Cyfle i chwilio am arogl heddi. Defnyddio’r synwhyrau i chwilio ac i ymlacio. Wrth brofi colled arogl a blâs, bu cynifer o bobl yn gwerthfawrogi’r synhwyrau mewn ffordd newydd dros y cyfnod diweddar.
Un planhigyn sydd wedi dwyn y fedal aur yn yr ardd eleni – ac ymhell ar y brig. Mae wedi bod yn rhyfeddol. Wrth dathlu’r arogl a thynnu lluniau heno, mi fuodd rhaid hefyd ymateb i glaf cynta’r mis. Ma’ aderyn y to wedi bod yn dirywio (mwy na thebyg ar ôl taro mewn i’r tŷ gwydr). Oriau o frwydro a dal wrth bob anadl. Sdim llawer o obaith erbyn hyn, ond ma’r frwydr yn parhau. Cydio’n dynn ar linyn bywyd.
I hadn’t really heard or paid much attention to ‘ageusia’ and ‘anosmia’ until reactively recently. I’m guessing that I’m not alone in that revelation.
Anosmia – Complete lack of sense of smell. Reduced sense of smell is termed hyposmia. Smells being different than expected = parosmia and the perception of smells that are not there = phantosmia.
Following that logic, I wonder what a ‘phantosmanic’ episode feels like (if there is such a thing).
But this week’s garden smell has definitely been there. And it’s been incredible. Sitting 10 metres away, a sudden change in the breeze opens a parallel universe that’s literally right under our noses.
The Sweet Mock Orange / Philadelphus coronarius is the winner of “Wonder of the Week” for this week.
There are often times during 30 Days Wild when the question is asked, ‘What shall I post about today?’ Invariably, the subject matter of the hitherto unwritten post then arrives with a bump.
The main question I was asking myself today was why have we developed the urge to film / capture what we see.
Do I say, “look at this amazing picture of what I saw today”
“Let me tell you about this amazing thing I saw today”
Are our photography skills and readily available equipment now superior to our ability to describe events with accuracy and captivation?
Today’s case in point.
There was a lovely moment of 2 juvenile blackbirds being fed by their male parent. This was from the discarded bird seed scattered from the feeder by the manic starlings. The seed was readily available and all over the ground. Even so, the juveniles who had already mastered the ability to fly and call, but are as yet unable to feed themselves. It reminded me of this old clip of a juvenile trying to get the caterpillar to ‘jump’ into it’s mouth as the caterpillars appear to do when accompanied by parent birds.
As I pondered about getting my camera, I decided to stay and watch instead. It was a lovely scene – and one that is only registered on the memory of ‘me’ not the memory of my phone.
A few hours later, and one of the juveniles had found it’s way into the utility room and was frantic for the open world. My phone was available – but totally unnecessary. Something for the post I thought to myself.
After carrying it out, it flew away with a muted ‘alarm call’ to signify another leap into adulthood. Imagine being gifted such a huge armoury of skills at such a young age and then flying away thinking “I think this is where I’m suppose to deploy the alarm call. I’ll give it a go and see what happens.”
A small plume of discarded chick feathers flickered, quivered and fluttered to the ground.
Cyn dechrau, mae rhaid cydnabod fy mod yn mynd i ymestyn 30 Diwrnod Gwyllt i fentro i dymhorau newydd eleni. Ma’r newidiadau o fewn y cynefin lleol wedi bod yn anhygoel eleni. Mae cymaint o ryfeddodau wedi diflannu erbyn mis Mehefin heb eu gweld am flwyddyn arall. Ma nhw’n haeddu sylw hefyd. I’w barhau.
I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. Why restrict any observations to just one incredible month that we get to experience on this special continent? Is that another question for yet another day.
But my main excitement for this year has been driven by some exceptional things. Firstly, the wettest of Marches, followed by the ‘Isn’t this weather amazing for May. It’s like being abroad. Aren’t we lucky?!’ That observation will undoubtedly receive so much analytical attention in future years.
But my intro to 2023 has been my daily wonderment of ‘Y Ddraenen Wen’ – still called ‘Whitethorn’ in some regions, but commonly known as ‘Hawthorn’ (Crataegus monogyna). The traditional May flower – and pagan symbol of fertility. I guess it’s easier to be fertile when you start to feel warmer.
