Thursday, May 25, 2017

Out on the Western Fringes and Other Places

It's a quick digest with mainly pictures again!

One theme though is our repeated encounters with flowers that seem to be relishing this spring.

Just in the Range

We ventured into the SENTA range again (always with permission) but for operational reasons had to cancel our intended wet meadow and substituted a deep stream gorge. It was very productive botanically and it made our shortest walk for some time. Several hours of effort clocked up less reported activity on my Smartphone than a walk to the shops in Hay, This wasn't true...
Water Avens, Mapgoll glan y dŵr or Geum rivale

Thyme-leaved Speedwell, Rhwyddlwyn dail teim or Veronica serpyllifolia

Henallt Common

An early visit to fill the list of this botanically rich gem just above Hay.
Hairy Lady's-mantle, or Alchemilla filicaulis subsp. vestita

The displays of Sanicle were enchanting

Sanicle, Clust yr arth or Sanicula europaea

Pont ar Wysg

A long walk right on the border with Carmarthenshire just south of the Usk Reservoir.
Colt's-foot, Carn yr ebol or Tussilago farfara

Barbara told is these are static "houses" for a type of Caddisfly - abundant in the Nant Tarw

An old sheepfold that furnished one fern record to add to the list.

And on the journey back great Bluebell displays.
Bluebell, Clychau’r gog or Hyacinthoides non-scripta

More pictures from Sue and Paula of the day

Round-leaved Sundew, Gwlithlys or Drosera rotundifolia

Water-milfoil and Fool's water-cress in the Tarw
The only tree we recorded in one of the 1km squares (a Hawthorn)

And Marsh Violet on the way back to the car - another flower we have been seeing practically every outing this spring.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Back by the Nant Sere

Last August when we visited this woodland in Cwm Sere we could not access the Nant Sere stream or the meadows nearer it because of the dense bracken on the route we took so we returned early this year to have a further look.

The Meadow Thistles were small but delightfully furry and discretely barbed:
Meadow Thistle, Ysgallen y ddôl or Cirsium dissectum

We got the stream quite easily this time - through carpets of Bluebells and enjoyed lunch by it with this solitary Great Horsetail nearby:
Great Horsetail, Marchrawnen fawr or Equisetum telmateia and lunch

Bluebell, Clychau’r gog or Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Picture: Sue

We saw several good patches of Beech Fern
Beech Fern, Rhedynen gorniog or Phegopteris connectilis

The participants - quite a crowd for Brecknock Botany!
On the way in
and again
Pictures: Sue

On our way back we encountered a very tall Crab Apple
Crab Apple, Coeden afalau surion or Malus sylvestris

Out onto the common again...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Revisiting Buckland Hill

Our outing last week ended with this tree hug. Nearly 7m girth we decided for this pollarded Sweet Chestnut on an old boundary in the now-forested area of the hill we were re-visiting after a late October look last year.

It was a day for reminding ourselves about species distinctions that were rather hazy (in at least my mind) after the long winter and late spring.

Lunch near a patch of Slender Parsley-piert.

We saw:
Heath Milkwort, Amlaethai’r waun or Polygala serpyllifolia
Much of it pure white (a new experience for some in the group) or very light blue as above.

Spanish Bluebell, Clychau’r-gog Sbaenaidd or Hyacinthoides hispanica
- a white example.

And the area being much planted for wood not a total surprise to find a display of Douglas Fir cones and "flowers".
Douglas Fir, Ffynidwydden Douglas or Pseudotsuga menziesii

On the way back along a forest ride we saw these two Speedwells beside each other - set up for a compare and contrast session...
Heath Speedwell, Rhwyddlwyn meddygol or Veronica officinalis
Thyme-leaved Speedwell, Rhwyddlwyn dail teim or Veronica serpyllifolia

And getting back near the cars we found the magnificent Chestnut:
Sweet Chestnut, Castanwydden bêr or Castanea sativa