Thursday, 31 May 2007

Yet another different other bit of Brechfa!

Pat and Ben came round for the day today. Sunshine and showers here, but much warmer thank goodness. Had to open the windows to let some heat out for a change instead of the other way round. Well we went up to the nearest bit of the forestry to here. Set off and got about half a mile I guess and the heavens opened. It had been sunny for about 4 hours previous to that. Typical. Well, there were plenty of trees to shelter under though. It was kind of spooky, because the track was warm, with the rain on it, there was a mist rising, and Ben disappeared into it almost a few times. It reminded me of Brigadoon...

Saw some nice wild Broom in full bloom, really pretty, and saw what was left of a poor pigeon or collared dove too. Also saw two long-tailed tits which was nice (live ones)

Today seems to be the day for baby birds here in the garden. I have my first baby great tit, which is the baby of the one I took the photo of here last week, Fleck, (has a little black fleck on his white cheek patch) Also baby sparrows, two sitting on the fence sunbathing as I write this, baby greenfinch on the feeder, just need to see baby robins now....

I'll have to post the photos later, blogger is back to its normal crap of not letting you publish photos again. Havent had this since they changed to the new one, I guess its the time of night. I get so bloody annoyed, especially when I have now attempted to load 5 at a time, twice and then one on its own and it won't have any of it. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Always the way when time is tight. I have the wind farm protest meeting tonight so won't be here, and am running late now. Double Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

The day after Monday

I was going to just call this Tuesday, but I see I've already called three other entries by that name, and I like to be original!

I am gutted. Last night, it was cold, very cold. I looked out at 6.30 am and was dismayed to see a slight frost on the grass. Looked at my wall thermometer and at 9am it was only 3c and I could see it had dropped to minus 1c overnight. I was afraid to look at the six tomato plants I have outside. But they were fine. Sadly, my runner beans were not. All of them have had it. I kept looking at them this morning, hoping they would be okay, but I'm just kidding myself. Their little leaves are all withered and blackened. Bugger. It's worse when you have seen them germinate from seeds you have kept somehow. They were climbing nicely up the bamboo wigwam, some were five feet high already. I remember one of the first years we were in Wales, probably '94 or '95, we lost all our runner beans on 5th June due to frost. Poor Barry had planted out two rows of them with proper bean sticks, and the lot were wiped out in one night. I think I shall give up now, I've got the 10 tomato plants and one cucumber plant. The slugs ate two rows of lettuces, two of carrots and two of spring onions. Can't be bothered with it all now.

Well today, I actually cleaned out my aviary. *faints from shock* It's been six weeks and one day since the last time, but to be fair, it wasn't that bad. I hadn't realised how much muck and mess the pair of doves contributed, bless them. They are fine apparently, I emailed the new owner last week. I have also done two loads of washing, hoovered all through, taken Emma round the park, and taken some photos in the garden. Am now knackered. Oh and my eyes are okay again. I have a theory as to the problem, it may be an allergy, and it may just be strawberries. I am experimenting with this, will let you know. Only I grow my own, and have had three bowls for puddings over the past week or so. If it were any other type of allergy problems, then cleaning out the aviary would have certainly not helped with all the husks and woodchip, but the eyes were fine. I used to have a problem with strawberries years ago, they made my mouth kind of burn and feel all ulcerated, but this went away. Maybe it's manifested itself again under another guise. Hope it's something that simple anyway, I will have to live without them that's all. Sob.

Took some pics of stuff in the garden anyway for want of something better to do. A nice little 7 spot ladybird and a couple of my plants. It's clear and sunny and blue skies out there again, but it's bitter cold. It feels exactly like it did in February, in fact I think it was warmer then. So unusual to have such cold northerly wind at the end of May. I suppose it's better than rain though, but only just.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Brechfa - Abergorlech side this time

Well first thing this morning it was nice and sunny, then it clouded up, and we had a few spots of rain. Thought I would be here for the day again really. Wasn't feeling too good either. My eyes were fine yesterday, and I thought maybe the rain meant the pollen count had gone down, and it was hayfever after all, but this morning, woke up with them streaming again. Went up the aviary to do my birds and could hardly bloody see. I was so fed up. Keep feeling weak and shivery too. Anyway, Irene phoned to see what I was up to, and by then some blue sky had appeared amongst the grey, so made the effort and went over for lunch. She thought that her sheep may have been able to be shorn this afternoon, so we were planning on just running the dogs round her fields, but something had delayed the shearer, so she had the afternoon free after all. We decided to head for Abergorlech, still part of Brechfa forest, but the far side of the Mountain bike track that we went to the other day. The wind was strong and cold, but the sun shone on us, and we were thrilled with our decision. It was fantastic! There's a picnic site, a childrens playground (well nowhere's perfect I suppose....) a lovely carved erm thing for want of a better word, it had birds, and otters and other things carved into a tree trunk basically. A smashing walk, loads of people and mountain bikes whizzing around, but at times not a sound to be heard except the rushing of the water. We saw and heard lots of birds, robin, thrush, buzzard, great tit, and a squirrel, which was quite cheeky, they are obviously used to people there. The whole trail is 19km I guess some fit and healthy people can do the whole circuit, they say on the board 1 and a half to three hours on bikes, so walking I should think would take all day, and some of it is very steep. The river was beautiful, lots of small waterfalls along the route.

