The Early Worm Shoots the Bird; Granted Wishes; January and Inconvenient Curiosity.

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This gallery contains 73 photos.

I shall forever remember the recent wolf moon. I’ve certainly seen one before, though without knowing that the full moon in January was given this, and several other monikers centuries ago, at least in the U.S.A., by native American tribes. … Continue reading

Scolopax

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This gallery contains 2 photos.

No fanfare greets your late return, No chattered dipped inflections, No yearned for sunny silhouettes. No, November’s solitary influx Seeps, a secret spreading stain. A million marvel migrants fled. The chilling landscape, flushed you Fast, by night. Alone. And tracked … Continue reading

The Shortest Day and Longest Night; Christmas Crackers.

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This gallery contains 9 photos.

We’re past the worst. As I began to tap this out on the morning of December 22nd, I can say this with confidence. The days are now extending, the nights reducing, at least for the next 6 months or so. … Continue reading

Beauty and the Beholder; Let there be Light; Marvel, and Vespine Circular Economy

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This gallery contains 93 photos.

Three questions to begin. Do you like the header image, which is completely untweaked? It’s exactly as it came out of the camera’s flash card. Secondly do you prefer it this way up? And finally, and really the most interesting, … Continue reading

Fog and Frost; Ripples and An Immaterial Rhapsody; Anyone for (fungi hunting) Croquet?

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This gallery contains 9 photos.

At last, November 2nd, a dense grey scene greeted me as I drew the upstairs bedroom curtains. But not without hope, as it had the faintest hint of colour seeping through, due East. As always, the next job in my … Continue reading

Pride ‘n Fall(s); Clouds; Rips; COP 26

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This gallery contains 32 photos.

Let’s get the plurality of falls out of the way. I’m stretching the meaning to include what we still seem to call autumn, on this side of the pond, though fall is an appropriate term on a day like today … Continue reading

Charming September – Wasps, Webs and Fairies.

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This gallery contains 75 photos.

The landscape and weather here have been languishing. Stuck, metaphorically, in a deep rut between the end of the summer season and autumn’s winds and rains, with the anticipation of fall and decay. Fat berries, the spawn of many successful … Continue reading

Images and Words, Entangled Life, Pop Up Opening in Early September, Perseids

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This gallery contains 6 photos.

My last post was rushed out before a frantic but delightful weekend, when our son’s family and 6 grandchildren descended, overlapping with a pre-planned NGS pop-up weekend. This was promoted as part of a BBC Radio 2 event, “The Big … Continue reading

Extreme.

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This gallery contains 61 photos.

Extreme. A single word, reflecting a manic month, when, with little respite from time spent outside, the charm of putting together a blog post has dissipated in much the same way as water has been sucked from this, now dessicating, … Continue reading

Midsummer Meadows; Catching My Eye, and Tom, Dick and Harry; Busy Bees.

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This gallery contains 114 photos.

Midsummer’s past. The nights are drawing in. Although the inevitability gnaws away at my consciousness on a dank foggy morning, this year it’s different. Our discussed expectation, as we toiled with the hay last year in the upper meadow, was … Continue reading

Spring, Light, Change; Stopped in my Tracks; The Power of the Super Moon

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This gallery contains 71 photos.

Sometimes it’s worth revisiting thoughts. “But all the gardens Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud. There could I marvel My birthday Away but the weather turned around.” … Continue reading

A Coastal Break; Tulips and Daffodils; Molehills and Miners; Water Collectors; and Conflicts of Interest?

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This gallery contains 75 photos.

A late date change, suggested by our lovely amenable hosts, meant our planned short dash to Pembrokeshire for a 4 night recharge, was still possible, having been just the wrong side of the deadline for self-catering accommodation to re-open in … Continue reading

Narcissus Nirvana; Garden Masterclass; Lockdown and N.G.S. Garden Opening; Mad about Moles.

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This gallery contains 43 photos.

What a pair of words to place together. Crudely linked by their common first letter, yet full of rich and varied cultural depth, and filled with distant, ancient meaning. Much of it unknown to this blogger, before I was inspired … Continue reading

Winter and the Cold Blob; Snowdrops – History, Myth and Murk; Closing the Circle; Large Woody Debris.

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This gallery contains 55 photos.

It’s been a long month here since I last sat and typed a post. A lot has happened and I have to confess that my usual get up and go has been worn down a little, and as often is … Continue reading

You Are What You Eat; Butterfly Kiss; Shake, Waggle, Tremble, Bash ‘n Beep.

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This gallery contains 27 photos.

For many decades, I’ve been convinced that our diets have a huge impact on our health and state of well being, but a few recent observations and discoveries had me trying to track down who was the first to coin … Continue reading

Kick the Can, Foot Tasting, Feather Tag, and Garden Opening Update

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This gallery contains 70 photos.

I guess we’ve all played kick the can at some point, a great multi generational game though possibly needing modification in these days of social distancing – actual physical contact probably not being a good idea. But I’m now programming … Continue reading

NGS Garden Openings; Flowers and Drones and Swarms.

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This gallery contains 27 photos.

I’m beginning with a quick update on the current situation regarding possible garden visits to Gelli Uchaf for the rest of 2020. National Gardens Scheme (NGS) gardens in Wales are still currently unable to open to the general public, though … Continue reading

Anti-Social Life; Lenten Lampreys; Mark, Les, Red Masons and Green Fairies; R-0 and Intolerant, Patient Gardeners.

