11.06.2021 30 Days Wild #11 Mynawyd y bugail y weirglodd

Thanks to plantlife.org.uk via their lovely Welsh flower chart names, I was particularly struck by the Welsh name for the Meadow Crane’s-bill.

Mynawyd y bugail y weirglodd – which literally translates as the bradawl/scriber the shepard the meadow.

Who was this shepard? Did she/he scribe love letters with the ink of the Crane’s-bill? Or did she/he stab her/his lover with it?

Llyfr Natur Iolo gives us a more traditional direct translation of ‘Pig yr Aran y weirglodd’.

I much prefer the mystery and intrigue of Mynawyd y bugail y weirglodd.

A beautiful name – and a beautiful flower. Anyone know the story behind the name?

Mynawyd y bugail y weirglodd / Meadow crane’s-bill © Andrew Gagg/Plantlife

Thanks plantlife.org.uk for the inspiration and for the imagination trigger!

Also, to follow on from my flowers of resilience post on the 9.6.21, I’ve since learnt that the name of the valerian is derived from the Latin ‘valere – to rule, to be strong’.

That proves 2 things:

  1. The valerian really is resilient – and people have recognised that ever since they gave it a name.
  2. My Latin comprehension is awful.

10.06.2021 30 Days Wild #10 Grab and bag.

I didn’t have my camera with me this morning when I spotted a young / juvenile water vole in the canal in Porth Tywyn. But that’s ok – it the observation that’s the important part. Documentation is always secondary to participation and observation.

But here’s a picture of a possible elder family member taken within 2 kilometres on the 26th April last year.

Llygoden bengron y dŵr / Water vole

Once home, I downloaded the iRecord app to note the sighting (according to the advice given by the Wildlife Trust)

Travelling along the canal always makes me appreciate the incredible work of the local ‘Grab and back’ litter pick group. Consummately led by Selina, John and Paul, the work they do in the local area is incredible.

Following a litter pick conducted along the canal earlier this year, someone commented, “I don’t know why you bother, there’s already new discarded bottles and litter along the canal”

I guess the question should be asked from a different perspective.

Instead of ‘Is the canal cleaner now than it was immediately after the last litter pick?’, the question should be, ‘Is the canal cleaner now than it was 5 or 10 years ago?’. Given the regular work of wonderful volunteers, the answer to that question is now always, ‘Yes’.

And sightings like this are now the norm.

Adar Ddŵr / Moorhens

Apparently there have also been multiple sightings of ‘water dogs’ along this part of the canal this year as well.

Never heard of ‘water dogs’? Perhaps you’re more familiar with the original name of ‘dyfrgi’ – or ‘otters’ as they’re commonly called in English!

09.06.2021 30 Days Wild #9 Resilience / Gwytnwch

Un o eiriau mawr y flwyddyn yw ‘gwytnwch’. Y gallu i addasu ac i barhau. Y gallu i gynnal momentwm mewn amgylchiadau anodd.

Mi roedd yr erthygl ar gelloedd a chreaduriaid yn parhau am filoedd o flynyddoedd wedi neud i fi ystyried gwytnwch planhigion. Mi roedd hadau’r helyg yn chwilio am amodau perffaith i egino. Ond mi fydde’n ymdrechu i wneud hynny hyd yn oed ar goncrit. A falle’n llwyddo.

Felly dyma chwilio am blanhigion sy’n ffynu ar greigiau. Llefydd sych, agored heb bridd. A sdim angen mynd i ben mynydd pan mae cymaint o waliau’n cynnig meithrinfa perffaith.

Red Valerian / Ivy leafed toadflax / Wall rue spleenwort / Aubrieta

According to Wikipedia, Aubrieta (often misspelled as Aubretia) is a genus of about 20 species[1] of floweringplants in the cabbage family Brassicaceae. The genus is named after Claude Aubriet,  a French flower painter.

