Friday, 27 August 2010

30. Wednesday 25 August 2010

Alan and I turned up for a day’s botanical surveying again. Now it’s the school holidays the reservoir isn’t so quiet as normal – it’s more like the weekend, when this place is a very popular spot for family walks, and children playing. As always there were plenty of dogs around, and we enjoyed the company of several friendly canines - and their owners - curious as to what we were up to.

Alan started off the day by re-taking some of the technical photos of the mill site features on the foreshore – he’s a perfectionist with his photography and wanted to get everything just right.

Then he followed my trail of blue flags marking flowers and fungi that I thought were ready for photography.

Luckily, he was wearing his wellies as he slipped into one of the numerous little becks while photographing water mint flowers. His feet still got wet, though!

We enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the newly oiled bench by the millennium-planted oak trees. Someone has recently tidied up around here and cleared out all the weeds. Luckily the tiny little germander flowers have survived.

I spent the day finishing off the August botanical survey for the reservoir side – the moor was closed for the shooting season today, and since my survey would have involved going off the footpath, I couldn’t complete the survey on the moorside today, and will have to return another day. The flowering plants are slowing down now, and we should soon be able to stop recording these, although we still have non-flowering plants on our agenda. We hope to focus on these from September onward – and Embsay Reservoir and Moor certainly have a wide variety of grasses, mosses, lichens, ferns and fungi waiting to be recorded.

Jane Lunnon.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

29. Wednesday 18th August 2010

Toothache notwithstanding, I joined Alan at the Whitfield site today to continue our botanical survey. The weather was very changeable again, and the shower cap proved very useful in protecting Alan’s camera! We are now finding that the rate of new flowers appearing has slowed down as summer progresses, and the survey went well as so much is just a repeat of last month’s inventory of plants.

We agreed that since we are new to this kind of thing, that we would focus this year just upon flowering plants, and leave grasses, lichens, mosses, ferns and fungi out of our report for UWHG’s Whitfield Project 2010. This makes things much simpler, and allows us to give more attention to producing a good data set and photographic collection based on this smaller botanical survey.

I left the site early in the afternoon, leaving Alan waiting for the latest shower to pass so he could photograph the last of the flowers on his list for today.

The botanical survey will continue again next Wednesday.

Jane Lunnon, UWHG Archivist

Thursday, 12 August 2010

28. Wednesday 11th August 2010

It’s been a fortnight since we last on-site. If you want to know what we’ve been up to, then why not have a look at our blog for the Hartlington dig at : . Several members of UWHG have been on a thoroughly enjoyable week’s dig under the direction of David Johnson, at Hartlington, near Burnsall.

Now we’re back to Embsay again. Three of us arrived at Embsay Reservoir this morning to be greeted by a heavy downpour of rain – not what the weather forecast had promised at all. We sat in the car waiting for the dark clouds to roll on by, and eventually some blue (ish) patches appeared overhead, and we ventured out to continue our surveying.

Alan spent the day photographing various botanical specimens across the site, while Jane and Ruth started the morning by checking out a few more features of the old mill on the foreshore, making the most of the lowered water levels since the last proper field survey was done. However, we did notice that the water levels were not as low as they had been a couple of weeks ago.

Noticing that it is now the grouse shooting season, we made the most of being able to get on to the moorside before it is closed to public access. Jane spent the rest of the day starting the botanical survey for August, around the sheepwash and mill pond areas, while Ruth checked out the details of the Gazetteer of features, making sure we had all the features identified and numbered correctly on the moorside. Alan continued with his photography.

We had a leisurely lunch, despite the constantly changing weather – from hot and sunny to cold, overcast, drizzly and windy – and back again to hot and sunny. A small boy thought he’d found a good toy, and we spotted him just in time, marching cheerily off with one of our red flags, which had been set down to mark some fungi Alan was going to photograph after lunch. Poor little chap – we had to ask him to give it back. At the end of the day, the 3 of us met up at the bogbean pond, and sat down for a cup of tea, and a long discussion in which we put the world to rights.

Jane Lunnon