Friday, February 21, 2014

Working at Home

It's great that the weather has turned back to "normal" - even if that is sunny one moment and dark as twilight the next with random showers that just happen to break as you dash to the shops. So the indoor work continues: just with rather more of an eye at the window and the prospect of "going out botanising".

Steph and I did do a recce last week for a Mammal day in Hay next week. I learnt a lot about mammal tracks and also reminded myself that Hay Common would be a good area to record later in the year. (The mammal day is on the 26th - as I write there are still places; booking essential. See this link.)

Hawthorn, Draenen wen at Hay Common in 2008

Hay Common is near Hay on the path to Rook Wood and has a wide variety of mature trees - presumably with amenity use in the past - together with grazed common land packed with anthills and the interesting Login Brook flowing through it.

The home work has moved on from the Rare Plant Register to the master plan for target sites for BSBI Atlas recording in the next six years. The RPR isn't done but it is now in the form of a long printout to go through in the evenings and weed out the "may be rare but who cares" species (I mean unimportant aliens and subspecies that just aren't normally recorded and are therefore not actually rare etc.)

Looking for target monads to survey is interesting - it turns out that most hectads in Brecknockshire have a good number of records - even the more remote ones. But when the data is narrowed down to obvious recording sessions - many records on the same day in an area - then the holes in the data from the Atlas point of view are revealed and I am poring over GetAMap choosing target monads "sort of at random" but with an eye on accessibility. The order of hectads in my spreadsheet means I have started at the west of the county - a lot of longish walks have to be planned there - very few roads...

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Hasty emails and blogs

Two excursions in January - which with the weather we have been having is some achievement.

My email announcing last Thursday's had a few slight errors but no matter - we discussed quite a lot of botany and even recorded some which we could be sure of.

I had said we would walk up the Hepste but actually the river I was targeting was the Mellte - into which the Hepste runs. (The OS map had places near the river named Cil-hepste - maybe in former times that was the name that survived after the confluence ?)

But those of us who assembled at Dinas Rock Car Park decided on a longer route in any case - which did take us to the Hepste and the wonderful waterfall on it called Sgwd yr Elra.

Sgwd yr Elra

We spent some time behind and nearby to this looking for filmy ferns and found none - which was disappointing as there are many records for them there (but all before 2000 I think). I am now definitely worried that I cannot see British Hymenophllyums - as I am tuned to the abundant West Cork ones ! This was definitely perfect habitat as far as I could see.

Still it was a great walk and another part of Brecknockshire I now know better for future recording at a better time of year.

Heather WAS able to identify two of these wonderful lichens:

Usnea ceratina and Usnea subfloriana on Larch

Oh and we did visit the Asplenium trichomanes subsp. pachyrachis near Dinas Rock...

And today a bracing walk up to the Trig point on Brechfa Common:

No botany apart from noticing a good variation of habitat for such an area and several trees and plants worth a recording trip later in the year.

Patrick Crellin at the Trig point

(I said it was a hasty blog...)