Monday, October 27, 2014


Three of us set out from Talgarth last week to try out a walk for the Walking Festival next May.

The aim is a circular walk along the railway line (as was) to Trefecca, up the hill to the reserve and back via the paths direct to Talgarth. We used the lanes to get to Trefecca as permission to go on the railway line isn't yet sorted.

On the way we found a damp meadow with many little "potato-like" plants that turned out to be Black Nightshade that was recovering from being mown. (There were several other interesting species there as well.)
Black Nightshade or Codwarth du, Solanum nigrum

Then we passed a wayside Aster making quite a show:
Narrow-leaved Michaelmas-daisy or Blodyn-Mihangel culddail, Aster lanceolatus (probably...)

And so we made our way up the field paths, past a Long Cairn (Penyrwrlodd Long Cairn thought to be about 4000BC). and onto a hollow lane that led us to the reserve.

Trewalkin meadow - not at its most photogenic time but should be a good show in May for the Walking Festival

We were able to make quite a few records in the woodland though and found the Wood spurge I had previously missed there:
Wood Spurge or Llaethlys y coed, Euphorbia amygdaloides

There was also a big patch of Cow-wheat and many many Sanicle leaves around the woodland.

Sue even found the remains of the Wood spurge inflorescence...
The route back took us onto the old A479 down to Talgarth past Talgarth Camp / Hillfort - there should be some great views in May.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Ireland - Update

Here is the updated blog from Ireland with better pictures:

Botany was not really my priority for a while as we enjoyed excellent weather in Bantry Bay.
A quick stop on the way over at the old Chetwynd viaduct near Cork that last carried a train in 1950s. There's a cafe...

Bere Island - once a defence station for the UK and still inhabited
A shopping trolley joins three cars (one mine) on the ferry
Goats and...
a British gun still in place
Rocks covered in lichen and Sea-spurrey / Thrift
Hungry Hill from Bere Island briefly free of cloud at the top. I mean to climb this one day - when conditions are completely clear as the risk of cloud when you get to the top is very high.
Gateposts that have lost their way
Golden Rod - still a delight in the lanes

I saw lots of botany but little in get-the-camera-out state as it is so dry. It took me a while to recognise dessicated Purple Loose-strife - everywhere in ground that must normally be wet but isn't now.

At the heritage centre I saw and purchased a new book - "The Wild Plants of Bere, Dursey, Whiddy and other islands in Bantry Bay" which will be a great stimulus for further exploration here. Pleased to see that I had spotted many of the featured species for Bere - even if dessicated and past flowering.
Plantago coronopus - Buck's Horn Plantain rosette
Golden Rod and Devil's Bit Scabious in the lanes
There were five cars / vans going back - just possible and hemming me in my drivers seat as "the one in middle". You reverse onto this ferry - which is just something you pick up from observation !

Later we got to Whiddy Island just near Bantry where I chased up a site from the book - Asplenium onopteris - Irish Spleenwort which is rare in Ireland and "one of 16" species that occur in Ireland and not Great Britain. There is some doubt about the true identity of this population and my photographs don't provide definitive evidence. There were some plants of Black Spleenwort (which we do have) nearby.