Spring in Wales
March 1 was St Davids Day the patron saint of the nation of Wales and of doves. He was born in Pembrokeshire, South Wales in around 520A.D. He has been the patron saint since he was canonized by Pope Callixtus in 1120A.D. There will be great celebrations all around the country with singing, parades and the wearing of yellow daffodils or leeks on lapels!
All along byways and highways grow the yellow daffodil this time of year, a harbinger of spring along with the new born lambs prancing along in the verdin pastures and hillsides! Pictures by Lle Natur.
George Meredith an English poet wrote the “The Lark Ascending” in the form of a hymn 1881. Thirty three years later Ray Vaughan Williams completed his rhapsody to “The Lark Ascending” in 1914 on the eve of the beginning of the great War, the First World War.
It happens to be one of my favorite nostalgic pieces of classical music and starts with the sound of an austere violin. The Skylark at sunrise propels himself upwards into the sky before the break of dawn until the golden sun rays engulf him. Then he flutters stationary and sings happily in praise of the upcoming day. A sight to behold.
On our Wild Wales Walkabouts we will be out there observing this amazing ritual of this feathered avian flyer. We can also go out early looking for him on our bus tours before eating our breakfast!
During our Wild Wales Tours & Walkabouts this May we will be staying at the Royal Sportsman Hotel in the seafaring town of Porthmadog. During our stay we will visit Portmeirion (www.portmeirion-village.com) a replica of an Italian Village overlooking the estuary of the river Glaslyn designed by Sir Clough William-Ellis between 1925-1975. Many times during his life Ellis-Williams denied that it was designed after Portofino on the Italian Riviera. Many species of trees and varieties of Rhododendrons will be in bloom during our visit. Browsers, my favorite bookshop in the whole of Wales will be three blocks away from our hotel. Also lots and excellent opportunity to catch up with some Welsh Cakes and flapjacks freshly baked!
During our Wild Wales Walkabouts in May and September this year three of the birds we will be introducing you to will be the Atlantic Puffin, Red Billed Chough and the Northern Lapwing.
The stocky pelagic Puffin with a short tail, brightly covered beak flies low over the water and dives for its food. Large colonies build their nests on the craggy cliffside of the Welsh Coast where the female lays one single egg a rather creamy color and now and again it ends up being a lilac color!
The Red Billed Chough also chooses the Welsh sea cliffs to nest during the summer months. Black plumage and red beaked. On broad wings they maneuver acrobatically down from high cliff sides. Their nests are stick like affairs with three to five eggs on cliffside or in caves. The Chough are very communal and entertaining to watch in flight. They return to Eurasia and North Africa during the winter months.
The Northern Lapwing male has a majestic long crown that was highly revered by the ancient Egyptians when they wintered over on the banks of the Nille. Mostly found in marshes and mudflats along the Welsh coast during its breeding time during the summer months.
There is pleasure in the pathless woods, There is rapture on the lonely shore, There is society where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and Music in its roar; I love not man the less, but nature more…. Lord Byron