The Day The Sun Fell Into Henllys Woods And Other Light Shows

Henllys Woods

It is said that the Druids faced their final battle with the Roman Army on the North Wales island of Anglesey in 60-61 AD. According to Tacitus, things did not end well for them and their sacred oak groves. [See my earlier post Island Of Old Ghosts]. Early on in the invasion of Britain, the island had become a refuge for resisting Celtic warriors, doubtless assuming that the Menai Strait would present an obstacle to the legions. (It didn’t).

But for the Druids – the seer-diviner-lore-keeper-law-makers of the community, I tend to wonder if it wasn’t the island’s more extraordinary characteristics that they drew on. The quality of the light for one, and especially in winter when the sun over sea and strait and mainland mountains creates some mesmerizing effects, even when caught in monochrome.

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Light

Over The Garden Fence ~ News From The Crab Apple Fly-By

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Well, haven’t the birds tucked in well over the past few weeks. I have to say, though, I rather begrudge the number of pigeons who’ve come scoffing at our little Evereste tree. But still, the blackbirds have had their fair share too.

Here’s how the tree looked in early October, aglow in late-day light:

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And in no time at all it will look like this:

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And like this:

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And so the gyre of life, loss and renewal endures; never mind the doom-mongers.

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The Best Of All Seasons 2022

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New Year on Newborough Beach, Anglesey –  mainland Wales in the mist

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We began and ended 2022 on the island of Anglesey in North Wales. In between there were meanderings to favourite spots in Shropshire and around and about the town of Much Wenlock.So here we have a random selection of a year’s happy moments and things that caught my eye.

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January walk on Wenlock Edge – looking down on Much Wenlock

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On the Cutlins in February

And finding aconites: first signs of spring

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The Linden Walk in early March

And alder catkins in the Linden Field

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April over the garden fence

Oil Seed Rape in full flourish in the Corve Valley

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May on the Linden Walk

And on Windmill Hill

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June on Wenlock’s old railway line

And on the Stiperstones viewing the Devil’s Chair from a respectful distance

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June in the garden

And on the Bull Ring, Much Wenlock

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July in the garden

And in the Shropshire Hills at Mitchell’s Fold

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August over the garden fence

And with the Cutlins MacMoos during the two-day heatwave

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And after the wheat harvest on Callaughton Ash

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September: harvesting the field beans in Townsend Meadow

Gathering storm clouds, but no rain

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Early October and back to Wales: Barmouth Beach

And October’s end in Ludlow

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November: windfall quinces at the allotment

And a sundowner stroll on Windmill Hill

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December over the garden fence

And on hoar-frosty Downs Hill

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And so back to the beach, Lligwy, Anglesey, January 2023

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Lens-Artists: Favourite 2022 images John at Journeys with Johnbo sets the theme for this week.

Winter Sea

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Finishing the year with a photo that began it, taken during our New Year break at Aberffraw on the North Wales island of Anglesey. It’s a place you can always rely on for some stunning light effects, even in winter. Last January did not disappoint, though we had some gales too. Here are some of the more peaceful on-the-beach moments.

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Here’s wishing you glowing horizons, whatever your outlook.

Lens-Artists: Last Chance

This week Tina gives us the opportunity to post any 2022 photos of our choice, though not ones previously posted for this challenge. Please take a look at her lovely gallery of photos.

Zero Degrees And Getting Colder

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This morning over the garden fence: frosted crab apples and brilliant sunshine. The weather people tell us there will be more frost tonight and tomorrow (temps around –5 C), but slightly milder weather over the weekend.

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying the frost-art around the garden, and especially the glistening spent flower heads of the Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria). Truly a tree for all seasons.

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And then there were the spider installations on the garden shed window:

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We also checked on the MacMoos this morning. They seemed in meditative mood, soaking up the sunshine.

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Much Wenlock’s Church Green this morning

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And finally before lunch there was a quick tramp to the allotment, the wheat field iron-hard, and hard on the feet too, even in boots.

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Townsend Meadow

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Allotment windfalls – the robins are enjoying them

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Today Over The Garden Fence

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This morning we woke to thickly frosted panes on the cottage roof lights. But what a change after the dank and gloomy days. The frost came with added sunshine. And blue-sky brilliance. And frosted sparkles. And somehow cold weather doesn’t seem half so shivery when it brings wall-to-wall brightness.

This is the Evereste crab apple tree by the back garden fence. The pigeons and blackbirds have been scoffing the tiny apples. At least half the crop has gone already. It helps that the fruits are much smaller this year so the birds can get their beaks round them. And in between times, the apples that remain make fine beaded garlands, which we can see, looking up through the kitchen’s French windows. It truly is a treasure of a tree.

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Back in August and September:

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CFFC: Apple Red Colours

End Of The Day ~ School’s Out

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  William Brookes School pupils walking home across the Linden Field

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The last day of #WalkingSquares, and a big cheer for Becky for getting us out and about. And an even bigger cheer for Becky for getting herself out and about: such a spirited and generous stepping out as she finds her own path through grief. In fact, I’m  really going to miss these squares. Even though my own participation has been sporadic, I enjoyed the IDEA of the daily walk, the mysterious cyber magic of people sharing their wanderings around the globe each day.

Thank you, Becky!

 

Walking Squares #30

A Quick Trip To The Plot

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Yesterday morning we woke to glorious sunshine, this after days of gloom and deluge and nights of rain battering the rooflights. With all the wetness, the lean-to greenhouse against the back door had been leaking and turned itself into a paddling pool, the garden water butts were overflowing and everywhere turned to mud. I had not been up to the allotment for days.

But then came the sunshine, and I needed leeks and herbs for the risotto I’d planned, and also salad stuff to go with it. And then there was the vegetable waste to take up to the compost bins. So I set off, though not before I’d grabbed a stick to avoid an undignified up-ending along the field path. (Done that: got the muddy bum to prove it).

It truly was all slip and slide, though in passing I noticed the winter wheat in Townsend Meadow had grown an inch or two, though there was also an unscheduled stream of water along the field boundary. Climbing through the hedge gap into the allotment also proved problematical. No foothold on the mud bank. I was glad I’d brought the stick.

Allotment plots have a tendency to dreariness in the winter months, but the paths had been mowed and some diligent allotmenteers had worked hard to tidy away the listing bean poles and decaying vegetation. I’m afraid I’m not one of them, nor did I feel inclined to make a start yesterday. Instead, I inspected the winter greens,  pulled up leeks, prised some container-grown parsnips out of their bucket and gathered rocket, lettuce, parsley, fennel and baby spinach from the polytunnel. There were even a few Sungold tomatoes to pick. Now that was a treat. Then I had natter with stalwart gardener Phoebe, who was on her way home for lunch, and then, guess what…

…it started to rain. A blanket of wet mist descended and I headed home, though not before taking the header photo, snapped because somehow the drizzle made everywhere look gauzy. But by the time I reached the garden gate the light had gone and the rain set in. I turned back to scan the field: dusk at lunchtime? I really do not remember a November with so much day-time darkness. Nor a month that has gone so fast: not so much walking as galloping.

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Walking Squares #26 Becky thinks we should not let bad weather stop us from walking; in fact confronting wild weather elements may well do us good.

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