Sunday, 21 February 2010

. . . and Sunday afternoon

This afternoon I am making Pizza (base just rising have had the dough slowly rising in the fridge since after breakfast) and 8 bread muffins - both of these now gently rising on top of the Hergom. Pizza topping is a few spoonfuls of leftover mince-in-gravy (how to make half a portion feed two people!) and ratatouille mixture which I got from the freezer this morning and has been bubbling away now it's thawed properly. So that's the evening meal sorted.

I've done some of the less pleasant bits of housework, made a big pan of Minestrone soup, am up to date with the ironing, have vacuumed, changed our bed etc, and then I went for a walk. I feel wonderful now, as the sun was shining and it makes such a difference to feel warm with the sun on your back. That's not happened for a long time! It felt good to be alive in fact, and I practically had the valley to myself. There were a couple from Pantglas (holiday village) whose "week" this is, and they always do lots of walking whilst they're here. I think I met them up at Pantglas last year when our paths crossed - they had walked to Brechfa and back. Apart from that, not a soul in sight, as the road is still closed to through traffic, though it is now at the stage where you can drive through at weekends when they're not working on it. The light was amazing - I love that very direct light you often get in late winter/early spring which gives such an amazing clarity to the landscape.

Saxifraga opp.

I probably walked a mile and a half each way, just enjoying being out in the fresh air, and with the promise of spring to come. The tiny bright green leaves of Saxifraga oppositifolia are starting to spread, though the cold weather has stopped them flowering as early as they have in previous years. The catkins are dancing on the willows now, and bringing some much-needed colour to what has been a very drab and drear landscape. A couple of Chaffinches were playing chase long the hedgerow ahead of me, darting in and out of the branches in a prelude to setting up home together.

The lane ahead.

The hill that is Banc y Darren never fails to delight me, as it reminds me of Dartmoor and when we first arrived, it made me feel very homesick as we had lost out on our dream property, a little cottage with 1 1/2 acres, near Okehampton and I came within a whisker of being back in Devon, only to lose out in the end, but Dartmoor still calls.

A thousand golden catkins jangling in the whisper of a breeze.

The light on the trees lit up the moss like sulphur.

The overnight smattering of snow lingered on the higher ground.

A little stream hurries down to the river.

Against the bluest of blue skies, the first signs of leaf buds forming.

The old farmstead lies in ruins, the back of the barn having broken this last year or so.

The new dwelling up above the treeline, and a beautiful spot to live, out in the sunshine and looking southwards.

Looking upriver from the footbridge.

The stones look beautiful beneath the water.

Scarlet Elf-Cap, a common fungi in these parts.


  1. I enjoy your walks so much! Thanks for the pictures and please keep them coming.Snow again today in the American Midwest and you are our only patch of green in a very long time : )

  2. Fabulous photos as always BB.

    The stones in the water is a lovely shot......


  3. Loving the gorgeous photographs! I felt as if I were walking with you!! Love Jane xxx

  4. I am intrigued by that shade of goldy-green which shows up in so many of your landscapes. Green is so late in coming to the interior west--we can expect snow storms through April and likely some in May.

  5. It always surprises me how quickly spring comes in England. When we lived in Canada and Minnesota, the snow would come some time in December (sometimes before!) and then we didn't see the ground again until late March or later! Ugh!

  6. The lambs tail catkins are such a hopeful sign of spring. I love your photo and description of them.

    Good to hear that you managed a long walk out in the sun after a busy morning.