Friday, March 29, 2019

The Wye Valley Walk

But first - the Little Mouse-ear, new to the County in a Hay Car Park, has flowered:
Little Mouse-ear, Clust-y-llygoden fach or Cerastium semidecandrum

It's an annual that likes exposed habitats and obviously likes this rough slope at the edge of an access road to the farther part of the car park. How it got to Hay originally (and when) are unknown but Ray Woods found it last year. It really is very little and no doubt a few people were puzzled as to what I could be photographing.


So five of us parked on a common near the Wye and walked to a wood on the Wye bank (with landowner permission). The Wye Valley walk passes along the Wye there so we took it north up to the first encounter with a public road and then looped back to the cars. It made a great walk in lovely weather and we recorded 130 different species despite it being too early for many to be visible and others being too small for any of us to be sure what they were...

Right by the cars were several clumps of this:
Italian Lords-and-Ladies, Pidyn-y-gog Eidalaidd or Arum italicum 

Not native around here at all but happily established now.

Great to see:
Primrose, Briallen or Primula vulgaris 

Dog's Mercury, Bresychen y cŵn or Mercurialis perennis 

But we got to the wood eventually:

Among the many delights:
Marsh-marigold, Gold y gors or Caltha palustris 

An old Oak in a field on the way back:

Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Small Valley

"We're off to find Filmy Ferns." I've said that before and we failed to do so, but I was more sure this time as I has a reliable report from an NRW field worker. The only question was whether we would make it to their sites - in a narrow gorge on the edge of Abergwesyn Commons.

We did make it and found the Filmy ferns lower down in the gorge than we might have had to go (to the previous reported site). It made a great expedition for us and we were delighted by the gorge itself and the various plants we found there.

Before we had gone very far there were trees (and ground evidence) to discuss. Joan was sure that the evidence from the litter was unequivocal for Sweet Chestnut but we couldn't spot the tree. Eventually (on the way back) we found very definite and unmistakeable fruits confirming this species' presence. Joan had stuck to her guns and was right. We also found Beech on the way back and the correct fruits for that. I have to say the Sweet Chestnut debris represented a tree far from its comfort zone and were very poorly developed!

There were great displays of Polypody on the trees as we set out:
Intermediate Polypody, Llawredynen ganolig or Polypodium interjectum

The steep sides of the gorge up ahead in the mist.
Exploring the lower reaches.
There were lovely cascades of this:
Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage, Eglyn cyferbynddail or Chrysosplenium oppositifolium

The first cluster of the target ferns we found.
Wilson's Filmy-fern, Rhedynach teneuwe Wilson or Hymenophyllum wilsonii
This picture from a later site shows the well-developed indusia containing sporangia that hold the spores.
Sue at one of the sites.

More pictures (25/3/19 - Thanks Sue)


Monday, March 18, 2019

A Quick Look at the Wye

A quick trip yesterday to the Wye at the Warren near Hay to see if Moschatel (Town-Hall Clock) was yet findable there.

The river was higher than I have seen it after this week's rain but we are lucky here that the river still has quite extensive areas to expand into upstream without serious problems usually occurring.

I found the Moschatel at two sites - one of them nearly underwater on the bank:
Moschatel, Mwsglys or Adoxa moschatellina
(The nearly drowned example.)

Other good things to see as well - spring has arrived in Hay...
Primrose, Briallen or Primula vulgaris

Sweet Violet, Fioled bêr or Viola odorata

Early Dog-violet, Fioled y coed or Viola reichenbachiana

All phone pics so not usual standard...

Friday, March 15, 2019

A walk around Sennybridge

Probably our best find on a windy but pleasant day was this growing in a steep hedge bank in quite some abundance near Sennybridge.
Picture: Arlene Jones
Black Spleenwort, Duegredynen goesddu or Asplenium adiantum-nigrum

It was a good location to select in the conditions with most places we went being quite sheltered.

We found a patch of Butterbur by the Usk - flowering already in a location that would have been under water the previous day (I was there and saw the level).
Butterbur, Alan mawr or Petasites hybridus

It's an interesting species that apparently really was used to wrap butter in the past (they grow to be huge). But there are doubts about its status as a native. "Perhaps native only where both sexes occur" (as it says in Stace). But then the means of distribution - even if vegetative via lorry tires - surely isn't significant? (The plants we have are all male.)

Always a pleasure to see:
Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage Eglyn cyferbynddail or Chrysosplenium oppositifolium

As is this:
Moschatel, Mwsglys or Adoxa moschatellina 

An old pack-horse bridge, widened in 2002.

And me looking for Anemones.
Picture: Arlene Jones

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Near the Wye

These venerable oaks were probably the highlight of our rather wet Wye-side walk last week. Ray, who was with us, explained that he had tried to research the history of them some time ago with little success.
Even the coppicing of them seems to have  had an unusual history judging from the present trunk profile.

The north-eastern aspect with moss and lichen etc. Nothing rare though.

This bridge over the long-defunct Mid-Wales Railway line provided some extra records:
- with quite a lot of Maidenhair Spleenwort and one solitary Rustyback fern. Spearwort in the water below.

Meanwhile Steph has visited some translocated wild Daffodils:
Daffodil, Lent Lily, Cenhinen-Bedr wyllt or Narcissus pseudonarcissus

and a Snowdrop I collected from a verge in the south west of the county some time ago revealed itself:
Green Snowdrop, Eirlys Icaria or Galanthus woronowii
What we encountered in late March 2017 - not the usual Snowdrop leaf colour.