|View over Punchbowl lake|
It seemed that every gate post on the way towards the Woodland Trust's Punchbowl reserve was erected specifically for the benefit of attaching signage. A tasteful 'all welcome' sign gave way to a number of Brecon Beacons plagues warning that motor vehicles were banned. Another wooden post symbolized with various icons struck through warning those interested in camping, fishing and motor bike riding that these were not permitted. The value of this sort of clutter was soon realised when I passed the time of day with half a dozen overnight campers and a scramble bike rider. There were no fisherman present, but a passer by referred to me as such solely on the basis that carried a sweep net, the fact that I clearly had no fishing rod didn't seem to matter. That said The Punchbowl is a very interesting site for a naturalist and well worth a visit.
|New Zealand Pygmyweed|
A singing yellowhammer faded as the descent towards the lake was marked by the buffering influence of an avenue of impressive beech trees. The site itself sits at the foot of the Blorenge SSSI and is shrouded by a cloak of woodland. At the lake edge it was clear there is a problem with the invasive non-native New Zealand pygmyweed as the margins were completely swamped by the cushioned effect of this plant. Nonetheless there was much more on view to satisfy a quizzical botanist. Plants included pond water crowfoot, marsh pennywort, bottle sedge and rigid hornwort. It was no surprise to see a pair of Canada goose was a couple of young and at last I was able to get a few shots of a male emperor dragonfly - I've always found this species difficult to get close to. A striped longhorn beetle topped the visit off.
|Longhorn beetle Stenurella melanura|