Earthtongues, Snowdrops, Tapers and Carbon Storage; B-Lines; Keeping up with the Waltons.

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This gallery contains 26 photos.

At last I’ve made it to the Gower. An invitation that popped into our inbox for a day’s course on managing land to help our native invertebrates caught my eye. Particularly since one of the tutors was the naturalist Steven … Continue reading

Insane, Vain Curate; Paradise, Parasols and Coppers; How should we then Live?

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This gallery contains 27 photos.

This may be a confusing slog,  (no typo)… Both to write and read…A blurred rush, as is my own self imposed challenge over all these years, through topics related to the natural world around us in rural West Wales, and how … Continue reading

Callum Calls; Lunch with a View; Scarlet Caterpillar Club; Compost, Worm Cities and Dragon’s Breath.

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This gallery contains 57 photos.

It finally happened. We’ve been hit by the severe rainfall event which we’ve expected for many years, and the prospect of which had driven all our work creating rain management channels on our access track. However before this, preluded by … Continue reading

Fantastic Fungi and Web Watching

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This gallery contains 24 photos.

Every once in a while a big concept strikes home, creating a damascene like moment. I reckon my heightened awareness of the importance of fungi in the ground beneath our feet, which is outlined below, will prove to be almost … Continue reading

Pictures or Words: Just Another Day.

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This gallery contains 18 photos.

Pictures?   Or Words?   Another Day   Saturday morning, before Today begins. Warm, still, silent. Up here. Crow crudely cracks the soundscape open. Beetles blurrrr West. Blushing pink flushes swiftly gold. And valleys haze. So calm, so calm.   … Continue reading

Colours; Mosquito Hawks; Dandelions and Trust.

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This gallery contains 55 photos.

Naked ladies, Devil’s Paintbrush, Brimstone, Mosquito Hawks, Hordes of toads, Erupting craneflies, Dandelion diversity… The list of interesting observations here in the last 10 days has certainly kept my eyes wide open, and my shutter finger twitchy. But I’ll begin … Continue reading

Mushrooms, Mistles and Myremycology

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This gallery contains 38 photos.

The fabulous summer of 2018 ended for us in late July. Our weather has fortunately reverted to type here, with grey days, dampness, drizzle and occasional deluges. Only 3 days with no rain as of August 27th. However August is … Continue reading

Why? Flowers and Insects; Hanging on; Diverse Forages; Relief

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This gallery contains 89 photos.

Ignoring, no, deleting the spam comment thoughtfully sidelined by WordPress on a “Practical Pregnancy Plan” as I logged in today, this is a post with a few unanswered “Why’s”? A simple question I always dreaded hearing from a client. Demanding … Continue reading

Heat, Drought, Stress, Fire; Flashy Misses; Floral Meadow; Coastal Cove.

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This gallery contains 123 photos.

More rare than even an England football team playing in a World Cup semifinal. Having to write a post preoccupied with the effects of an ongoing heatwave, sunshine most days, and the drought conditions which continue to affect us here. … Continue reading

Explosions; Swarms, Scents and Parental Care.

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This gallery contains 63 photos.

June 2018 proved me wrong. Dramatically. After the apparent crash of many species populations here in 2018, which I’d written about last time… Came the rebound. Or recovery, and an explosion in numbers… It began with the bumblebees on the first … Continue reading

Memories of May – Sun, Wheels, Bells, Clocks, Hay, Mother. Crash.

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This gallery contains 98 photos.

How shall I remember May 2018? Certainly not the 30 mm deluge on May 2nd which now seems an age ago. The abiding memory will be, at last, of a lengthy dry spell, with much fantastic sunshine and warm days. … Continue reading

Scream; Lamb Whispering; Aphrodisiac Orchids; Painting with Narcissi; Deliverance.

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This gallery contains 24 photos.

This week, the evening after we’d decided we could relax and leave our last single lambs outside for the night, I had my usual pre bathtime use of the watering can outside the back door. The lambs have done very … Continue reading

Lapsed Time; Hand Weeding; Snowdrop Farewell; Nos Da-Good Night.

