Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Blast furnace slag a substrate of some interest

There's a south facing bank around the back of the Gilchrist Thomas Industrial Estate in Blaeanvon that's entirely made up of blast furnace slag.  Although this bank is sparsely vegetation the plants that occur are worthy of mention. Field madder, carline thistle, wall pepper, and various cranesbill etc. etc. all jostle to for the nutrients required for growth in this hostile environment.

 Trying to keep my footing amongst the unstable slag I kicked up no end of micro moths many of which weren't worth pursuing due to there size and my unwillingness to fiddle with their genitalia in order to get an identification down to species level. All was not lost however as a couple were vaguely familiar enough to photograph and identify, namely Pyraustra despicata and Pyraustra purpuralis both widespread in the vice county.

Away from the blast furnace slag and on to a nearby road verge I came across this attractive moth called Marasmarcha lunaedactylaflying around its food plant is restharrow. A fly past black darter dragonfly and several marbled white rounded off the evening.

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