Saturday, April 22, 2017

Through some trees and along a river

I finally got out on a little local excursion I'd meant to do since early April on Tuesday - to explore some inviting and criss-crossing footpaths not far from Hay with the promise of spring woodland.

It was well worth the effort - despite some paths not exactly conforming to the latest OS maps - but there were more rather than less so it was good to explore them. There was plenty of early woodland interest including rather few bluebells:
Bluebell, Clychau’r gog or Hyacinthoides non-scripta
a ford to negotiate,
 and the Brecknock county flower well in evidence already:
Cuckooflower, Lady's Smock, Blodyn llefrith or Cardamine pratensis
plus some great views.
(Thanks to Liz for the pictures)

Then on Thursday, Sue and I set off up the Cilieni river into restricted territory (with permission I must add).

This river arises on the Epynt and is consequently unspoilt. A warden we met told us it is good for Crayfish but we didn't see any in the very clear water. We hope to go again later in the year but there was already plenty to record:

Almost the first flower we saw was Water Avens
Water Avens, Mapgoll glan y dŵr or Geum rivale
- maybe with a touch of Wood Avens in the genetic mix for this one.

Goat Willow was flowering:

Goat Willow, Helygen ddeilgron or Salix caprea

And rather unexpectedly we found a patch of Butterbur fully in the flowing river:
Butterbur, Alan mawr or Petasites hybridus

At least that was our pretty-sure identification (aided by Sue's binoculars) after initially assuming it was Colt's-foot.

There was Lesser Pond-sedge in the ditches near the river:
Lesser Pond-sedge, Hesgen-y-dŵr fach or Carex acutiformis

The ditches were alongside the raised road by the river which started life in the 1860s as a railway embankment for the Sennybridge to Llangammarch Wells railway which never saw active service. Histories talk of a few earthworks remaining - in fact we saw them all the way up the Cilieni to not far from the source. (Shown clearly on the 1886 OS map.)

Stunted and lichen festooned Wild Plum (?) trees made an interesting display:
Wild Plum, Coeden eirin gwyllt or Prunus domestica (probably)

And Wood-sorrel was everywhere
Wood-sorrel, Suran y coed or Oxalis acetosella

Getting up to nearer the source we started to find more specialised plants not all of which I photographed (many at a very early stage) but we were delighted to come across a Marsh Violet flower:
Marsh Violet, Fioled y gors or Viola palustris

And Primroses adorned the banks up there:
Primrose, Briallen or Primula vulgaris

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