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This gallery contains 45 photos.

  __________ Lapsed Time Slow down, young lad. Take time to find the gaudy foil wrapped Eggs and rabbits hidden ‘mongst The mossy greens.   Slow down, young lass. Paint shells and papers, Gaudy bright, but leave the Brows and … Continue reading

Survival, Tracking, Sniper; Redemption Rain.

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This gallery contains 39 photos.

Survival is a common thread here. Trivially, WordPress have just reminded me that I’ve now been writing, and photographing for these posts, for 7 years. I’ve survived for that long. This surprised me – that on one level I’m still … Continue reading

No Place To Hide

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This gallery contains 96 photos.

A night disturbed by strong winds, and fitful thoughts about what to choose as a title for this post. How to capture the roller coaster of experiences here since my last post? Carnage, The Beast from the East. Arctic. Welsh … Continue reading

Eruption Week.

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

Eruption   Long before the golden blue-grey Tints hint breaking skies, and Sun, once more. Howling Easterlies rake the facing slopes. With poached mud, frozen. Hard. Some time before the landing Creyr, wings folded in, Took patient station on the … Continue reading

NGS Snowdrop and Spring Bulb Weekend 2018

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This gallery contains 46 photos.

I thought I’d do a near wordless post, having just held our annual snowdrop opening weekend for charity for the National Gardens Scheme (NGS). I last did a similar post in 2014, and it’s surprising how the garden has changed … Continue reading

A Welcome Wind; Beyond Blue Monday; Familiar Haunts, Surprise Treasures.

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This gallery contains 85 photos.

The New Year began with snowdrops aplenty, but as I mentioned last time, no warmth for them to spread their petals wide, so a selection were brought inside for a New Year’s Day lunch, along with some snipped Daphne bholua … Continue reading

Ripening, Falling, Dropping, Melzing; Shuttlecocks and Sowbreads; Ty Unnos, Rebecca and Dylan.

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This gallery contains 85 photos.

How much energy is needed to melt a cubic metre of snow? This question popped into my mind after our previous heavy snowfall here, and whether we’d manage to escape down our track and make it to our Christmas gardening … Continue reading

Nightmares; Dreamscapes; Snow and Acts of God.

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This gallery contains 63 photos.

I rarely dream. Never have. Just the odd bizarre vague memory on waking. And usually sleep quite well, for which I’m grateful. However in the last month my sleep has been unexpectedly broken twice. Firstly by an insect loudly buzzing … Continue reading

Early Arrivals and Departure Times; Starry Days; Not Weeds and Insects.

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This gallery contains 116 photos.

This week the valley roared, the birch bowed… the daisies danced …and the lashed larch littered mossy paths with twiggy lichened debris.  Storm Ophelia’s much heralded arrival lived up to expectations. Potentially movable detritus was tidied, travel plans for Monday … Continue reading

September’s Song: Orange and Black – Hibernating and Recycling

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This gallery contains 76 photos.

The garden mourns… So begins the poem written by Hermann Hesse, in translation, which you can read in full below, and which was chosen by Richard Strauss, right at the end of his life, to form the basis of one … Continue reading

Pitching, Rolling, Yawing and Probing – Humming Buddlejas, and Ripping Badgers

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This gallery contains 74 photos.

It seems a long time ago, but we did briefly achieve our annual Welsh fifteen moment in the garden this year, when more than fifteen butterflies, of the usual 3 suspect species – Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock had … Continue reading

Toil, Aerial Conflict, and a Garden Walk.

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This gallery contains 85 photos.

Another month of significant physical effort here, in part influenced by a late season request to look round the garden by a small recce group for a possible party flying in from over the pond. Sometime next year. Perhaps. We’ve … Continue reading

National Meadows Day; Sowing Beauty or Tainted Love; Buttercups, Pizzas and Seasonal Invertebrates.

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This gallery contains 61 photos.

