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Botany Group - 22 Aug 2017

by Peter Slater - 07:36 on 26 August 2017

What a difference two weeks makes. A fortnight ago we met in Deerness for a lovely summer’s afternoon walk down to the Gloup and over to the Brough. But today, 22nd August, it seems autumn has really set in. Eight of us gathered at the top of the road below the old Stromness reservoir and walked up the track by the dam and then diagonally across the moor to the west. It was overcast, cool and rather breezy. Indeed, while there was no real danger of hypothermia, one of our number took to running up and down the path, remaining in earshot so she could be summoned back as each new botanical find came to light. Much had ceased to flower, but we noted a good show of late season species such as devil’s bit scabious, for which this seems a very good year. A delight too to see some damp moorland specialities, such as butterwort and bog asphodel. So we did well in all, finding some 50 species, mainly those of moorland and marsh. One or two of us had begun to absorb the mysteries of rushes and sedges and so, in true U3A sharing fashion, were able to show others the features of some species new to them. Up to the ridge we went, with a fine view over towards Hoy, and finally across to the track and so down to the cars. Then back to Stromness and to Peter’s for some refreshments on the way home.

List of plants identified: ragwort, tormentil, angelica, stinging nettle, hogweed, devil’s bit scabious, dock, dandelion, marsh horsetail, field horsetail, water mint, butterbur, meadowsweet, slender-heath eyebright, cross-leaved heath, lesser spearwort, greater spearwort, creeping thistle, meadow vetchling, meadow buttercup, red clover, white clover, ribwort plantain, primrose, common cat’s ear, bell heather, ling, daisy, sneezewort, common mouse-ear, selfheal, grass of parnassus, hare’s tail cottongrass, butterwort, bog asphodel, violet, creeping willow, eared willow, soft rush, compact rush, crowberry. hard fern, heath lousewort, marsh lousewort, autumn hawkbit, ragged robin, tufted vetch, yellow rattle, sea plantain, duckweed

At Stromness Reservoir: the group spot something interesting

Water Mint

Selfheal

Bog Asphodel

Eyebright

Devil's bit scabious and marsh lousewort


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