The Red Valerian / Triglog Coch / Centranthus Ruber in the top picture is the epitome of resilience. Plants that can cling to life in barren surroundings with no nutrition and through months of drought.

It appears that homo sapiens have placed themselves in the same vulnerable category as that previously occupied by now long extinct super species. It won’t take a lot to wipe us out. We’ve voluntarily made ourselves vulnerable by extracting ourselves from nature. Being the head of the food chain also makes us ripe for the picking.

Plants, viruses and other robust multicellular lifeforms on the other hand. Their time is yet to come. They seem to be getting ready for something.

08.06.2021 30 Days Wild #8 Rare snow yeti in Porth Tywyn

Wrth gerdded bore ‘ma, dyma ddod o hyd i dystiolaeth newydd i brofi bod y ieti Eira wedi ailgyfodi ym Mhorth Tywyn (ym mis Mehefin)

Beth arall gall e fod?

Mochyn Daear?

Pwdl mawr?

Ffeit rhwng mochyn daear a pwdl mawr?

Sdim ots am ymateb y gwyddonwyr. Dyma brawf o fodolaeth y ieti eira – moel.

Found some badger hair this morning. All white badger hair. Or the hair of a yeti.

But then, thanks to the badger trust, I found the following:

Albino badger

The albino badger is a light coloured animal and has mostly creamy white hair, though it’s unlikely to be completely white.  The eyes will probably be red or pink in colour. 

Leucistic badger 

The leucistic badger is a condition where there is a partial loss of pigmentation which gives the animal an appearance of patches of light colour on the hair.  There is no loss of pigmentation in the eyes, so the eyes will be black. This helps distinguish the difference between an albino badger or leucistic badger.

Erythristic badger

The erythristic badger has mainly sandy or gingery colour hair on the back and sides and the hair on the underbelly can be a shade of red. The eyes will normally be light brown in colour but in some cases they may have a reddish appearance.

Melanistic badger

A badger which is extremely rare is the melanistic badger and sightings of this animal are uncommon. The pigmentation of a melanistic badger is mainly black. The eyes will be black.

As the melanistic badger is very, very, very rare; it’s definitely one of those. Except it’s not black. It’s white.

So, it could be a fight between 2 badgers.

Or a yeti.

07.06.2021 30 Days Wild #7 We need bees

This is already my second reference to Theatr na nÓg and it’s only day 7. There will be another reference next week!

They made the news this week; by making live theatre – about bees.

Watch it here

A news item.

About bees.

And theatre.

So, tonight I sat by the geums and watched the bees.

There are more than 250 species of bee in the UK. Bumblebees, mason bees, mining bees.

There are 24 UK species of bumble bee.

I don’t know many of them. I need to up my game. I need a plan B.

So, from what I can see. I’m guesstimating that this is the ‘Early bumble bee, bombus platorum’

A worker and a male? Gladly welcome a correction if anyone has it.

The UK bumble bee species now include the reintroduction of the short-haired bumble bee that has been brought back from extinction:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18194778

By “been brought back from extinction”, I mean that the UK has been saved by the agricultural policy of Sweden.

That says a lot about agriculture.

That says more about Sweden.

That says everything we need to know about the UK.

06.06.2021 30 Days Wild #6 Dormant and mutating viruses,

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26387276

My mind is definitely spinning.

We give the impression that we’ve become experts on viruses. We know everything there is to know and can safely navigate our way to Portugal via vaccination certificates and PCR tests.

I can’t help thinking that there’s so much more to come.

This particular SARS virus has found a key.

We can’t even remember where the door is.

And then of course, there’s multicellular discoveries around every corner:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jun/07/24000-year-old-organisms-found-frozen-in-siberia-can-still-reproduce

Definitely spinning.

05.06.2021 30 Days Wild #5 When your subject matter drops out of the sky

During those times when you wonder ‘What can I write for 30 Days Wild?’, something inevitably drops on you out of the blue.

And that’s what today’s post is about.