The first of July seems a long time ago. Hay has been cut. Twice. A shed has been built… Seeds have been shed – pale stem straws shimmering…  Or catapulted, crisp, hairy and augured… Rain has fallen, at times heavily. Miraculously, … Continue reading

Elysium: Power, Money and Four English Gardens; Birthday Bash and Books.

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This gallery contains 97 photos.

A threshold crossed this month. A number to blame for the stamina reduction, typed letter reversing, and creaky joints.  An excuse. Or an opportunity? Changed perspectives threaten. The slippery slope beckons beyond the summit. Or will it be more of … Continue reading

June Jewels; Summer Spate; Crocus Clubs and Cuckoo Spit

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This gallery contains 70 photos.

Life has exploded this June. It probably happens every June, but maybe weather conditions have concentrated the process this year. And when I say life I really mean the invertebrates which share our garden and meadows. I get used to … Continue reading

Waves, Meadowfoam and Blowing in the Wind; Colonial Plants and Control.

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This gallery contains 23 photos.

Waves have gripped me over the last fortnight. Made me stand and gaze. And wonder. Not those which batter our nearby coasts, crashing on rocky cliffs, or transporting drifting fleets of jelly fish, as seen recently near Cwmtydu.But those that … Continue reading

Branded; Rooting Down and Linking In; May and Montanas; and a Little Shared Limelight.

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This gallery contains 57 photos.

Frost. Sun. Wind. Fire. RAIN. The elemental forces which have played out over the beginning of May and shaped our outside work, and the garden’s feel. Never mind the gardeners’ state of mind. Following on from the very dry April, … Continue reading

Why Do We Do It? Nature Calls; A Cornish Garden Party; Specialist Nurseries.

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This gallery contains 60 photos.

I’ve been pondering the issue of why we garden of late. Why do we do it? A simple five words which interestingly brought to mind for both of us a clearly remembered song from decades ago – though I’d mistakenly … Continue reading

As Good as it Gets, and Good Timing; Daffodils; Dippers in the Valley Of Flowers.

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This gallery contains 60 photos.

A day after the novelty of waking with the bedroom suffused with golden light, I hit the keys under grey gloom first thing. Lowering mists, a full rain gauge, and the still cold saturated ground, struggling to recover from yesterday’s … Continue reading

Cometh the Hour; Visitors and Visits; Pond Life and Death

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This gallery contains 12 photos.

As February lurches violently beyond dangerous Doris (storm number four of this year’s named sequence) and onwards towards St. David’s day, there have been two recent fleeting occasions when the sun has shone and the temperatures risen. And in our … Continue reading

Rushed Out, Snowed Under, Hedged In, Hunting On.

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This gallery contains 60 photos.

A rushed post, between the flipping weather patterns from dry sunny and cold, to wet, mild grey. The nocturnal serenading Tawnies mimic my angst. To Do, To Do, To Do … But daily seasonal reminders of the natural world springing back … Continue reading

New Year, New Week, New Buzz

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This gallery contains 62 photos.

The first week of January. What a week for being outside! Pardon? Yes, really. Although no spectacular sunrises and the weather has oscillated, as usual, from minus 8 frosts with feathered, blue-from-cold, greenhouse windows, and the first ice spike of … Continue reading

Hornets, Wagtails and Wrens; Silver Linings and Seasonal Snowdrops

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This gallery contains 12 photos.

Our resilience planning had a pre Christmas test, when at the height of our flu, we suffered quite a long power outage. Having basked in the warm glow from our wood pellet stove, and the novelty of automated central heating … Continue reading

Red, Green, Gold, Black, and Whiteness – Christmas Colours? Seasonal Shearing, Silk Snipping and Seamstressing; Knockout

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This gallery contains 35 photos.

We’d had the expected call earlier in the week, so everything was organised for the Saturday. A necessary advent calendar event, impinging on the usual pre-Christmas rush, such as exists even in these rural parts. Doors opened and closed. A … Continue reading

Bits and Pieces; Word of Mouth; Head In the Clouds

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This gallery contains 27 photos.

