Thursday, 3 July 2014

Grasses of Le Grand Depart (2) - Yorkshire - Threshfield to Cray




 The Grasses Tour de Yorkshire continues.
with another seven different grasses

(See part 1 - Skipton-Threshfield) 

As I drive northwards, (on 2nd July) throughout the day I am passed in both directions by cyclists or many shapes and sizes..

Three km north of Threshfield Grassington lies Long Ashes. Next to the road is woodland on limestone pavement. 


Hairy Brome

Hairy Brome sheath/stem with hairs 1.5mm to 2mm long






The field beyond Long Ashes overlooks the river Wharfe and on the right, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Reserve - Grass Wood.



In the foreground is Sweet Vernal-grass

Here in the same field is Wood False-brome

More Wood False-brome

There is still some Rockrose left - a little dry now.  It is growing with Blue Moor-grass

The ground seems to be made of rounded limestone cobbles. Fluvio-glacial deposits..


A little further on and we are approaching Kilnsey Crag. - Can you see it behind the telegraph pole?




Kilnsey Crag:
a) A bike left by the road as some cyclists have a picnic.
b) Climbers at the foot of the crag survey the overhang above.





at this stage I am going to use (with permission) the view from the top of the crag -
 taken a few days ago by Andy Holden - 


Looking down to Kilnsey Show field from the top of the crag



Back at the foot of the crag I note more mundane things- like the importance of stopping people climbing on walls -


And on the gate nearby some Klebsormidium crenulatum -
a filamentous alga that is spreading throughout Britain
because the air has increasing amounts of active nitrogen compounds.


Here by the roadside is Timothy grass. This is only just coming out into flower.








In the stream below the Crag is  Floating Sweet-grass
Floating Sweet-grass Inflorescence


I carry on past the Arncliffe/Littondale turnoff.

A mile or two before Kettlewell I stop in a passing place. Early flowers have finished but each week still gains a new flower in season. This is one of the few places you can see Bloody Cranesbill on the roadside.




Bloody Cranesbill





On the opposite side of the road is a clump of Meadow Oat-grass
The leaves are stiff and the upper surface whitish.

and the flower head is stiff and almost a spike.

Then there is Yorkshire Fog. - The pinkish grass in the right in the foreground

Hmm, quite a backlog of traffic.


Over the wall, and with the camera on telephoto you can see Scargill House chapel


A little further on we approach Kettlewell.

Almost at Kettlewell. the 3 approaching cyclists (and one behind down the hill)
seem to be carrying at least the kitchen sink in their luggage.







In Kettlewel I find Mr Grassman


I carry on past Buckden

Looking back to Buckden - they are cutting the silage here.

Ah, I see they have filled the holes in in the road.


This Reed Canary-grass is quite photogenic - both uphill and downhill.











 I carry on above Cray. Some of my friends I have been told, will be cycling up here early on Saturday to watch.



They are expecting people to park and camp here.
Still - people will have a good view of the cyclists coming up the hill.
Those two meadows on the left are quite high up.

This cyclist is working hard.


 I drive up past Cray to the summit - well to the flat area between Great Whernside and Buckden Pike.' a flat peaty area of Hare's-tail Cotton-grass.  The sun has gone in and it is quite windy and cold.

As i look towards the Wensleydale Catchment I see:-


Three silage bags looking like cheese. --
Well the grass goes to cows, which go to milk, to cheese.



At this point I carry on a little way then turn round and return home .. Quite a long way. It is (was) 2nd July

I'll put the Buttertubs Grasses up another day

(See part 1 - Skipton-Threshfield) 





Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Grasses of Le Grand Depart (1) - Yorkshire Section of the Tour de France - Skipton - Threshfield

Yorkshire is a green county - even after our dry June. Much of this is due to the beautiful grasses.

Over 80 species of grass can be found in North and West Yorkshire. At least 40 of these can be found on our road verges and fields close to the road. Britain has about 150 native species of grass  (plus up to 70 more introduced and casuals).
This post shows 7.

As the cyclists whiz round our country roads they will see  many of these grasses.  If you are watching the race, why not look out for some of the grasses whilst you are waiting?



These photos were collected on two visits: 1) the Hawes- Buttertubs Section on 18 June
2) The Skipton - Buckden section on 2 July.



So: we set off at Skipton -




People at Skipton parish church - Holy Trinity - will have a good view of the race.
 Look they have been cutting their grass. I expect a lot of it is ryegrass








Just north of Skipton is a turning to the right to the natural burial ground. Here on the roadside is Ryegrass. The flowerhead is a spike, with spikelets arranged on either side. See how just one floret in each spikelet is open.








False Oat-grass - an indicator of lack of grazing or mowing




False Oat-grass seen closer. there is one long awn (bristle) per spikelet


Meadow Fescue  (And there was some Yellow Oat-grass nearby)





At the Rylstone turnoff, we are reminded that this main road will be closed.




Not many grasses here - but some good ferns on a wall. This is Common Polypody - and below that some Maidenhair Spleenwort.




A mile before Threshfield there is a bridleway signed to Linton. And there is a great selection of plants on the verge



Tall Fescue


Tall Fescue leaves - with hairs on the auricles - need a closer up picture.




Quaking Grass



Soft Brome
Reflexed Saltmarsh-grass


There are rushes in the field opposite


 See the next seven grasses in the   Threshfield - Buckden (-Cray) Section