Friday, April 13, 2018

Walked straight into it

Sessile Oak, Derwen mes di-goes or Quercus petraea

I was anticipating some laborious searching but, for once, we found the target species right on our path as soon as we entered the "zone of expectation".

The reasons to explore this area on the Dulas Brook near Felin Fach were:
  1. to re-find the Alternate-leaved Golden-saxifrage last recorded there in 1999 and
  2. that it is an area of geological interest with samples held in Cardiff Museum of an unsuccessful mining operation near there.
Most of my searches for this species involve a lot of peering at stream edges and seeing an awful lot of the commoner Opposite-leaved species before, if I am lucky, finding one small patch of the quarry. In this case, although we did see Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage first as we came down the steep path to the stream, no sooner were we at the water's edge than I nearly trod on a patch of the one we were looking for.
Alternate-leaved Golden-saxifrage, Eglyn bob yn eilddail or Chrysosplenium alternifolium
Both the Golden-saxifrages are in this picture - they seem to grow happily together without forming a hybrid.

Crouching down to photograph soon led to discussion about other leaves we were seeing and soon flowering Moschatel was found near a tree base. The search for this and other things in the whole area soon revealed that Alternate-leaved ... was actually quite abundant in the whole area.
Moschatel, Mwsglys or Adoxa moschatellina

So we ended up with a good list for the time of year - bolstered by the casuals and neophytes adorning Maes y Berllan Chapel Graveyard.

Other species we photographed:
Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage, Eglyn cyferbynddail or Chrysosplenium oppositifolium

Common Bistort, Llysiau’r neidr or Persicaria bistorta

Dog's Mercury, Bresychen y cŵn or Mercurialis perennis

Wood Anemone, Blodyn y gwynt or Anemone nemorosa

We were helped on our way by a local lady who lived near the Chapel and told us about some early Purple Orchids growing on the verge nearby.
Early-purple Orchid, Tegeirian coch y gwanwyn or Orchis mascula

She told us to aim for the Oak pictured at the head of this blog to find the path - at the time it was dimly visible in the morning mist!

Other delights included many lichens (and knowledgeable company about them), tree-creeper, woodpecker, nuthatch and several interesting fungi including:
Witches' Butter or Exidia glandulosa

And the weather was kinder than expected..

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