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Selmun, Mgiebah, Taz-Zejtunija Walk. 10th Feb

 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:09 pm    Post subject: Selmun, Mgiebah, Taz-Zejtunija Walk. 10th Feb

The second official walk organized by Maltawildplants.com for the forum members was another success. After many days of bad weather and cold wind that took place most of January, February started to be a bit more fair, and today the 10th was a perfect sunny day - not usual for the St. Paul's shipwrek day!

At 9:30am I and Picus arrived near Selmun castle and within 5 minutes all those who were expected to come were on the spot - great punctualitY! There where some new faces from last event, namely Charles the pilot, God Father of Dr. Elena Yasnetskaya (who also was amongst us), a PhD student from Bulgaria and studying in Germany under supervision of Dr. Weber whose name is Stravko, and one of the recent active members in the forum - Robcar together with his wife. There was also Pine and Wolf with their partners, so in total we where 11.

We started down our way past Selmun towards the coast at the North. We talked on various botanical topics and to get to know each other a bit more. Stravko turned out to be a very knowledgable person about our flora. I encouraged him to start participating a bit more on our forum.

The first interesting plant to encounter was Cistus cretica. It has bright pink and fairly large petals contrasting nicely with its dark foliage. There was also numerous Orchis collina and ocassionally an Ochis conica at this area, about 500m away from Selmun castle. Peaceful green countryside was all around us!

We continued further the garigue until we came at a high cliff top facing down Mgiebah coast. Here Wolf spotted another interesting plant with woody stems and small leaves which was Putoria calabrica. This is quite rare species in our islands and originited from Calabria, Italy. There was another species close to it. These flower in Summer.

After a short break we started down the cliff. This time the path was not a hard rocky one, but turned to a slippery and muddy one due we where on clay slopes. These gave some trouble to some of us. At this stage Wolf and his wife throttled ahead and at a point we thought that we lost him. We took it slowly, since we were lost in our discussions about many interesting flora topics. There where nice views of small blue/green 'beaches' (pic 2) along the coastline and interesting large clay slopes on the other side.

Finally we spotted wolf and his wife who was already sitting at the coast/beach of Mgiebah waiting for us. We continuead our way down and reach them. It was a perfect place to sit at the beach and took a quite long break, chatting and eating our sandwiches. We were only disturbed by an irrisponsible who was making offroad with his unregistered motorbike.

Around noon, we continued our walk. We had to wave good bye to Dr. Elena and her God father Charles since he had to go to work for a flight to Manchester. We thanked them for coming and I thanked Elena for giving me some special plant nutrients.

We walked for some time along the coast and then we started to climb the hill. There where nice fields literally full of Narcissus tazetta. Further ahead we found a species of Plantago with long fruiting branches. I took some seeds which maybe germinate to successful in our shadey garden bare of plants (except a grapefruit and Hibiscus)

When we climbed most of the way, we seen many species of Cistus cretica, with one in particular that had 2 early fowers. We arrived to a nice garigue or better to say a steppe since it was full of shrubs of Erica multiflora ranging from off-white to lilac to purple flowers. Further on the garigue there was many communities of Romulea species which kept busy Stravko and Robcar and to a less extent me and Pine. Stravko suggested that they where various varieties of Romulea columnae namely var. melitensis, var. ramiflora and var. rollii. Their identification is not straight-foward and needs some work. There was also a nice almond tree full of white flowers an no leaves and a nice view of the beach of Mgiebah.

Now we arrived at an area where Selmun palce was to our East. Here it was full of interesting and not so common flowers. I found a white flowerd Veronika (pic 2) and another tiny white flower (pic 2). Stravko also found Linum bienne, a gracious pale blue rather small cup shaped flower with dark veins.

I, Pine and Picus joined the other's who where waiting for us ahead, while Robcar and Stravko kept a bit longer examing some other flowers. While waiting Pine's girlfried found a small baige mushroom that we could not identify. I also seen a big-flowered Orchis conica withe pale (rather white) labellum and deep purple spots. Again there where numerous Orchis collina at this area. It seems that O. conica and O. collina are good friends! I wonder if they can form hybrids between them. Wolf said that this near this area he found Ophrys melitensis which flowers in march.

