Sputnik Pea Gall

    This fellow traveler took off sixty years ago and it was the first of its kind. The second one carried a dog and the photo shows one of several found down at Goldsland Farm. Confused? Well, the first artificial earth satellite was, of course, Sputnik, which is Russian for Satellite or Fellow Traveller and this was launched in […]

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Mysterious Nature

  Sometimes nature can be a bit baffling. In the photo a Rush (the long straight stalk) has grown through the Alder leaf – both are undamaged. How can this happen? Does the Alder leaf sit quietly without moving until the Rush grows through it? Or did a gust of wind force the Alder leaf down on the Rush, leaving […]

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Pretty Little Flower or Menacing Alien?

  A pretty little flower or menacing alien invader? This flower was in bloom during April and May and a number of people have commented on it. Commonly mistaken for a white Bluebell this is actually the Three Cornered Leek or Three Cornered Garlic. It grows all round the parish, often in private gardens but also alongside the A48 at […]

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The Physicians of Myddfai;

  The Welsh Orchard near Maes y Felin includes a selection of plants grown by the Physicians of Myddfai; 12th century (and onwards) herbalists who were known all over Europe. We know a lot of what they believed and prescribed because, unusually for the time, their teachings were well-documented. The plants they used, with a few exceptions, will be familiar […]

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Apples

  If you visit the orchards in May you should still see plenty of blossom around, the majority of the trees being apples. But what is an apple and where does it come from? The first distinction is between the crab-apple and the sweet apple that we eat. The crab is our native apple and you can often find it […]

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Silent Spring ?

The End Game? No thrush sings in the garden now, No blackbird looks to bully the thrush And no swifts shrill above the town, No kestrels hover over the motorways; No cheeky sparrows fly up when a car goes by And no skylarks sing above the barren meadows. The martins abandoned their nest under the eaves years ago Early predictions […]

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Lichens are fungi

  They are all around you as soon as you step out of the house – on your roof, on the pavement, on the trees, the walls and the fences. Yet most of us do not notice them. They grow where little else can, slowly but steadily. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes – flat and round, […]

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Snails, Slugs and a Very Rare Tree

    Snails and slugs Snails and slugs may not quite get the pulse racing like Cheetas and Gazelles but they are a lot more practically useful in and around the Parish. Without them and the other small denizens that munch their way through fallen leaves and other vegetation we would soon be disappearing under a mountain of debris. Those […]

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Peregrine Falcon Order

    The Destruction of Peregrine Falcon Order   In 1940 the Government issued a Destruction of Peregrine Falcon Order because this most successful of predators was taking out the pigeons that were being used by bomber command if the crews had to bail out in order to get a message back with their location. Around 200,000 pigeons were supplied […]

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The Harlequin Ladybird,

    November in the parish saw an invasion although you might not have noticed it. The Harlequin Ladybird, which only arrived in Britain in 2004, is now well-established over most of Britain, even having been spotted as far north as the Shetlands. Less common in Scotland and North and Mid Wales it is very common in South Wales and […]

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