Thursday, March 7, 2013

Getting Started in the City

A belated entry from Bristol. The target might be a bit beyond me (and my willing helpers, partner Dawn and daughters Tilda and Eleanor) but we'll have some fun trying. I have to admit I hadn't realised how urban my 1km square was until starting this: there's not a scrap of semi-natural habitat, no park, no railway line, the biggest wetland is my garden pond. The largest apparent open space on the 1:25000 is the prison - seemingly OS policy is not to mark any prison buildings, which is a bit pointless these days with Google earth etc. I don't think I'll bother picking up a conviction so I can look inside. Still, the first few days of trying have yielded a few surprises. I had wondered if I'd get Allium vineale (crow garlic) in the square; it turns out it's in virtually every wall base and I must have seen it a million times without it fully registering. Garden lichens are a bit more diverse than I thought - Graphis stricta is lurking on the underside of our walnut twigs, either out of the way of the Xanthoria and Physcia above or preferring drier conditions - not a habit I'd noticed before. I'll have to rely more on garden escapes than I'd like. Mahonia acanthifolia growing as a cuckoo in the boll of a lime pollard was a nice find by Dawn. Up to about 200 species now, hope springs eternal.

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