The forecast was for wet weather setting in around midday, nonetheless 7 of us met in the carpark at Ninewells Wood, donned waterproofs and set off along the track. New members Ali and Jeff were familiar with the woods, so we soon branched off along a small footpath, and started to look at some of the common woodland species (Thuidium tamariscinum, Polytrichum formosum, Brachythecium rutabulum etc). Our plan was to head south to the edge of the woodland where it is bordered by a mossy stone wall, which we did, but the mossy wall had relatively few species and there was a chilly wind at the top of the wood. We did find a few new species – some Racomitriums on the wall at the top of the woodland indicating more acidic rock, and a few patches of Aulacomnium androgynum with its lovely gemmae-bearing stalks. Put off by the wind though, we headed back down through the wood, our thoughts turning to lunch as it had been an early start for some of us.
After lunch, we decided to head for Cleddon Bog, as Olga in particular was keen to see it. We picked up a few additional species along the lane (Diplophyllum albicans in abundance). The bog yielded 5 Sphagnum species, Cephalozia connivens, a Cephaloziella (probably C. hampeana) and Calypogeia muelleriana amongst others. We kept an eye on the weather as it was now about 2pm, and the forecast rain was overdue. Back along the lane, eagle-eyed Sharon spotted a patch of Frullania tamarisci on a tree. A stone wall bordering the garden of a very friendly chap who completely understood our obsession with moss, gave us a few base-loving species, notably Campylophyllopsis calcarea, but also Encalypta streptocarpa, Tortula muralis, Grimmia pulvinata. By this stage, Pete told us that we had around 90 species on the card, so the hunt was on to make it 100 (despite the now threatening rain clouds). So we took the slightly longer route back which took us along a footpath back to the main track. Unfortunately it was too new to have many ‘grots’, but we managed to find the necessary additions all the same – Pohlia wahlenbergii, Streblotrichum convolutum var. commutatum, Dicranella schreberiana…
We did get wet in the end, but the weather was unexpectedly kind to us for most of the day. We even saw some sun!
Despite the long list, we didn’t really do the woodland justice, so another visit is definitely called for at some point.
P.S. Unbeknown to us, Gary had arrived around midday and was wandering around the woods looking for us! His usual greyhound-like ability to sniff us out didn’t work this time, but he did spot a few nice things along the way. Hope to see you at our next meeting Gary!Download final (maybe) list of records