Thursday, 28 July 2011

Another recent horsey walk - in a different direction!

This is the wild flower my blog is named for - Codlins & Cream, or to give it its official name, Greater Willowherb. Photographed on a recent walk (2 weeks ago) round the lanes, which I bitterly regretted before I'd even got half way as I was starting to feel decidedly off-colour. Ah well, the photographs made up for the tiredness I felt when I got home!

Had I been feeling idle, I could have cut across the fields here and joined the lane two fields away.

Looking across to Black Mountain and Pen-y-Fan beyond and hidden in the heat-haze.

One of the neighbours has several donkey brood mares and foals.

Slightly out of order as this is heading back towards our house (I stopped at the top of the hill to look back).

Above and below: these two were in a separate field and took an interest in me as I walked by.

Part of the brood mare band. These are Section D's (Welsh Cobs).

A chocolate dun mare and her foal which is currently cream, but will probably darken up quite a bit.

Isn't she gorgeous? Little sharp pony ears and a generous eye, and lots of room for a cunning pony brain!

Foaly is really quite a chunky little chap.

It was a hot and humid afternoon and I was glad to be walking DOWN the hill. However, I was thinking that the rest of the walk was flattish - I'd forgotten a couple of significant uphill stretches which had me puffing and stopping to draw breath!

St Johns Wort - I think it was the square-stemmed variety rather than perforate - and Wood Sage on a steep bank near Colomendy.

Purple Betony and the less common White variety growing on a sunny bank.

A thorough mixture of wild flowers in this old sward - Musk Mallow, Self Heal, Hawkbit, Common Centaury, Betony, Buttercups etc.

Musk Mallow growing on old grassland.

The "lump" in the middle of this photo is all that remains of a Norman motte and bailey, put here to control our river valley. Before that, I believe that there was a small Iron Age promontary fort there prior to the Normans.
It was too hazy to see the cairns on the top of the mynydd.

Having lived here for so long now, I am confess sometimes I have taken our surroundings for granted, but on a day like this was the scenery reminds me how lucky we are to live in such a lovely spot.
This yellow Toadflax reminds me of my childhood as it used to grow along the edge of our garden, on a wild plot of land which abutted it. When I was 6 and was given the Observer's Book of Wild Flowers by my dad, it was one of the first flowers I learned to identify.

On the way home, looking across the fields basking in the sunshine.


  1. Codlins & Cream, or to give it its official name, Greater Willowherb.
    Well it's true, you learn something new every day!
    Lovley photos, I especially enjoyed the ponies. I had a chocolate dun Highland, which turned through dun to black, to grey and then white. Interesting how they can change over the years.
    We have yellow toad flax all along the river here, but I didnt realise thats what it was. What a beautiful part of the world you live in.

  2. Thanks for the walk, it's so hot here our daily walk is usually miserable.
    Glad to know what Codins & Cream are, and as always wonderful pictures.

  3. Glad to have helped with plant ID Mac n' Janet (& Kath come to that).

    Kath - I'm wondering what colour the foal will be - I wouldn't have thought that a palomino sire would guarantee a palomino foal, used on chocolate dun - I'd have said dun was the dominant gene . . . Yet the little lad's mane and tail are white, so . . . Sounds like you had your Highland until extreme age then?

  4. Thank you for that tour BB - lovely countryside you live in and marvellous wild flowers, very different from the ones up here. We do however have that giant willowherb - never heard it called codlins and cream before.

  5. I will now be on the lookout for purple betony. Willowherb is a more familiar term than codlins and cream, but not sure that I've seen it since our move to Kentucky.
    The roadsides have been mowed here---woodticks and the possibility of some very unpleasant snakes keep me from doing the poking about that would be my natural inclination. Wildflowers and gardens alike are languishing in the heat and drought of July.
    I especially like your photos of "plotted and pieced" landscapes. I, too, would have puffed in places on the walk. Stopping to rest near horses always brings them over to observe and be nosy.

  6. What a wonderful walk. You really do live in a beautiful part of Wales. A landscape worth painting around every corner.

    Lovely chunky Welsh Cobs too. The chocolate dun mare has a very sweet, intelligent face.

    I think you have solved my query about the single mallow stem in our field. I have checked the book and I think it might be a musk mallow. It is identical to the one in your photo and has those fine, feathery leaves.

  7. I wondered where the name of your blog came from. I still remember names and blooms of wild flowers from my childhood days in England, but I've never heard this one before. I know the Rosebay Willow herb but I don't think I knew there was a Greater Willow herb. I do remember Toadflax, but don't remember seeing many of them. I too had the Observer's Book of Wild Flowers. The ponies are wonderful. I do so enjoy your blog.

  8. Yes, she was 21 when she died.
    Her mother was dappled grey and her father was described as "fox dun" a kind of dull chesnut, with black legs, mane tail and dorsal stripe.

  9. Lovely foals and flowers...I love taking 'walks' with you...