We came back the long way home, across the mountains and back to Llanybydder, and the scenery was every bit as breathtaking as our trip into Mid Wales to see the kites the other week. Right on our doorstep - I guess you don't ever appreciate things so close to home.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

A wet Sunday in March

...oh no hang on, it's the end of May, silly me. The months are getting me really muddled now. April was like June, and May has been like March. It's wet, windy and cold out. Still, I've not been too bothered. I cleaned out the guinea pigs and chippy and diddy boy as I would normally do today anyway, and I've been having my work cut out keeping up with the demands of my FOUR robins! Yes, there's four, two pairs, and on occasion three of them were coming to be fed out of the living room window with the meal worms and suet pellets! Little monkeys, so cute. Bouncer is one of them, my tame one, he will come within 6 inches of my hand on the window sill whilst I still had the window open, but the others keep their distance until I back away. They have been appearing every ten minutes or so and flying off with mouthfuls, so both sets obviously have babies in the nest. Can't wait to see some little spotty ones here, they are so cute. I've just had to get up in the middle of this because one of them came and glowered at me through the window because there's no food out there again, lol.

I popped out to Pets at Home to buy some more pellets, and I've bought a tub of dried worms, not sure if they will like them so much, but it will make me feel a bit less queasy, I am soaking some in a dish of water to see if they re-hydrate a bit and look a bit more alive!

Anyway, Emma managed to get a walk after all, I took her round the reservoirs, was quite sheltered so didn't get too wet. I only had my Nokia with me, wasn't expecting to walk at all given the conditions. Found a dead frog on the path - something had a go at it and just left it, what a waste of a poor little life.

Yesterday, it was Water Buffalo, today, just plain old black cows, sheltering from the rain, and yes, they were laying down.

Who are you looking at!

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

Went and picked up Irene and Ffion and we went across to Cilgerran today. The weather was dry at least, and the sun came out a few times, but definitely colder than of late, we didn't need coats though. Had a long walk round the part of the reserve which is boarded across the reed beds for a fair bit of it, I guess we did a couple of miles or more. This route takes us past the new hide they are building to view the water buffalo. Heard, and actually saw a chiff chaff, took a photo, he was way up in a tree, but at least I got one of the bugger for a change! Also saw a beautiful damsel fly, wanted to get one of it in flight, but it wasn't having any so had to get a few shots of it resting. After that, had some lunch sitting out at the picnic tables and looking across toward Cardigan, then another shorter walk down to the river itself, where there were plenty of geese in attendance.

My eyes are still rubbish, were streaming all day again, and are killing me now so time I went to bed I guess and gave them a rest. It will mean another trip back to the doctors I guess if I can get in on Tuesday. Sigh. I think it must be allergies. I did take piriton today though to be honest, they didn't work either really. There's just constant stuff coming out of my tear ducts on both eyes. In fact, this morning when I went up to the bird feeders, because it was windy, my eyes were practically spurting water, a bit like the Paul Gascoigne/Walkers Crisp ad if anyone remembers! Not funny really. It's getting me down a bit really.

Tomorrow looks like it will be a day indoors, the weather forecast is just awful, heavy rain, max temps 8c, feels like 4c! Ridiculous. Can only hope they will be wrong. Oh well, got the double whammy episode of Lost to look forward to at 10 oclock, doesn't finish till midnight though! And I've got Doctor Who to watch also as didn't get time tonight.

Friday, 25 May 2007


Seem to have been so busy lately, am struggling to keep this up to date. When the evenings are light till near on 10 o'clock, I feel I want to be outside doing stuff in the garden or even just sitting and enjoying, get enough of being shut away from about 5pm for so many months of the year. I like watching the swifts particularly, and the little birds are feeding beyond 9.30 pm at present too. Last evening, before I went to the meeting there were 6 Buzzards circling overhead, a wonderful sight.

