20.06.2021 30 Days Wild #20 Quiz

Gweithio o gartre heddi’. Cyfle i edrych drwy’r ffenest a chymryd eiliadau o ryddhad wrth yr adar, y tywydd ag unrhyw anifail arall sy’n digwydd pasio.

Confined to the office all day – but sill have a window to seek some connections from anything that flies or walks past. The ever changing cloud cover as well.

So tonight I thought I’d take the Wildlife Trust quiz on UK wildlife.

But it’s on Facebook. I’m not on Facebook – I don’t do facial media.

So, looking for alternatives, I found this.

WWF Quiz

20 interesting questions – but I got one wrong. (I blame the puffins)

Even if you can’t leave the house, there’s always a way to connect with outside.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of our regular garden visitor – look at those feet. He makes us smile – but turbo charges the dog to go from 0-60mph in under 10 seconds.

19.06.2021 30 Days. Wild War of Herb Robert

This little flower seems to personally encapsulate so many aspects of where we’re at.

It’s a common flower – appreciated for it’s well-practised and praised herbal use (hence the name in recognition of brother Robert)

It’s a weed.

It’s invasive.

It’s very pretty.

It’s very fragrant.

It’s adored.

It’s despised.

It has multiple medicinal and herbal uses well practised over centuries.

It’s protected by Shakespeare’s Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Full of superstition – including changing your cow’s milk to blood if you harmed it (the flower, not the cow).

It’s an integral part of our biodiversity.

Its very existence is a threat to that biodiversity in some parts of the world.

Nature is both simple and complex.

Nature can’t be ignored or denied.

Y Goesgoch, Geranium Robertianum, Herb Robert.

Llygad Doli a’r Goesgoch yn Smith House, Pontnewydd. 2021.

18.04.2021 30 Days Wild #18 Fledglings and hedglings

Mae golygfeydd a chân bywyd newydd wedi llenwi’r ardd yn fwy nag erioed eleni. Mae hynny wedi bod yn uchafbwynt personol i’r flwyddyn ac yn dal i fod yn uchafbwynt ar gyfer 30 Diwrnod Gwyllt hefyd. Oes unrhywbeth tebyg i gynnal ffydd a chynnig gobaith?

Young starling peering through the nest box in the ‘nyth’ outbuilding. Looking at the world through an opening no bigger than a letter box but gaining so much understanding about how to survive and navigate that world is surely one of the mighty miracles that we’ll never understand.

Who can explain that? These birds in a matter of weeks gain enough physical prowess to leave the nest – by flying. In weeks! But they still need that extra bit of adult dependence before they become totally independent. And then in a matter of months, they can fly half way around the world if they’re inclined / conditioned / inspired / driven to do so.

Personally, I’m proud of myself if I succeed in putting my socks on without having to hold on to the wall. That’s probably why I don’t wear socks.

17.06.2021 30 Days Wild #17 Wren in Roam

Between 25 and 30 years ago, I found a spotted flycatcher nest in the open doored garage of my parents-in-law. It was the one and only time I’ve found a flycatcher nest – and one of the few times that I’ve managed to see this migrant visitor.

I was reminded of that today when I saw this wren nest in the same garage.

Nest of troglodytes troglodytes

I’d seen the wren outside near the water and it was lovely to see the nest so clearly in view – and so well crafted.

The first thing that struck me was the colour. Vibrant, living moss green.

A beautiful nest and a beautiful bird.

I’ve only seen a goldcrest in close proximity once. But at least I’ve had that pleasure. And I’ll never forget it.

Whenever I see a wren, I think of that goldcrest. I also think of how this amazingly small and delicate wren punches a song that is like no other.

All that from a bird that weighs around 6 grams – the weight of a two pence coin.

I also think of my favourite Latin name for any animal. Troglodytes troglodytes – literally cave dweller.

This precious little neighbour of ours has so much going for it and I really hope this nest generates a successful brood (or two) of at least 5 eggs. What a treasure that would be.

16.06.2021 30 Days Wild #16 It only takes one stone to change the course of a river

There’s an old Welsh saying, “Un carreg i newid cwrs yr afon. It only takes one stone to change the course of a river.”

So today I spent some time in the water. The river Clydach (more like a stream than a river). Low water levels and calm water flow. The perfect time for some preparation before the winter deluge.

And it made me think about the importance of small actions, individual actions and not being afraid of making a stand – even if you’re in a solitary group of 1.

Un carreg i newid cwrs yr afon

Moving image here

“Gwnewch y pethau bychain”

The natural world is full of small decisive events and actions that sometimes create incredible momentum and consequences.

That’s my motto for the month. Put a small stone or even a pebble in the way of something that could become problematic. Stem the flow.

Similarly, remove any barrier, however small, to keep things moving.