I’ve always called it ‘Whitethorn’. In Welsh, we have ‘Y Ddraenen Ddu – Blackthorn’ and ‘Y Ddraenen Wen’ – Whitethorn.
Anyway, it’s been phenomenal this year. Is that due to the ‘Fool’s Spring’ of late snow last year? Layers of incredible colour punctuating the local landscape like dapples of a newly discovered revitalising tincture.
The contrast of white and pink blossom (sometimes even on the same branch) has been one of the best ever. Is that a reflection of the blossom? Or my personal radar?
“enclosure,” Old English haga “enclosure, fortified enclosure; hedge,”
O’n i wedi bwriadu neud rhywbeth amlwg heddi – ond wedi dal rhyw fath o anwyd neu rywbeth, felly digon o ymlacio a gorffwys fel uchafbwynt i’r mis. Ac mae hynny’n iawn hefyd. Mae cynifer o bethau bach wedi cyfrannu i’r mis eleni. Digwyddiadau eilradd. Eiliadau annisgwyl. Darganfyddiadau diddorol. Fel cyfanwaith, mae wedi bod yn fis cofiadwy iawn.
As a teenager, I loved the little collection of ‘The Observer’s book of . . . ‘ that we had in the house. I still have my favourites (and it seems I added whisky to the collection a few years later)
As a teenager, I always imagined that I would be a wise and curious old man and that keeping all the books would give me the time and opportunity to read them all like a man locked in the library on a Friday evening and discovered on the Monday morning with a manic demeanour and unrecognisable smile.
I still have the books, but I’m not the person I imagined I would be. I’m possibly better in some ways – and recklessly underachieving in other ways.
And the plans for today have to be re-adjusted as I succumb to a serious and crippling man-flu.
My plans for a celebratory little walk have been shelved and the garden has once again become the Wild inspiration for Day 30.
It’s been a good month. Thought-provoking and probably fully-recognising the impact of change that’s happening in our world and how that is filtering down to each and every one of us.
But, the star of the month has once again been Mr & Mrs Robin.
They forced their way onto the set at the beginning of the production and have been there every day of the 30.
The fledgling chicks are still being fed in our garden, but not all of them made it. One remained in the nest to be organically broken down with the moss and leaves that gave it a short-stay nursery.
It’s been a cold and windy week. Perhaps too much of a strain for the parents – and Mrs Robin has not been seen for a couple of days.
The intensity of the urge to survive has been phenomenal in its sharing. It’s an intrinsic element for all wildlife of course, but the robins brought their house and story into ours and made us a part of the journey. We were complicit in their survival by preserving the nest and ensuring regular grocery home deliveries.
The garden has been full of juveniles this week. Starling, jackdaw, house sparrows, hedge sparrows, gulls, blue tit and robin.
I’m guessing by tomorrow, there will be another couple of residents checking out of their rooms and finding their independence.
The couple of minutes I spent watching this interaction is typical of everything about this past month. Each and every one of those minutes were new, invigorating, confirming and precious.
Mi fydd yfory’n cynnig diweddglo ar 30 Diwrnod Gwyllt am eleni. Bydd rhaid i fi chwilio am ‘uchafbwynt’ i goroni’r cyfan. Neu falle cyfres o uchafbwyntiau.
In preparation for the culmination of 30 Days Wild tomorrow, today was a chance to reflect with a gift I received from Elen for my birthday. It’s been here for a fortnight, but it’s lasting well!
Slightly modified it may be, but it fills me with the intended pride.
I’m very proud of Elen and Heini and all that they’ve achieved.
My regret is that the world that they inherit isn’t in a healthier state. That’s the fault of my generation, and I never anticipated that to be the case even 25 years ago. It brings a guilt and a sadness that I feel deeply, and should be felt by everyone. Our planet should be the core principle of every movement, every protest, every government, every campaign and every mission statement. Without it, nothing else matters. Nothing at all.
I know that the next generation are more aware. I trust that awareness will lead to change.
But, perhaps it’s even the generation after Elen and Heini and the generation after that.
