Monday, 9 June 2014

April with Merioneth Nats

Annie at work!
Now I am living out of the county I make an extended visit once a month to coincide with Meirionydd Nats meetings and in April I was lucky to have Annie's company to  survey the salt marsh at Gogarth on the Dyfi estuary. We made a good list of early plants and enjoyed the sights and smells of the marsh, which was bright with Cochlearia officinalis, Common Scurvy-grass, in the sward of Festuca rubra subsp litoralis.

The next day we all met in Dyffryn Ardudwy, where Guy had done a lot of work getting access permissions. He'd also let us park in his wonderful garden, although he was away and so not able to enjoy the day with us.  We walked down towards the sea, as usual not recording until we were in the right target tetrad, but then making a long list of weedy species, which take advantage of the early lack of competition.

The bright flowers of Lousewort, Pedicularis sylvatica, were a welcome sight so early in the year

Some better marshy conditions took our species count to 146, quite a respectable total so early  in the year, when it is difficult to do some plants, particularly young ferns, with accuracy. In some of the ditches we found Apium nodiflorum, Fool's Watercress,  and both Sparganium emersum and S angustifolium, Branched and Floating Bur-reed.

Andrew successfully foraging for Water Crowfoot
Andrew intrepidly went down a steep bank to retrieve some Water-crowfoot. Sadly it later proved impossible to identify beyond Ranunculus aquatilis s.l., with its single flower failing to develop into fruit.

We saw several clumps of the Sharp Rush, Juncus acutus, a Meirionnydd specialityon our way back towards the railway and village. The caravan site in the background and the derelict barn are signs of the changes in land use in recent times

Juncus acutus

Hiraeth, an almost untranslatable Welsh word
for a yearning nostalgia

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