I am lucky enough to live on the edge of a very special woodland nature reserve. Coed Felinryd and Ceunant Llenrych. The woods date back almost 10,00 years to the last ice age and are some of the best remaining Atlantic Oak woodlands also known as temperate rainforests in Europe. Drenched with river spray and high rainfall (over 200 days per year) the humidity is high.
A walk through these woods is along steep narrow slippery tracks. I seldom meet anyone else along the way. Although becoming more popular over the last few years the woods are still far enough off the beaten track to attract too many visitors.
First discovered in Wales in 2005 in Ceunant Llenrych and otherwise only known from two sites in the highlands of Scotland and a handful of sites in Ireland ‘Blackberries in Custard’ or Pyrenula hibernica is a internationally rare species of lichen. Confined to the most undisturbed woodland and the smooth bark of Hazel in Wales.
The anticipation in the search for this lichen always leaves me breathless although this could also be down to the steep slopes of the ravine. The reality of the find however can leave you disappointed. I most cases it can look like a small patch of snot on a branch, it can take some time to find a good sample in perfect condition worthy of a photograph.
Today was a good day.