Saturday, 6 December 2014

Daranlas. ST0498

Exploring the hillside to the west of Mountain Ash, last Sunday, I came upon an old weathered outcrop of Pennant Sandstone and on investigating the deep clefts in them thought I could see a tiny patch of Schistostega pennata on a small area of bare soil amongst the other bryophytes present.

The original cleft, at Daranlas
The cleft, with the tiny patch of S, pennata arrowed. It looks wide
enough to walk into, but I could only just get my head in there.

I attempted some photos, but with little success and as the light was fading by then and I wanted to get down off there before dark, I had to leave it at that.
This afternoon, I returned to the site and after fruitlessly trying to photograph it again, by pushing my camera inside the cleft and firing the shutter remotely, I looked around for a more accessible colony and found it in an even narrower (50mm) cleft, but closer to the entrance, so I was able to get this shot.

It really is a startlingly beautiful sight, when on shining a torch
into a dark cleft in the rock, part of it lights up, luminous golden


  1. Great account Mark of a stunning moss I look forward to seeing myself one day

  2. Magic! The physiological ecology of cave mosses is truly amazing. Excellent record Mark.

  3. Excellent record and a nice photo too. Your area seems to be a bit of a hotspot for pennata. As far as I know that's five records for VC41 all in the area between Mountain Ash and Hirwaun. And all made in the last year or so.

  4. It was your record of it, at Cnwc, George, that spurred my into checking again. There are quite a few similar sites, locally, I will search, when I get the chance.