Finally Robcar and Stravko joined us and at this point we got a bit out of track. While the boys where guessing the best track, the girls lied in the wonderful warm sun (good idea!). First we went in an small oak forest where there where many natural rock caves beside them. Once back out we climbed up a hill and found ourselves on a plain garigue. Do not know the name (maybe Ghajn taz-Zejtunija) but I can tell that Selmun castle was to our East / North East

Here we found more Linum and Romulea examples, and Robcar spotted interesting squill-like leaves which according to Stravko they looked like Scilla sicula (or S. peruveana ?!?) It wiill be interesting to find out what are they when they flower in March/April, though they where just beside a bird-trapping site!!

We finally arrived to a 'public' pathway and our way to Selmun was not more difficult - a big relief for the girls (except Picus probably!) When we arrived to Selmun and there awaited us the 'cherry of the cake' (no more comments here !)

Before we left I, as the administrator of the forum handed a printed copy of the maltawildplants.com calendar for this year (came a bit late but better from never). Seems that everyone liked it a lot. If wolf said it is good quality, it is really so then

Just before we left we took a final photo together.

Thanks for all those who came and hope we will have more interesting walks in March. Thanks to Wolf for the guidance.



Forum members can post your photos too.

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Last edited by MWP admin on Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:15 pm; edited 4 times in total
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wolf
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Joined: 04 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:09 pm    Post subject:

MWP - Thanks for the professional calendar first of all. Second I would suggest future activities are divided into two distinct ones
1. Straight walking tours ( as was supposed to be the case today ! )
2 More specialized photo-shoot meetings where we cover a small area thoroughly ( area like the last garigue we were in today which is very rich in plant diversity ) I have one or two other sites in mind which we cud cover say on saturday afternoons.
That way I think it will be more fair on the ladies and on us Ramblers as against the slow grannies at the back !!!
Hey only kidding

ps.....I make it the speedwell we came upon is veronica cymbalaria ...correct ?

For those who asked link to Ramblers is the following
http://www.ramblersmalta.jointcomms.com/
( straight walking - no old grannies )

a domani Robcar....

wolf
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MWP admin
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:12 pm    Post subject:

Thanks wolf !

I liked your suggestion and it will be applied. The case today was that Stravko (who I did not know anything about him and that he was coming) kept us busy on the flowers that we encountered and his info given on the spot was always interesting. On the other hand, the straight walks would also have some time dedicated to observes some flora, but not in depth as today.

I appologize for the lacking pics, but I had a nap in the middle of the job and now going to dine with Picus- will be placed online tomorrow morning.

See you soon

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IL-PINE
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:17 pm    Post subject:

Excellent walk. We found some interesting stuff today! Well, I agree with you about the walks. I agree with Wolf - Veronica cymbalaria.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:08 am    Post subject: The pics are included

The Pics are included as links in the main report. (you have to read it again !) Sorry for the delay but thism orning NEXTGEN was not working and could not access the internet.
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wolf
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:31 am    Post subject:

Pine v.cymbalaria is listed in my sources as " infrequent " ....as to the cherry on the cake ....aaahh that is listed as very rare

wolf
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 9:53 am    Post subject:

Quote:
1. Straight walking tours ( as was supposed to be the case today ! )


To defend a bit myself about this, it was written on the post and the email I sent to the members that we are going to "explore the flora" of the nearabouts, so on paper it was a balanced between walking and exploration.

Though your suggestion is of course valid and will be stated MORE clearly what type of walk it would be.

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HC Weber
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:56 am    Post subject:

Stephen: Thanks for the interesting report and pics for members which were not able to attend.
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Zurrija



Joined: 16 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Selmun, Mgiebah, Taz-Zejtunija Walk. 10th Feb

... Dr. Elena Yasnetskaya (who also was amongst us)


My regards to Dr. Elena!

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 11:23 am    Post subject:

Is the Plantago spp. in the description Plantago major??

There is link to a large photo in the uppermost desc. (paragraph 9)

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IL-PINE
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 12:55 pm    Post subject:

yes, Plantago major
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jackpot
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 1:38 pm    Post subject:

confirm il-Pine

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 1:43 pm    Post subject:

TNX guys.
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