Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Long Point spring birds

Finally we have had some more spring like weather and I have been walking on the beach and around the Point.
Every year a couple of Wood Ducks land in one of my trees. Always the same tree. Maybe the same birds. After a couple of days of fluttering, protesting and flying when I walk out my back door, they leave.
On a sunny, cool day I walked
East, passed the cottages and along the beach of the Long Point Provincial Park, as far as I could before I was cut off by the high water.
There were a few Swallows and Martins about. I don't know what they were eating because I have yet to see a bug of any kind.
A Flicker kept swooping ahead of me as I walked through the Park
A track that was usually gated, was open, and lead out into the marshes
to a pond with a small flock of Buffleheads.
They were quite shy and
I wasn't able to get any really good close ups.
It was my first long walk since getting back from Mallorca. Within the week I had the snow fence and plywood fence taken down (with help)
and had one chair on the front deck, for my morning coffee.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Return to Long Point Spring (???)

After a very comfortable trip home (I got upgraded on my flight), Simon picked me up at the airport and I returned to a sparkling clean (courtesy of my renters) home.
Winter has not been kind to Long Point Beach. High water and storms have left trees uprooted
and tangles of tree roots exposed.
Cottages are threatened and some owners have had rocks put in front to give some protection from the waves.

There is much less beach than we are used to.
It is still cold enough for ice to form on
the debris washed up at the waters edge.
Spring is definitely not yet here so, rather than tackling the list of spring chores (involving bird houses, gardens and snow fences) I have been rug hooking.
Working on the piece that I have to teach at the McGown accreditation in September. The completed photos and report are due on June 1.
The ice storm reminded me that I hadn't missed winter totally by escaping to Mallorca.
Tough on the birds. I have seen a couple of swallows and don't know what they are eating as I have seen no bugs yet.
Tough on the trees, but most of what snapped off seems to be dead. Mother nature's way of pruning.
Tough on those working out on the lake. We normally get a southwest wind when it storms and the lakers seek shelter in Long Point Bay. This was the first time that I had seen a laker anchored of Long Point beach (for 2 days), protected, as the wind was from the north east.   
I was very thankful for my propane generator during the 2 days when I lost power for hours at a time.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Wales - The Gower

Thursday was to be the best day weather wise so we decided to drive around to the other side of Carmarthen Bay to the finger of land known as "The Gower".
My first Welsh Mountain Pony sighting.
We parked behind Caswell Bay beach and the parking lot was already half full as it was the first really nice day of the 2 week Easter school holidays.
It was a surfing spot and everyone was in wet suits
and there was a  surfing school.
This lady was swimming though with no wetsuit.
The path was part of the Welsh Coastal pathway and paved in places.

There had been a fire sometime in the past year and in places the gorse was blackened sticks against the white of the limestone that had been turned to lime by the heat.

Lovely rocky coastline with lots of wave splash.

When we walked back the tide had gone out and there was much more beach showing, more people, dogs running on the sand and into the water.
Although it was cool and we were in our jackets, Christine and I had to have an ice cream (with a Flake).
We drove up onto the moor land that covers the highest area of the Gower and had lunch at this hotel that has a pub area and restaurant area.
We stopped on the moor and walked to this stone that covered an ancient burial mound, called King Arthurs Seat. There were views to both sides of the Gower and inland to the Brecon Beacons.
More Welsh Mountain Ponies. There are "cattle grates" on the roads as you drive out onto the moors so the animals grazing there can't leave via the road.
In addition to the ponies there were also sheep and cattle grazing there and Chris said the grazing rights went back 100s of years.

Because it was a brighter day than when I had last gone to the mill, and Christine hadn't come too, she and I went back to there.

It comes with a roof top garden

and "green walls" are all the rage now.
It did look much brighter inside on a better day and I realized that one door and a window are boarded up and will allow more light in.
This will be the ground floor bedroom
This will be the back door to the deck or patio. Christine and I had fun discussing where the washing machine would go
and the layout of the kitchen. This is the kitchen window.
The back roof. We found a piece of roofing slate on the ground and took it back to the house. After assuring me he couldn't replace it on the roof, Chris cut it into a manageable size and I packed it to (hopefully) set it in some wood and make a cheese board that will be my mill souvenir.
Friday morning Christine and I rode their "pedal assist" (electric) bikes into the village. Wow, they make hills really easy. Many of the driveways and some of the intersections have these mirrors and that's the 2 of us reflected.

Saturday Christine drove me to Heathrow, BA upgraded me so I had a very comfortable flight home and Simon picked me up at Pearson.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Wales - Carmarthen and Laugharne

Weather was again forecast to be variable and mostly rainy but we set off for Carmarthen as Christine had to deliver a birthday card.
We parked just on the edge of the river and walked through a pedestrian shopping area

which Christine said used to be little shops and houses on narrow winding streets.

We walked around and up the Carmarthen Castle gatehouse but half of it was all that was left (the other half had been knocked down to build a courthouse and now city hall)

One thing that Carmarthen had was lots of information boards. Often describing what had been on the location of the current parking lots or shopping malls.
It was market day but it didn't amount to much, only one butcher and a couple of produce stalls, the rest were cheap clothing and "dollar store" stalls.

Next stop was the village of Laugharne (pronounced Larn) to see the castle on the Taf estuary.
There was a car boot sale going on in the parking lot and Chris perused it for small glass bottles (she's a collector) but had no luck.
The tide was going out and it was actually getting quite warm as
we walked along the waterside path to Dylan Thomas' house (just on the left of this picture).
This is Thomas' writing shed where he wrote most of his later works including "Under Milkwood". It was built as the garage for his house.
You can't go in, but can see through the door how it would have been when he used it. The views are beautiful, I don't know how he concentrated.
Along a path and down some stairs and there was his house, known as "The Boathouse".
We didn't pay the fee to see the house but went in the front door and downstairs to the patio area where a tea room was run out of this tiny little kitchen.
We sat in the sun, coats off, and indulged in coffee with scones, with, of course, strawberry jam and clotted cream.
Just as we were leaving a very dark cloud (see top of photo) came over and dumped torrential rain on us. We were soaked to the skin and hurried home to get changed and warm.