Yellow Rattle

posted in: Countryside, Nature | 0

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Non-descript this tiny yellow flower may be but after years of waiting this little indicator plant finally emerged from our wild-flower meadow this month. Yellow Rattle; aka Cockscomb; aka the meadow maker (Rhinanthus minor) will suck the life out of the choking grasses and give the flowers the headstart they need.

 

Post Gwyn

posted in: Flying, Nature | 0

We had the entire Berwyn mountain range to ourselves yesterday. Bread-knife winds and shot-blasting sleet as we tussock stomped the last mile of wilderness to claim the range’s loneliest sentinel – Post Gwyn.


Atop Post Gwyn in the Berwyn MountainsAtop Post Gwyn in the Berwyn MountainsAtop Post Gwyn in the Berwyn Mountains

Doggy bags

posted in: Bollocks, Countryside, Nature | 0

Special thanks to the dog walkers of Meifod this morning. The joyful site of a dog turd swinging in a tree fair warms the heart on a feisty mid-winter morning. And as the low sun glinted off the primrose yellow bag, I was put in mind of fragrant forest walks and the promise of the year to come.

Oh doggy bag, what treasures lie within thee?

doggybag

The Fences of Berwyn County

posted in: Nature | 0

Walking Wednesday again. So we headed back to the Berwyns. We started off at the flesh pot of Pistyll Rhaeadr (Pistol Rider FFS!). We climbed up via Moel Sych and down Moel Ewig along the lonely heather and bog-stompy ridge to the lonely outpost of Godor.
I was trying out a new anorak, and so, armed with my copy of “The Observer’s book of British Fences” we spent the day taking photos of the miles of rusted sheep-netting to be found out there. These melancholic works of art are as much the landscape as the rocks, peat hags and endless folds of heather.

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Walking Wednesday

posted in: Nature | 0

A wonderful Wednesday in the Berwyn mountains. Followed the ridge up above Ty’n y Ffridd over Mynydd Tarw, Foel Wen, Tomle and finally the twin peaks of Cadair Berwyn. 
We counted 30 ravens twisting and cavorting in an aerial lek above Mynydd Tarw. Some amazing old fences, a micro-cairn on Tomle, and all round magnificence.
We ran out of daylight to take in the final peak of Godor on the way down. 7 hours walking and we didn’t see a soul. I am alive once more.

 

Offroading

posted in: Nature | 0

Bloody off-roaders! Not content with trashing the Berwyn mountains and Llantysilio. Now they’re driving their 4x4s all over Pluto too.

Close up of the surface of PlutoPic courtesy of NASA via BBC pages.

Immortality

posted in: Nature | 0

A standing stone with "Coed Keri" inscribedMy wife, Keri, has achieved immortality of a sort. Twenty odd years ago, we started a project to turn 11 acres of monoculture upland sheep pasture into an oasis of nature.

Over three winters, I watched as she toiled in driving sleet and rain to spade in each day’s quotient of trees. More than 5,000 oak, birch, holly, rowan and ash were planted along with the remaining strength in her back. She didn’t crow about it, but quietly, satisfied, started to interplant with other trees and woodland plants. Together we dug ponds, erected hundreds of birdboxes and generally set about making it a home for all but humans.

Years later, to celebrate this achievement I had Ordnance Survey rename that parcel to Coed Keri and planted this commemorative stone. Today, Coed Keri, vibrant like never before, is left to the wildlife of Denbighshire, but the stone moved with us to Powys, and just got replanted in our garden in Meifod, where we started the process all over again.

 

First Aid for bees

posted in: Nature | 0

An ailing bumble bee sipping honey and waterFIrst aid for ailing bumble bee: 1 drop honey, 3 drops water, mix and apply to paving just in front of the patient. You can just see his tongue between front and rear leg. This invariably revives them.

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