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This gallery contains 56 photos.

Fiona told me a friend had recently shared a Facebook post along the lines of : “You don’t realise how anti-social you are until a pandemic comes along…. and then you discover that your life has hardly changed”. There’s certainly … Continue reading

Life in the Slow Stream; Sally and Harry; This Glorious Spring; A Virtual Garden Tour

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This gallery contains 132 photos.

With apologies to The Eagles, “Life in the slow stream, Surely gonna ease your soul” seems a suitable line to begin a post typically full of the observations that always happen down here when the weather is wonderful. And DRY! … Continue reading

Egg Run and Floral Boosts.

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This gallery contains 118 photos.

Early on Mothering Sunday morning, March 22nd 2020, in glorious sunshine, on the day after this sort of headline hit the news media – Coronavirus: ‘Unprecedented’ crowds in Wales despite warnings and the day before the nation heard in a … Continue reading

A Slow, Fast, Welsh Christmas.

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Lurgy struck, our planned visitors had cancelled, which meant Christmas Day dawned bright, quiet, and relaxed after the previous evening’s calm was spoiled by ominous loud tapping from an kitchen internal wall. Checking the under-stair cupboard showed signs of recent … Continue reading

Winter’s Dawn; Last Plantings; Tasty Treats

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This gallery contains 74 photos.

Fortunately, a noisy wiper blade made me think twice about heading out for an evening talk last week, with the forecast heavy rain. Just as well, since with no warning hints from any of our weather forecasts, as I nipped … Continue reading

Wales Fungus Day, Endozoochory and Halloween Tongues

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This gallery contains 38 photos.

A fortnight ago, we headed down to the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) for their annual Wales Fungus day event. In spite of a poor forecast, as always there were several interesting talks and events laid on, including their … Continue reading

Starry Days; Counting Colours; Collecting, Cutting and Sowing.

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This gallery contains 73 photos.

As autumn proper has arrived, and October is a mere gale and thunderstorm away, it’s a wonderful time of the year to enjoy the delights of Dahlias.Very late to the Dahlia party, I’ve realised that they provide a wonderful autumnal … Continue reading

September

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      September Today I yearn serenity.   And on this first morn, Shorn of politics and prorogation, September smiles.   Struggling through horizoned clouds, A window opens; golden light floods Distant Pumsaint’s rich veined coum.   The hidden … Continue reading

Pop Up Garden Opening – Sunday August 18th; Vegetable Ideas; Floral Meadows.

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

Autumn has arrived here early, in the last 48 hours. Rain. Gales. Home fires. Even if the air is still warm. After what must rank as one of the best summers we can recall here, life can calm down a … Continue reading

Shed of the Year 2019 and the Dunbar Number; Bees are Back; Jewelled Insects.

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This gallery contains 31 photos.

In a blatant bit of promotional activity, I’m asking any readers of this post to support “The Hut” in a public vote to find the Cuprinol Shed of The Year 2019. Having decided to enter “The Hut” into this annual … Continue reading

Ramblings and Roses; Meadow Medleys.

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This gallery contains 169 photos.

With most of the hay we need for the next winter already safely harvested, we headed off, relieved, for what passes as a significant break for us in early July, spending 6 nights away travelling up to Northumberland and back. … Continue reading

Guerillas; Words; Hatch; Meadow Magic; Robbing; Tick, Tock.

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This gallery contains 46 photos.

Just in time for a bit of planned guerilla planting, or more accurately sowing, our eldest son and fiancée arrived at the end of the first week in June. Following the wettest day in 3 months, a quick trawl beneath … Continue reading

Hannah; Margaret; Claire and Mad May

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This gallery contains 92 photos.

As always here, no news isn’t good, or bad, just a reflection of the weather – almost no rain, and too much to do. I should start with a quick reference to Hannah, which we hope will be the last, … Continue reading

Easter: Aggression, Lunarcy, Bullhead, Hornet, Nomad, Butterfly Bonanza and Grandchildren.

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This gallery contains 60 photos.

Was it the full moon? Or the sudden warming in temperatures last week? Or impending Easter – which won’t fall this late in April again until 2030? Or the threat of predators? At that stage unseen.We’ll never know, but after … Continue reading

Last Crops and B-Benefits; Reptilian Repose; Cariad and April Snow; Magic Excitement.

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This gallery contains 32 photos.

Warning – this is a long catch up-post.And for anyone quick off the mark, we’re holding a “pop up” Garden open day for charity for the National Garden Scheme, this Easter Saturday at 2.30 pm – but you MUST contact … Continue reading

Ffloss; Well Choughed; Kestrel; Snakeshead; Seedlings.

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This gallery contains 19 photos.

Seizing the moment on a currently rare March morning, forecast to be dry and sunny after much rain, cloud and wind during the first fortnight of this highly variable month, Fiona had plotted a circular route centred around the coastal … Continue reading

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

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This gallery contains 27 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 … 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.

Rarer than an England football team playing in a World Cup semi-final. 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. The garden … 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 well … 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

Toil, Aerial Conflict, and a Garden Walk.

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This gallery contains 91 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. … 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