Here in Wales, we are having a spell of beautiful, hot weather. So yesterday I seeked out the cool woodlands of the Rheidol valley;they are sessile oak woodlands that clothe the sides of the valley, ending in the stunning Devils bridge waterfalls.There are many woods but I found the woodland reserve of Pant da, which begins with a beech copse covered with nodding bluebells. A path winds up through sessile oaks inter dispersed with birch,rowan,wild cherry and Larch.
A Pied flycatcher flits from branch to branch-a flash of black and white and cherry blossom falls like snow here and there.Dappled sunlight speckles the undergrowth of bramble ,ivy and moss and little brown butterflies sail in the warm air.
The sessile oak- Quercus petraea grows in the west of the UK and the main difference in identifying it is that the acorns have no stalk(they are sessile!) but the leaves have a long stalk. The pedunculate oak ,Quercus robur has the opposite.The sessile oak can tolerate the poor,rocky usually acidic soils found on these steep valley sides;hence their sometimes gnarled, stunted and twisted look.
At the top of the path is a seat with a nice view across the valley. A red kite flies overhead surveying the hilltops.
I'm currently working on several pictures at the moment but I'm hoping to do a bluebell and fern painting so here are some sketches.
I thought I'd post another bluebell study that I did a few years ago.
Happy Easter everyone xxx