Conkers vs Spiders

  I must admit that since I was a child, I’ve not been able to tolerate spiders, so I dread the reported invasion of giant spiders in the house this autumn . There are many gadgets and products on the market to remove spiders from the home and according to old wives tales, there are also natural methods Leaving conkers […]

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Portuguese Men of War

  Those venturing out on our local beaches in South Wales in mid October may have been in for a surprise. Spread along the shore – there were maybe 400-500 on Rhossili beach – were Portuguese Men of War jellyfish. They are usually to be found out on the open ocean but the lively weather and post-hurricane storms drove many […]

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Dewberrys Discovered

  A stroll along the new cycleway and footpath on Port Road between Wenvoe and the Alps roundabout revealed some interesting plants lurking at the base of the hedgerow. Most surprising because it has not been recorded yet in the parish is Dewberry. Similar to the Blackberry but with some clear distinguishing features. The berries have a bluish waxy bloom […]

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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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