Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Yellow Whitlow-grass

Some flowers require a special trip. This is one of them - it only grows at all in the UK on the Gower and it flowers in March / early April. So off I went.

I tried three possible sites. The first I drew a blank - probably because I wasn't getting the location quite right - but I cut my losses and tried possibility two. That was bereft, I am sure, of a current population.

But Pennard Castle came up trumps and the display was splendid. So a great deal of (very enjoyable) walking and three separate parking charges paid off in the end. The plant loves to grow in pockets of poor soil in rocks - or in this case crumbling ruin walls.

The view from the castle was stunning as well.

Once again the excursion had me reflecting on the unsatisfactory nature of "bagging" finds. It would be so much better (IMHO) to spend one's life walking the great botanical areas of the country all year round and stumble upon species as if by accident. But it would take more than a lifetime to find it all !

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cilcenni Dingle

It's "one of the most species-rich woodlands in Radnorshire" (Flora of Radnorshire, R Woods) so I had to take a peek.

These Radnorshire dingles are, I am aware, pretty difficult to explore, so I was heartened by the "come on in" attitude of the Woodland Trust on their website - it's access land as well. But it was hard - I had to get out before the top and re-enter on the (easy) footpath through the middle. But well worth it ! Major find was Alternate-leaved Golden-saxifrage, in some quantity and quite distinctive from its commoner relative growing with it.

Lovely Marsh Marigolds as well.