Dramatic clouds, but I'm glad to say the rain held off for my walk yesterday. I decided I needed to get myself walking regularly again - after getting out of the habit over Christmas when I had a bad cold, and then the snow and bitterly cold weather intervening. I only did about 3 miles, in a loop from home, but it was nice to be out, and lovely to see the first of the spring flowers in the sheltered lane below Colomendy.
This is Navalwort (Umbilicus rupestris, also known as Wall Pennywort), which grows readily in these parts. I have recorded its advance down our hill - it has taken it 22 years to move perhaps a quarter of a mile.
View below is looking across to a faint Black Mountain, with the ancient Iron Age hillfort of Garn Goch highlighted by the sunshine in the middle frame. It is a fascinating place, an Iron Age fort which had its roots in the Bronze Age. It straddles the border between the Welsh tribes of the Silures and the Demetae. The latter were the peoples who occupied Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, whilst the Silures held everything West of the Towy valley as far as the River Severn. The main camp at Garn Goch covers 29 acres and includes a burial cairn inside the main enclosure. Translated, its name means Red Cairn (in Autumn this hill turns a deep red from the colour of the dead bracken.)
This is Dog Lichen (Peltigira canina) - it obviously succumbed to the recent snow and frost - but makes a pretty shape even in death.
It's hard to believe that this was once someone's home, the rotting thatch covered by wriggly tin to render it still useful for livestock. The "new" house looks to date from about 1930, so this was probably when this cottage was abandoned.
Donkey mare and (in foreground) her daughter.
Looking towards Merlin's Hill and Whitemill.
Snowdrops thrived on the sunny banks.
The first lovely faces of the Primroses.
The deep red overwintering leaves of Shining Cranesbill on a steep bank.
Baby Navalwort . . .
You can just about see a little snow still highlighting the mountain gullies beyond Garn Goch.
The sun lit up the hillside just as I was nearing home, bringing some colour to the landscape.