Whilst passing the lettuce in the garden, I thought I saw a ladybird. So I took a picture in case was useful for today’s entry. Who wouldn’t want to read something interesting about the appealing and wonderful ladybird, right?
Dyma’r cyfnodau pan dwi’n gwerthfawrogi sbectol am y cyfoeth a’r cywirdeb ma nhw’n cynnig yn ddyddiol.
So, with the clarity of reading glasses and a computer screen, I realise that this is no ladybird. And I don’t know what it is. What do we have in our garden? In our salad?
A larva, a small slug with piles, a germinating seed?
Growing chemical-free organic produce is the pathway to one exciting adventure after another.
DIWEDDARIAD / UPDATE!
I’ve been in pursuit of the U.C.O. (Unidentified crawling object) and I think I have an answer. I sealed off the area, dressed in my forensic overalls and undertook a detailed search of the area.
In the vicinity of the U.C.O., I quickly noticed the proximity of Cini Bêns (French Beans) overlooking the scene of the sighting.
An entry warrant was issued for a search of the identified lettuce.
A possible suspect was quickly identified.
All evidence will now be handed over to the optician pending further investigation..
I’ve been thinking about neanderthal drinking / eating bowls or vessels today. I guess this is what I had in my head.
Every single item would be hand crafted after multiple hours and consequently preserved and really cherished. Family heirlooms.
And then I imagine a time traveller telling those wise humans that in the future, there will be this thing called ‘plasteak’ and they would never have to grind stone or carve wood ever again.
In fact, this ‘plastike’ will never, ever rot. It would be so plentiful that you could buy hundreds of bottles in a day and then just throw them away. You can buy as many, and throw as many as you can afford.
And then I imagine Neanderthal human looking the time traveller in the eye and saying, ‘In the future, you will have this incredible invention. An unbelievable invention. But you will then turn it from a wonderful thing into a pollutant? Using them once? Throwing them away? My dear boy (this Neanderthal went to Eton; most of them do), have you lost your mind?’
And the reason I thought of that is because I have a strimmer.
A strimmer is wonderful invention, but why do we have to abuse this gift?
There’s a bank I strim twice a year, but I always cut it a couple of inches above the surface because of slow worms. Today, this slow worm was glad that I did:
And the connection with plastic is that I’m always aware of how much micro-cuttings of plastic I throw into the earth when I’m strimming – and that’s apart from the big sections that I’m constantly ‘plogging’ when I’m out and about.
So this year, I’ve managed to buy some biodegradable nylon – and, guess what, it works.
I’ve had to find an import from America as I couldn’t find any European manufacturer – but, it works.
Why isn’t it mandatory for all strimmer nylon to be biodegradable?
Why is there plastic in ‘flushable’ toilet wipes?
Who thought it would be a good idea to put plastic into tea bags?
Why don’t we charge the multinational distribution companies a levy to recycle all their packaging at the point of source?
Who thought that picking up dog excrement, sealing it in ‘plashit’ and throwing it into the hedgerows would be a good idea?
Why are we screwing everything up for the next generation? To the point of no return.
Why isn’t there a system of governance that has the intelligence to appreciate the significance of these decisions and then act accordingly? Oh, I forgot. Eton.
So basically, today, I’ve been strimming, sweating, saving slow worms and thinking about what a great invention plastic was. And what a horrible misuse and diabolical mess we’ve made of it.
Mae’r bore wedi pasio rhwng cadw llygaid ar gywion y Robin a chasglu cynhaeaf yr ardd.
Supper all sorted. Growing your own potatoes offers a taste that you can’t find from any cold storage supermarket. It also opens up a new world of varieties and flavours. This year was about ‘Home Guard’ and ‘Charlote’. Excellent crop from both.
Ma’ gwyntoedd cryf trofannol eu naws o gwmpas heddi. Felly pnawn o ddarllen sydd ar y gorwel weden i.
Received this lovely present recently. According to his literary agent, “Having been a librarian, cleaner, life model and teacher, Steven Lovatt now works as a writer and editor. He lives in South Wales with his partner and three children.” That’s already a very interesting life if you ask me. It’s also a very engaging book.
I might just open the window for a backing track whilst I’m reading.