Starting to write this on the last day of November, after a freezing night, as the thin clouds glow neon pink towards the Black Mountain. Sennybridge made the national weather news at 7.00 am with minus 9.4 degrees C. On … Continue reading

Abscission – Cutting Loose, Breaking Free.

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This gallery contains 61 photos.

A definition. In the early C17th, a century before the masons raised the mauve rubblestone walls of St.Edith’s, a wordsmith merged the Latin Ab (off) with Scindere (to cut), to create abscindere, or abscissio, and thence today’s abscission. An action noun meaning … Continue reading

Psychadelia, Fall, Liberty and Spaced Out Badgers? Welsh Wizardry Wonder

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This gallery contains 36 photos.

Struggling for a title. Even a word to get me going. I hit on psychedelic. And a journey of discovery begins. Isn’t that what’s meant to happen?  (All the images accompanying this post are from the garden in the last … Continue reading

Meadowed Out and Good Hair Days; Kapoored Constructions – Anished Arachnids.

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This gallery contains 71 photos.

At last a rain soaked scene keeps me indoors and tempts me to the relief of the keyboard. The rakes hang stiff on the old smithy wall. The pitchforks lean straight, tip toed on sharp pronged steel, and achy muscles … Continue reading

Flipping Hydrangeas; Battling Bumbles and Jewelled Wasps; and Bonus Butterflies.

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This gallery contains 19 photos.

A fortnight for personal, novel observations. So what’s new – there’s always something different to spot without leaving the home plot. We grew few Hydrangeas before we moved to Gelli Uchaf, though we did bring with us a cutting of … Continue reading

Sensational Sunday – Sunny Monday; Anniversary Ants; and The Fastest Moving Plant in The West.

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This gallery contains 54 photos.

Sensational Sunday completely passed us by in a blur of forks and rakes. For the fifth and last time this year, I opened the back door to the smell of half dried hay this week. A wonderful scent to be … Continue reading

National Meadows Day; Well, Wells, Wales; Big Bag Bottle Bank Update, and Gelli Uchaf Plant Palettes (Late June, Early July)

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This gallery contains 22 photos.

Never mind “What a Week!” (My previous post). What a fortnight! However I shall ignore the May supershuffle, Wales’ eventual glorious departure from Euro 2016, Corbyn’s challengers, Farrarge’s farewell, Murray’s Wimbledon, the Nice atrocity, and Turkish coup, since I’m completely … Continue reading

What A Week!

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This gallery contains 12 photos.

What a week! Or perhaps 10 days. The personal, everyday, seasonal. Interwoven with unique moments of (inter)national and historic gravitas, prompts this very brief post’s personal jottings, before the memories fade. _____________ A Rural View Sheep shorn. Votes Cast. Counting … Continue reading

Moments In Time and Birthday Bonuses ; Gelli Plant Palette (2); Hay Meadow Sightings.

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This gallery contains 97 photos.

Well over 20 years ago we needed to chat with Dad about a longstanding family issue, and since my birthday was approaching, arranged to meet him in the gardens of Sheldon Manor, outside Chippenham. At that time the garden was … Continue reading

Sunshine and Surprise Visitors; Gelli’s Plant Palette – the First Dozen

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This gallery contains 56 photos.

A fabulous week of warm sunny weather here has straddled the passage from spring to summer, May to June. Quite different to the 43 mm of rain in 24 hours with which last June began,  or indeed the torrential rain … Continue reading

Looking Up; Beyond Maturity; The Power of Green; and Giverny Revisited.

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This gallery contains 50 photos.

Do you know what this tree is? And they’re pink leaves, not blossom. Answer later. We didn’t, but spied it from afar to the right of the main entrance as we were leaving the Parc de Florale in Paris. This … Continue reading

Early Birds, Show Stoppers and Painting The Garden

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This gallery contains 2 photos.

Picture the scene. You’ll have to, since the camera was inside as I turned from filling the watering can and spotted a robin perched on the highest point of the rusty chair’s back. Fluffing herself up (and you’ll see why … Continue reading