might add. There was plenty to see botanically - they've had a slightly warmer spring than us. And on a favourite beach we saw a lot of this:

Oyster Thief, Colpomenia peregrina

I was able to find it on David Fenwick's excellent site Aphotomarine. See also his flora at Aphotoflora.

This is an interesting seaweed - Wikipedia has the following information:

"Colpomenia peregrina, sometimes referred to by its vernacular names Oyster Thief and Bladder Weed, is a brown seaweed not native to the British Isles, but recorded in Ireland since 1934. It appears to have been introduced from the Pacific and was first noticed in Europe in 1906 on oyster beds."

Before that I was at Porth yr Ogof and saw this:

False Puffball, Enteridium lycoperdon also called Reticularia lycoperdon

It's a slime mould fruiting body it seems - like a loose bag of goo to feel! On a Hazel trunk. Thanks to Lorraine who found out what it was.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Old lanes and dandelions

It was a proposal to modify a footpath which came my way that inspired last week's botany outing. Looking at the location on Google Earth I noticed a narrow, right of way, lane between two hedges that looked inviting.
And it was; even if the photo above somehow fails to convey the abundance of Bluebells that it was meant to record.

Sue's pictures:

We set off from Tretower towards the target lane and soon encountered:
Ivy-leaved Crowfoot, Crafanc-y-frân dail eiddew or Ranunculus hederaceus

And, at first unnoticed above this was Mistletoe - not that remarkable but growing on a rather poorly Hazel - a new host for me.
Mistletoe, Uchelwydd or Viscum album

Then, near the Rhiangoll bridge just one plant of:
Meadow Saxifrage, Tormaen y gweunydd or Saxifraga granulata

Hopefully there is more in the area but we didn't see it.

Townhall Clock was frequent in the lane and we also encountered it in a farmland hedge: 
Moschatel, Townhall Clock, Mwsglys or Adoxa moschatellina

Some photos from the lane itself. 
Ground-ivy, Eidral or Glechoma hederacea

Lords-and-Ladies, Cuckoo Pint, Pidyn y gog or Arum maculatum

A Pear tree in a hedgerow

All in all a very satisfactory outing with plenty to see in early May. And we got hot - having regretted slightly not having more layers only a week before.

I visited Mike Porter after the walk to photograph one of his tame Dandelions:
Taraxacum porteri

And here is another of his that I photographed in late April, having to catch its very short flowering period between about 12 midday and 2 pm in my greenhouse. This one isn't even in the BSBI handbook.
Taraxacum vachelliae. 
Distinct from T. brachyglossum but not yet listed in UK floras / guides.