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

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Food for free

'No tea for me tonight luv I'm going foraging, I'll return full and satisfied without being a burden on the family budget'. 'Yeah right' was the reply. Historically hoards of locals harvested natures billberry bounty  on the hillsides around Blaenavon. A local budding capitalist even patented a 'billberry picking tool' to make the sustainable pillaging of the uplands that little bit easier. Today billberry foragers are few and far between.

The billberries on Mynydd y garn fawr were plump, juicy and tasty and true to my legendary greediness I took advantage. Two handfuls later and after a close shave with a rouge crowberry I moved on.

A small quarry with a combination of wet and dry heath provided a suitable distraction. A black streak of an unidentified bryophyte remains just that - although I'm sure SB will know what it is. Otherwise the hillside was quite, a pair of stonechat were still noisy however, a female wheatear moved from stone to stone while a distant reed bunting was still in song. Grayling butterflies are now on the wing and a few small heath were still evident.

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