Meeting date: 23 July 2011
(Leader: Nick Sturt)
The morning’s challenge was to raise the total species of three different tetrads to over 300 each. Occasionally being known to do The Decent Thing, the Field Convenor took the least promising square and, with the valiant efforts of Judy, Martin and Ernie, somehow the target was reached – without actually seeing anything memorable except for the identical particularly obstinate Bromus which had puzzled members on the previous VC13 meeting. At lunch it became obvious that the all-girl group (Carol, Dawn, Frances and Sylvia) had ventured into even less inspiring territory but at least they were cheerful about it. The boys, on the other hand (Arthur, Eric and Mike), brought back shed-loads of records from their search in and around Ashington itself, including vast numbers of aliens which reflected the gang’s particular predilection. Meanwhile David and Steven had been engaged in their own personal quest for orchids, returning, alas, with nul points. Could the afternoon provide botanical stimulation for all? Well, not at first as Ashington churchyard was comparatively barren and the fields which followed were well fenced against naturalists, but eventually species on the missing list began to crop up. Spot of the day was awarded to Judy for her Elytrigia atherica (Sea Couch) on the verge of the A24. Although the territory had been largely disappointing, 39 new species were added to the afternoon card for TQ11H, and again the total for the day was excellent.