I don’t think there is a Welsh proverb of “Un carreg i newid cwrs yr afon” by the way. I made it up. Perhaps it will become one now.

15.06.2021 30 Days Wild #15 Nature and industry

Wedi treulio bore bendigedig bore ‘ma yn paratoi darn o dir ar gyfer natur ar safle diwydiannol yng Nghastell Nedd – ac oedd e’n berffaith i ddathlu’r hanner ffordd o 30 Diwrnod Gwyllt.

Y bwriad yw i glirio darn o dir tu fas i ganolfan Theatr na nÓg (a dyna’r 3ydd cyfeiriad i’r cwmni yn y pythefnos diwetha’!!)

Felly, heddi oedd y diwrnod cynta’ i baratoi’r safle ac i adeiladu cwpwl o focsys nythu ar gyfer trigolion y dyfodol.

Hen bren, hoelion, cwmni da – a bant â ni.

Not a lot to show yet about a fantastic scheme outside the rehearsal and industrial base of Theatr na nÓg

This is a brand new production and will feature:

An incredible (not yet born) cast.

A story that will blow your mind.

A set with in-built seasonal changes.

Lighting design with infinite queues.

A musical score to fill the 24 hours of every single day – without loops or repetition.

Stage managed to within an inch of every life.

Directed by the award winning M. Other N. ature.

Box office now open!

14.06.2021 30 Days Wild #14 Pipin and popet

2021 has definitely been our best year for birds since we moved to this house.

9 years of open access bird feeding is now certainly bringing the rewards – and some!

I’ll connect with some other highlights tomorrow, but for now . . . . .

This has been the showcase for Pipin and Popet. Not sure which is the male and which is the female – but if the female built the next and nurtured the eggs, then they’ve been taking it in turns to feed.

By feeding, I mean using us as their all-inclusive hospitality.

They’ve been so assured and confident that we haven’t even need to use the slo-mo.

Vimeo here

The communication has been amazing. Coming to get us from the garden. Waiting for us by the door. Coming to the window to get us to come outside. Flying around the house to see which room we’re in until we heed the request. It’s been quite phenomenal.

And other birds have observed with interest.

So much so, that our resident blackbird has been feeding within a matter of inches.

Even with a beak full, there’s always been room for a suet pellet, mealworm or sunflower seed. This blackbird has also come to the windows to get us.

And then, of course, the territorial singing has been of ‘Cardiff singer of the World’ winner standard.

What a reward. What a joy.

13.06.2021 30 Days Wild #13 Rygbi gwyllt

Not the expected source or outcome for 30 Days Wild today. It was a game of rugby – with spectators. 1,600 of us managed to be in the stands and appreciate something that was once such a regular occurrence.

Scarlets 28, Caeredin 28

Tipyn o gêm. Neu dipyn o brofiad i edrych ar y gêm mewn stadiwm. O fewn realiti amserlen a phresenoldeb y presennol.

But today was also about sunshine, blue skies and 28 degrees.

On the way to the stadium, this wild rose caught my attention.

This ‘Rosium wildium Mcdonaldium’ is quite common in Llanelli.

And then I came home and lay in the sun on the lawn.

It was blissfully invigorating.

And then a green woodlouse crawled over me.

I’ve never seen a green wood louse before.

By that time, I’d had a few beers.

But

If science proves the existence of a green woodlouse in the coming months or years, then I saw it first.

Consider this blog as the first scientific notification and registration.

12.06.2021 30 Days Wild. Blodau llaeth y gaseg / cuckooflower

Blodau llaeth y gaseg / Cuckooflower / Cardemine pratensis

Following the recent flower theme, it’s about time I paid attention to the ‘blodau llaeth’ or ‘blodau bara llaeth’ as Sharon calls it.

Rhannwyd magwriaeth yn yr un cynefin i fi a Sharon, ac am ryw rheswm, mi roedd blodau’r llaeth yn gyffredin i blentyndod y ddau ohonom. Pam? Beth oedd yn arbennig am flodau’r llaeth? O’r holl flodau rhyfeddol ger ein tai (gan gynnwys tegeirianau) pam oedd ein rhieni yn parhau i gydnabod ac adnabod y blodau llaeth uwch ben blodau eraill?

Ai’r esboniad arall-fydol sy’n gyfrifol? A oedd ein cynteidiau a chynfamau wedi cysylltu’n agos i’r blodyn nes ein bod yn colli’r stori ond yn dal i’r enw?

Sharon and I both share the common identification of this flower from our childhood. Why did this particular flower be commonly identified by both our parents – compared to all the other meadow delights?

Is it to do with fairies and myth?

Is it something from the story of the flower that disappeared whilst the identification and connection remained?

Wikipedia refers to the otherworld connection here.

It’s such a welcome sight in Spring / Early summer.

I’m glad to have made your acquaintance so many years ago and I really appreciate that we’re still on first name terms.

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.