Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Cwm Bychan [Nantmor]

Juniperus communis subsp nana
For Merioneth Nats’ field meeting in June only three of us came and we worked hard for our sparse 80 records. We were pleased with the number of young Dwarf Juniper, Juniperus communis subsp. nana plants we saw, though.

Guy - a botanist photographer at work!
The weather was still unseasonably cold and there was not as much to see as we had hoped.   It was tough country and Guy and Lucia's cheerfulness kept spirits up as we had to struggle through shoulder-high bracken and rhododendron back to the car park at the end of the day.  

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

May 2013 Dolgoch Falls

Such a long time since I wrote this blog and memories of the May Merioneth Nats meeting at Dolgoch Falls have receded into the past.  I do want to record it however and upload a few photos, as it was such a good day.  Heather made it seem very easy by letting me have contact details of local landowners, particularly of Eileen Jones, Clerk to the Community Council who manages the woodlands at Dolgoch Falls. She made us feel very welcome and the farm owners did too.  I have been as remiss about sending our records to Eileen as I have about keeping up this blog!

We met at the Dolgoch Falls Hotel and were detained for ages by the garden escapes and other exotics around the lower reaches.  Wending our way upwards we were now alongside the falls and now diverting round mine adits and impassable stretches of the river. There was a fine suite of woodland plants but nothing amazing.  Not only did we not find the hybrid Hymenophyllum [H x scopulorum] which Heather had hoped for but we only found one of its parents, H. wilsonii, Wilson’s Filmy-fern.  The other parent, H. tonbrigense, Tunbridge Filmy-fern, has perhaps not been seen here since 1960.

A mine adit
Reading Fred Rumsey's paper on H.x scopulorum
The stream at Nant y Mynach
Eventually we made our way out onto the open hillside and thence down towards the road again.  After we scoured the roadside for [mostly reseeded] plants, Heather left us to take the direct route home, while we tracked back to the cars alongside a slow-flowing stream, where we collected some nice aquatic records.  These included a putative Callitriche obtusangula, which was later determined by Richard Lansdown as ‘only’ C. stagnalis, and a Water Crowfoot which has still to be determined but may be Ranunculus penicillatus.  I had intended to return to get more material, but I fear that this will now have to wait for another year!