Saturday, 20 May 2017

Skelton Lake (VC63 & 64)

After a couple of weekends botanising in the Dales and VC31 I am spending this weekend on my local patch. Skelton Lake is the latest in a series of old workings along the River Aire to open to the public, with a new footbridge over the river and acres of land to explore. I think this will be a great site in late summer for drawdown flora.

It wasn't the greatest day for botanising, but I have been waiting for the bridge to open for weeks so was not going to let the torrential showers put me off.

Approaching along the towpath was the first nice find of the day. Dame's-violet (Hesperis matronalis) in full bloom.

There were swathes of the large flowered (and larger in general) subspecies of Field Forget-me-not (Myosotis arvensis subsp. umbrata) in the rough grass. This is more often relegated to var. sylvestris these days, but it seems to me phenologically, ecologically and morphologically distinct so I would rather give it the benefit of the doubt and a higher rank.  It is strictly spring flowering (unlike subsp. arvensis), and is the typical plant of woodland glades and other shady places, although it can be found in other habitats. Not a great photo, but I am still using my Nokia as my default pocket camera with hit and miss results (does a good job in good light, less good in the gloom of a rainy day). This is why I also have no photo for the best find of today Rough Hawk's-beard (Crepis biennis).

There were also some good stands of a particularly fine, strongly marked, form of Spotted Medick (Medicago arabica).

The Wild Turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. campestris) was in peak bloom along the river banks and scattered elsewhere.

And then to close things out just before I was drenched to the bone, Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa) and Reflexed Stonecrop (Sedum rupestre).

So a productive couple of hours, with the promise of more as the season progresses.

No comments:

Post a comment