You will have to forgive the delay in the Pictish post, but I am feeling rather rough from this chest infection, which is proving stubborn and I obviously need different anti-biotics to cure it. Anyway, hopefully these photos will hit the spot. I should have taken my camera with me in the morning when we drove up our valley to Brechfa to go to the shop. The light was much better than when I drove up again yesterday afternoon, and it came on to rain just as I was getting out of the car! I will try again when the sun is out so you can see better all the purple-pink masses of Foxgloves - acres of them - growing where woodland was cleared a couple of years ago.
Here is Mary Webb's beautiful poem: Foxglove:
Will not reveal what peals were rung
In Faery, in Faery,
A thousand ages gone.
All the golden clappers hang
As if but now the changes rang;
Only from the mottled throat
Never any echoes float.
Quite forgotten, in the wood,
Pale, crowded steeples rise;
All the time that they have stood
None has heard their melodies.
Deep, deep in wizardry
All the foxglove belfries stand.
Should they startle over the land,
None would know what bells they be.
Never any wind can ring them,
Nor the great black bees that swing them–
Every crimson bell, down-slanted,
Is so utterly enchanted.
When my children were small I used to read them (the girls anyway!) Cicily Mary Baker's Flower Fairy books and I can still remember the Foxglove Fairy off by heart:
Foxglove, foxglove, what do you see?
The cool green woodland, the fat velvet bee.
Hey, Mr Bumble
There's honey here for thee.
Foxglove, foxglove, what see you now?
The soft summer moonlight
On bracken, grass and bough,
And all the fairies dancing, as only they know how . . .