When something dropped out of the blue.

“Come quick, the herring gulls are mobbing another gull on the lawn”

And sure enough. There was a dead gull on the lawn.

Ac mi roedd tua dwsin o adar yn hedfan mewn cylch uwch ein pennau.

Rhyw naws arallfydol.

Rhywbeth aneglur i ni pobl.

Rhywbeth tu hwnt i’n deallusrwydd.

The cacophony had now muted to an eerie silence. Gulls circling above us with some form of communication beyond our comprehension.

But it felt strange.

This gull hadn’t been mobbed. No blood. No pecks. No sign of a fight. This gull appeared to have dropped out of the sky. And the other gulls understood more in that moment than we do in a lifetime.

They were responding. There was a lot going on – and we weren’t part of it.

This was a strange one.

Un i’w chofio.

04.06.2021 30 Days Wild #4 Helyg a’r gwynt

From a gardening perspective, it hasn’t been the best of Spring growing conditions. Cold, wet, very cold and wetter.

Vegetables normally thriving by beginning of May have been dormant, stagnant and unresponsive.

But there’s a difference between the time adherence of a gardener compared to that of mother nature.

Mother nature knows. She knows you know.

Felly,

Weithiau, mae rhaid aros. Magu amynedd.

As May entered the final days, nature sent a clear message that warmer weather was on its way. More importantly, warmer weather with enough moisture for germination.

And that’s when clouds of willow seeds suddenly started flying overhead. Yes, later than last year. Much later than last year. But nature moves to a different measure.

The act of sitting and watching the seeds travel effortlessly over great distances is one of the best and most relaxing of sights. It’s never part of #30DaysWild in June. But it almost made it this year.

The Welsh word for Willow is ‘Helyg’. It sounds like a Harry Potter character.

The seeds magically disperse in huge numbers. Carried by fair winds, landing on warm, moist soil – or even some barren, cold concrete. Where there’s a willow, there’s a way.

03.06.21 30 DAYS WILD #3 May I mow or not?

3.06.21 30 Days Wild #3 May I mow or not?

Pan o’n i’n grwtyn, wi’n cofio’r hen bobl ma yn pregethu ac yn grac pan oedd y cloddiau’n cael eu torri yng nghanol haf. Ma’r ffordd ges i’n nghodi yn seiliedig ar yr arferion parchus o dorri lawnt a chadw’r cloddiau’n dwt. Popeth yn ei le. A phopeth yn deidi.

Ma da’r bobl oedd yn pregethu pwynt da iawn – a dim ond nawr dwi’n cyrraedd yr un oedran lle dwi’n deall eu safbwynt. Diolch am bregethu atai. Diolch am godi llais. Fy nhro i nawr!

So,

Should I leave a ‘no mow May’ part of the lawn or not?

Well, I’ve reached the age where I can fully understand the argument of all those ‘don’t mow the verges in summer’ brigade that I was fortunate enough to share my locality with.

Such a simple thing – with potentially huge benefits if everyone gives over a little bit of their lawn.

Ragged robin, plantain, ox eye daisy and the variety of grass is pretty stunning.

Grass that has gone to seed is really pretty.

Now I’m definitely showing my age.

02.06.21 30 Days Wild #2 – Goslef ‘ – Theatr na nÓg

02.06.21 30 Days Wild #2 – Goslef ‘ – Theatr na nÓg

Having a wild connection is vital. But 2 things have really come to the fore recently.

Firstly, we all need to find a short, simple link to connect. Whatever our routine. Wherever we are.

Theatr na nÓg have been incredible over the past year.

Adapting, changing, providing a service.

One of those changes was ‘Goslef’ – a project that was instigated by the desire to support young, Welsh Primary pupils with the wild connections and their connection to the Welsh language.

Nature to the fore.

Computer screens to sleep.

This is one of the results:

Give it a go. Irrespective of whether or not you understand Starling, Blackbird, Welsh or Buzzard!