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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:50 pm

River Elwy back down to its low clear summer levels this morning, one or two Maple trees now showing brilliant yellow ochre along the banks on a beautiful calm sunny morning, too warm it turned out for the fleece jacket I'd prudently put on earlier.
I burned some pruning's earlier on in the year around May and within minutes I had an attentive audience!
Like the sheep they are always looking for a free snack, an apple or some fresh succulent green weeds pulled out, as in wheelbarrow; See pic.
The picture jogged my memory of just a few years ago when we had a Bichon Frise called Ben.
He followed me out to the back garden this day and being a creature of comfort, he settled down for a kip on my heavy anorak alongside the back fence as I was burning pruning's in the fire bin.
The inquisitive cattle gathered and a huge bullock reached through the fence and licked the sleeping Ben with that long raspy rough tongue they have.
A terrified Ben leapt two feet in the air with a loud scream and fled down the garden to the safety of his bed in the house.
To be honest though we did call him "Ben the Wus" He was not a brave dog!
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:55 am

OCTOBER

"Come little leaves" said the wind one day,
"Come to the meadows with me and play;
Put on your dresses of red and gold,
For summer is past and the days grow cold."


Autumn colours are rapidly appearing everywhere as the nights close in and get chillier; I saw the most beautiful red/gold harvest moon on Saturday night about 8.30pm but by the time I'd got my camera out, changed the battery and got a heavy coat on, it was pulling away from the Clwyds above Tremeirchion and losing its red loom. This is looking east from our back garden, in the second pic I took, Harvest Moon 2, you can see the red cloud cover disappearing from the waning moon.

This summer I have tried bud grafting some new very dwarfing plum and cherry rootstocks I bought last winter and because of extremely hot weather I delayed it until early August. Yesterday I very carefully removed the grafting tape from four of the first grafts I did on 3rd August and was most gratified to see I have 100% success!
Not had much success with this type of grafting before so I'm very pleased, I know now that timing is everything.
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Harvest Moon.jpg
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:07 pm

Cool mists in the morning,
The call of wild geese,
Days quickly shortening
Ends Summer's brief lease.

Now cold and abandoned,
The mud-cups that bore,
Young Swallows departed;
For Africa's shore.

P.L.

The last lot of plums for this year were picked this week, 22 lovely sweet Marjorie's seedling plums to be exact.
Must have been the hot summer that sweetened them up that extra bit!
Too nice to cook, see pic, a lovely deep purple, reminds me of one of my favourite groups from the late 60's early 70's Deep Purple, anyone remember the unmistakable intro to "Hush" about as memorable an intro as Lemmy from Motorhead with "The Ace Of Spades"

ROCK ON

I was lucky enough to go fly fishing on Thursday with Nigel to Llandegla and had a pleasant day on a superb fishing day. Llandegla is a beautiful part of Wales and even the trip there right through the Vale of Clwyd is scenic, particularly scenic is through the densely wooded steep sided Graig-fechan.
The hundreds of Rowan trees around Llandegla are putting on their annual autumn show with bright orange berries everywhere on display in the bright sunshine.
A good days fishing with 5 rainbow to the net and a pure bonus, a lovely brown trout of about one and a half pounds right at the end of session, (see pic below)
The pic is not the best but we were in a hurry to get the little beauty back in the water to grow some more. We saw a nine pound Brownie caught at this spot last year!
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:04 pm

AUTUMN

Rain soaked spent raiment that branches can't keep,
Windblown and trembling the Autumn leaves weep;
Massed leaves swirl in eddies, shades fading fast,
Decaying reminders of a Summer now passed.

Now cold and abandoned, the mud cups that bore,
Fledged swallows departed for Africa's shore;
Hoar frosted Dahlia's in a new Harvest moon,
The last signs that summer is all gone too soon.
P.L.
I thought I would post the original poem I dedicated to Roy Castle who died on the 2nd September 1994, a nice man.

The Autumn brings us the darker evenings and the inevitable creepy thoughts of ghosts, Bogart's and things that go bump in the night.
This witches and warlocks theme is now adopted commercially as we carve up thousands of perfectly good pumpkins and children exploit to the point of annoyance the American 'trick or treat' at Halloween or All Hallows Eve as it was formerly known.
We seem to be well provided for with ghosts, fairies and goblins locally here in North Wales and this time of year seems to be a catalyst for bringing them out!

On the A541 at a place called Fairy Hill (Bryn-Yr-Ellyllon the ghost of a white lady (Arglwyddes Gwyn) has been seen at a house on the north side of this road at Mold.
The house near the roundabout to Mynydd Isa has a (quite inaccurate) plaque outside commemorating the finding of a rare and priceless Bronze Age artefact, the Mold Gold Cape.
On the 8th October 1833 workmen digging into the fairy hill, a stone barrow to collect stone for road repair discovered the gold cape with a small human skeleton, decorated with amber beads and an urn containing burnt human remains. Since this discovery the white lady has appeared. Very close by is another historical site, at Maes Garmon farm is an obelisk to commemorate the victory in battle of St Garmon and his Christian army against the Picts and Scots in 430AD close to this was the Gnomes Well, this was in use and existence up to 1910 when it was filled in due to road widening work. the spring that fed this well has reappeared on the opposite side of the road further down to the original!
Judging by the many sightings and name places, Mold appears to be well represented by 'The little people' or, they drank a lot in those days!
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:47 pm

