Monday, June 25, 2018

And then we...

There's been a lot of activity recently and little time to document it beyond, of course, making sure the records are right and entered up properly.

So this is a roundup.

We explored all around the area below the Gospel Pass in two visits - to one of the farms as well as to Darren Lloyd itself and the common below it.

One of your first encounters worth recording was this - just discernable in the picture - abundance of "something white" in a field below us - which turned out to be the densest population of Pignut I have ever seen.
Pignut, Cneuen y ddaear or Conopodium majus - from afar

We found Lemon-scented fern in one of the flushes on the mountain side - and again at the farm.
Lemon-scented Fern, Rhedynen bêr y mynydd or Oreopteris limbosperma

This, I am reliably informed is part of a "nivation cirque" high on the slopes of Darren Lloyd. (A mountainside hollow - or Corrie formed by snow, not ice.)

Anyway it was home to some good species including Oak Fern.
Oak Fern, Rhedynen dridarn or Gymnocarpium dryopteris

Both Oak and closely related Limestone Fern are found at height in this area - eg at Tarren yr Esgob I later discovered and at first we were unsure which we had here...

The farm had a lovely meadow with many good species all over it.

Including this:
Marsh Arrowgrass, Saethbennig y gors or Triglochin palustris (Triglochin palustre) 

And much more:

We got quite high up Darren Lloyd.

Where this was growing in the open moorland - not woodland as is more common for the species.
Common Cow-wheat, Gliniogai or Melampyrum pratense 


Other highlights of the last weeks' efforts:
Heath Spotted-orchid, Tegeirian brych y rhos or Dactylorhiza maculata 
At Llangorse and photographed 'cos they looked nice. (We welcomed the Wildflower Society to Llangorse to look around at its riches.)

This Brecknock rarity in flower there:
Round-fruited Rush, Brwynen ffrwythgron or Juncus compressus 

Tim Rich came to Allt Rhongyr Nature Reserve to explore the cliffs for rare Whitebeams and Hawkweeds. The whole area was enveloped in cloud that day and members of the group were very enthusiastic and intrepid in the conditions.

Sorbus leptophylla at Allt Rhongyr

I checked up on some earlier in the year encouters near Halfway when in the area.
This Fragrant Agrimony, Agrimonia procera just flowering but thirsty.
 As was a Broad-leaved Helleborine not far away.

And finally - I explored some lanes around Llywel as the area needed more recording effort a few days ago. I have a tendency if walking a winding lane / upland to "just see what's round the next corner" / "just get over the next brow" so came across this rose just outside the target area - it wasn't the only thing I recorded out of target square - after all it's not really about squares on maps...
Sherard's Downy-rose, Rhosyn Sherard or Rosa sherardii 

Friday, June 08, 2018

Bits and bobs and some woodland scrambling

Over the Hay Festival I didn't do much formal recording but did note down significant plants and flowers I spotted while out on walks with family or even when walking between the festival site and home.

Alan Salter has been doing better than this though as voluntary warden of The Byddwn Nature Reserve near Brecon where he is gradually adding to the list we already have of plants that grow there.

One of his latest finds, not recorded for the area for 45 years, was this and the picture he sent shows very clearly that the defining three-nerved structure of the leaves is repeated on the sepals (the green parts behind the petals).
Three-nerved Sandwort, Tywodlys teirnerf or Moehringia trinervia (photo: Alan Salter)

This approach to recording is a good one. General recording goes through an area and passes on - sometimes we come back at another time of year but you cannot get absolutely everything at one or two visits.

I did follow up a report of Marsh Orchids giving a good display at Llangorse near the Bird Hide and enjoyed my visit to the meadows, picking up a few other species not recorded even when a whole bunch of botanists came for a meeting two years ago.

The orchids were very varied in character and I am loath to be too definitive yet on exactly which species they were but here is one with tentative identification:

Southern (?) Marsh-orchid, Tegeirian-y-gors gogleddol or Dactylorhiza praetermissa

Then our next "big outing" was to woodland near the Wye at Llyswen.

We refound Green Hellebore, last recorded many years ago, but failed to find another rarity that used to be there. There was plenty to enjoy and record though with few pictures being taken until the afternoon when we stopped for a break near a magnificent Oak Pollard we came across. By then two of our number had departed.

We also came across some small tree saplings that were probably we thought suckers and were just edging towards deciding they must be Aspen when we found the parent tree - quite a distance from the first sucker we saw. This is the principal way in which Aspen spreads I think.

A short discussion on the certainty of some leaves we found being Moschatel was cut short when we found a fruiting flower head that certainly confirmed it. (Three of the five flowers don't seem to have produced successful fruit.)
Moschatel fruits, Mwsglys or Adoxa moschatellina

And the Yellow Pimpernel patches were lovely:
Yellow Pimpernel, Gwlyddyn melyn Mair or Lysimachia nemorum

There were also carpets of Woodruff and near the end of our exploration we came upon this "Ferny Dell" that the photograph doesn't do full justice to.