Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Out and about

Today we went for a walk in search of frogspawn. The sun was so warm we were out for the first time this year without the need of a coat or a fleece. We even spotted a lone bumble bee happily buzzing about.

The frogs have been very busy already. This is in a pool left behind in what used to be a small stream. Unfortunately the storm in October 1987 changed the direction of the river and now the water rushes on past instead of through the field along the path of this stream. Instead we have a huge soggy ditch with occasional pools fed partly by a small stream froom higher up our land and partly by run off from the fields. The frogs and toads seem to thrive in it though, and last year we spotted newts too.

These daffodils bloom on the bank outside what is now our tractor shed. They are the traditional native Welsh daffodil and are much smaller than the garden sort, but extremely pretty and always the first to bloom. It's always a bit of a race between these and my cultivated Tete-a-tete's, but these 'won' this year by a day or so.

I think this is called pennywort. It has large fleshy circlular leaves, like an old-fashioned penny. It grows everywhere here and I really like it, for its quiet, unpretentious green-ness.

This ash tree is really climb-able. I was half up onto the lowest branch when I remembered that I was setting a bad example to the children. Immediately beneath me was a rather too large drop (the tree is growing on the top of a high hedgebank) and at the bottom of the drop is the tractor's silage spike and a few other bits of old, rusty farm machinery. Hannah said: "Get down Mummy!" in a bossy head-prefect type voice. Down Mummy got. Mummy has a six inch long scar on her hip from a similar escapade in her youth involving a fence and part of a grey Ferguson tractor. Some people never learn!


  1. I could just hear your Hannah's voice commanding you down!
    It sounds like a lovely walk on a perfect day - and how lucky your girls are to have a mummy who still wants to climb trees.

  2. Things are obviously further advanced with you than us, I haven't spotted any frog spawn or any daffodils yet. Sounds like a fun walk and it's a good job your daughter is there to keep your feet on the ground! We have something that looks very similar to the pennywort that grows in our pond.

  3. I used to love tree climbing too and have the scars on the knees to prove it.

  4. Greetings from a neighbour!

    We're just 'over the hill' (in terms of geography, not age that is!) on the Cenarth side of the Frennis Fawr & Fach, & have lived here for just over two years, having given up the 'rat race' to start a goat dairy crafting Artisan produce, here on our little 36-acre farm.

    Apart from the goats we also have a modest flock of sheep; two Welsh Cobs; two Shetland ponies; ducks; hens; geese; cats & a dog, with the occasional weaner piggies thrown in every now & again.

    We are nestled part-way down a very secluded, wooded valley; it's a little slice of paradise - except when the gales are blowing horizontal, sleety rain at us that is!

    Looking at the photo of the marsh pennywort, I agree that is what it appears to be; although it can easily be confused with navelwort, which looks very similar. During the summer all should become clear, though; as the navelwort produces distinctive spikes of small, creamy flowers; while the pennywort has tiny pinkish flowers, partially hidden by the plant's fleshy leaves.

    It was so mild here during early February the frogs put a huge amount of spawn into the pond - but sadly much of it was killed off during the severe frosts, although we did manage to salvage a bucketful. However, the frogs are now at it again with a vengeance - the croaking from the pond is almost deafening!

    If you want to check out our Blog we have been having some link difficulties of late; so if it doesn't work, just google 'LittleFfarm Dairy' & you should be able to find us.

    Nice to know there are other Bloggers not that far away though - & yours certainly is a lovely Blog! I like the tagging idea your Blogging community has, it really fosters a sense of sharing.

    Best wishes,

    Jo, Tony & Ffarm Fach menagerie.


I am sorry to have to add word verification thing again but I keep getting spammed.