Last Friday was a bird spotting day par excellence, first spotting, 5 Fieldfares stripping the holly berries in our garden, as they did last year. Second lucky strike, travelling across the Denbigh moors near Bryn Saith Marchog we saw three Kites circling, a wonderful sight in the late autumn sunshine. When we got to our destination Dolgellau, I was sitting in my car outside my sister in laws house waiting for her to come back to the car when a Jay flew down and alighted on a grassy walled bank next to me, just about six or 7 feet away, it flew off after a minute or so but returned with another Jay to feed on the grassy bank for quite a few minutes, I would assume they were collecting beech mast as I was parked under a huge beech tree.
We had an excellent lunch on The Marian in Dolgellau and instead of our usual walk on part of the Mawddach Trail we decided to go home the scenic route up the coast through Barmouth. A walk on the beach with our dog seemed a better proposition then a delicious local ice cream to round things off. We parked on the front and had a leisurely stroll in the lovely warm afternoon sunshine down the beach at low tide.
We stopped to chat with a friendly couple, also dog owners when I spotted my fourth birdy sighting, two Common Scoters (a marine diving duck that are anything but common!) they were swimming and diving between some moored yachts, that was our bonus point.
Nature is fickle!

This year due to the very hot summer and an extended autumn I have had a bonus on my figs in greenhouse, I collected seven different varieties of fig this week, one variety of fig is from Hungary, two from France, one from Germany, they are the largest figs and two English figs, Colin's Brown turkey fig and one fig tree rescued from a garden in St Helens Lanc's that turned out to be prolific, my best producer.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:39 am

I mentioned bonfires earlier on this month and as we draw close to the 5th Novembers Gunpowder Plot, commemorated with, lest we forget: bonfire night!
Spare a thought for our terminally declining hedgehogs.

If you are planning on having a bonfire, do please build it on the day of the planned fire and not several days or weeks before: late October through into November is the usual time for hedgehogs to hibernate and a large heap of wood and debris is the ideal winter lodgings to a hedgehog.
Just that little bit of thought and extra effort could mean the difference of life and death to this critically endangered gardeners friend.
After all; they eat all the bugs and slugs that eat your garden plants and they're cute- see below!
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby roselanekoi on Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:28 am

Well, it looks like winter is on its way, the dark evenings are with us and last night we had the first heavy frost of the year. A frost overnight usually results in a sunny if cold morning which was the case today.

I went for a walk up Moel Famau, the highest peak in the Clwydian range at 554m, this morning and was treated to a beautiful view across the Vale of Clwyd with Snowdonia in the distance.

Moel Famau.jpg
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To add to the wintery feel there was a little snow on some of the peaks in Snowdonia. The snow-covered peak on the right is, I think, Carnedd Llewelyn. Snowdon is the centre peak of the 3 mountains on the left above the ever-increasing blot on the North Wales landscape, the wind turbine.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:54 pm

That's a cracking photo Colin, it must be Denbigh in the foreground to the right?
I was in Llandudno on Monday up on the Orme tramway with my nephew and his family. We saw the snow on the peaks from the top of the Orme, Tal-Y-Fan had a glistening white snowcap on.
We went to the Elwy in St Asaph early yesterday morning for our usual doggies walk and on our return we saw a sad sight. On the way back, up the Old Denbigh Rd just near the gates to Plas Erw we saw a police car with the blue lights flashing and two cars and a small white van stopped. An accident we thought, but as we got close, we saw a deer hind lying dead on the footpath. It had jumped the 5 foot hawthorn hedge out of the field and straight into the path of one of the vehicles. We regularly see wild deer along this stretch and the people in Plas Erw feed them apparently.
What's particularly sad is the hinds are usually pregnant this time of the year after the rut!
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby roselanekoi on Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:47 am

Not quite, Denbigh is off the picture on the right. The few houses you can see are on the Ruthin side of the village of Pentre-Llanrhaedr.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:35 pm

Winter draws on; have you got yours out?

I had a trip out to Mold last Thursday and it was remarkable the change brought about by the hard frosts around the 28th October. Trees everywhere lining this scenic route along the A451 along and over the Clwyd's to Mold were transformed in a week by the cold snap, from overall summer green to beautiful shades of russet orange, bronzed yellows, every shade of red and striking golden browns gleaming in the autumn sun.
So good to see and puts you in a good mood.
Also remarkable but not as uplifting- the rapid changeover in the shops from Halloween merchandise to Christmas goods and Christmas lights decorating High Streets: we are only just into November!
Middle of next month at this rate we should get Easter eggs on sale!

One annual task this time of year is removing leaves and other detritus floating on my pond surface and sunk down and through into my filter, annoyingly my Nexus just cannot cope with amounts of leaves of any sort (or blanket weed) so its vacuuming or scooping out with a large net almost daily before it gets into filter system.
I have also given my veg filter a good clean out and flush through as the watercress dies back with frost, otherwise, left with the trapped decaying leaves in there it feeds the blanket weed!

Two little birdies sharing a meal of sunflower hearts below to cheer us up this dank dark month!
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