Fairy Glen Part 2

The SWT walk  in Fairy Glen caught the last day of the recent dry spell with rain starting just as the last of us neared the cars. We were 19 in total and enjoyed the curious landscape of Fairy Glen as well as some interesting plants and other aspects of the natural world.

We saw Arabis hirsuta (Hairy Rock-cress) and Draba incana (Hoary Whitlowgrass – apologies to those present for whom I got the vernacular name wrong) plus Saxifraga hypnoides (Mossy Saxifrage).

Draba incana   Photo: Chris Mitchell

In the river we noticed a  lot of white deposits on the rocks where the water level was below normal.  I tasted it and found it not to be salt, but Robert took a sample home and looked at it with a microscope where it proved to comprise, as he suspected, mainly small diatoms:

Diatoms    Photo: Robert Arnold

The one thing we failed to find for which there is a previous record was Orobanche alba (Thyme Broomrape). The dry weather plus grazing pressure may explain its absence. There again, we didn’t go rock-climbing in the most likely area.


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