Okay briefly, the meeting about the wind turbines was both informative and very depressing. It was much worse than I imagined as regards noise. I won't go into much detail here, but I am very worried now. The group are going to be meeting every Thursday and I shall be attending to add my support. A solicitor is willing to take on our case as it seems that the Council have done something underhand. Also the site is the habitat and breeding ground for two red-listed species of birds and is therefore also illegal. The turbines are going to be huge. A person looks like an ant up against them. Each of the three blades are as big as a jumbo jet. 6,000 hgvs will be needed to transport the stuff here on our tiny roads. Plus the blades have to be transported in a complete section. If this goes ahead, the plans are for 100 (yes one hundred) turbines to eventually be situated in Brechfa forest. The noise will be heard at least two miles away, and can be heard up to five miles away in certain weather conditions. The valleys enclose the sound and make it vibrate and echo. There is the whooshing noise of the blades, and a godawful hum. The power will also have to be transported from the turbines over land to wherever it is needed, which will entail more pylons and cables everywhere. I was appalled that nobody else I recognised was from this village, they don't seem to realise what it will mean here, it was only people from the two other villages which will be affected more. I want to do something positive about this, and will suggest that we do a newsletter to all houses in this village and I will put them through doors if necessary. We need to raise funds to fight this, and people are being asked to pledge any amount of money they can afford to help pay the legal fees. Will leave it at that for now on this, but am hoping upon hope that we will be successful. My whole future here depends on it I think.

The doctor had a real good look at my eyes and said that it is probably a form of irritant conjunctivitus, and not allergies. He prescribed antibiotic eyedrops to take for 5 days and then go back if it hasn't cleared up. Well, not done a lot so far, but will have to see how it goes, been streaming again all day today.

Well the three baby greenfinches are now all dead, I managed to pick two of them up, one yesterday, one today, and both have died in the carry box. I found the remains of another one half eaten in the garden. But there are still two others out there, one baby, one adult. I am so gutted about this, there won't be any left before long. I have withdrawn the sunflower hearts now, just putting a small handful out if I see a couple of other birds around, but no feeder full anymore. Typical though, because I decided to do this, I was sitting outside with a coffee yesterday morning, and a female bullfinch landed about 6 feet in front of me on the lawn, looked around, saw nothing to eat and flew off! The first one I ever had in my garden. Still, maybe a good thing she went, I don't want her getting ill too. Of course I won't be seeing the siskins or the goldfinches here either for a while, but again, that's for the best, if they are desperate, they can eat peanuts, other people seem to get them in the garden when that's all they feed. I am still doing the suet pellets and raisins for the tits. I had my first baby blackbird here today too.

Today went shopping with Irene, she bought a new telly, so went back to hers with Emma after and helped her set it up. Time I got home and did the teas, decided I'd best cut the grass as we've got rain due, we actually had some first thing, but it dried up and was lovely in Carmarthen. It turned a bit windy this afternoon, although not a cloud in the sky tonight, but it was only 44f at 9pm, extremely chilly for the time of year I think.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Blaengwen Wind Farm

I've mentioned before on here somewhere I think about my concerns for a proposed Wind Farm to be sited approximately 1 mile from my home as the Red Kite flies. I forgot to mention that a couple of days ago, a lady came round to drum up support for the local protest action group. There is a meeting in our local hall tonight at 7.30 pm, and I shall of course, be attending. It may mean I won't be on chat tonight (awwww shame) Depends how long it lasts. I doubt we will be able to stop this attrocity, but as the lady said, at least we will have tried. If it goes ahead, it may well mean the end of my life here, if I can hear the noise they make, with my dodgy hearing impediment (I can hear low droning noises, drives me potty) I won't be able to live with it. There's not a lot that really motivates me to get my arse into gear and do something, but this is one thing I feel so very strongly about, that I'm prepared to give it a go and do all in my power. The lady running the group has support from our local MP. We can do but try. As usual, it's the poor old farmers who are the major supporters of wind farms, because they are rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of the money they will get for siting them on their land.

A link to our plight -

And on another matter, again, the dear old hard-done-by farmers are pressing the government to instigate a mass slaughter of badgers using gassing and snares. Absolutely disgusting and barbaric. Think of the agony these poor creatures will go through, and think also that snares catch lots of other animals, could be your pet cat or dog. Please look at this link, and sign the petition to stop this attrocity -

Now, I'm just about to phone the docs to see if I can get an appointment today about my eyes, each morning I am waking up hoping it will have gone away. Unfortunately not.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Tuesday - Newcastle Emlyn/Wednesday - Ferryside

Yesterday, met Pat and Ben in Newcastle Emlyn for a walk round the Castle, and then we had lunch at the little cafe over the bridge where you can sit with the dogs outside and look at the river. Had a lovely salad, weather was overcast again though and tbh I sat there and was cold. Took a photo on the bridge, there was a proud mummy duck and her five very large baby ducks. Came home and did a bit of housework and cut the front grass. Sun came out about 7 oclock so sat in the porch and ate my tea. Getting fed up with the greyness again though. Got another good Great Tit pic, getting him to come even closer on the patio table, just across from me. :)

Today went to Tesco to get a few bits, then I had to go back to Morrisons as I had been overcharged when I went there on Friday, that will teach me not to check my bill before I leave. The lady was great though, and gave me a refund. I was going to take Emma just round the lakes, but as the sun (yes, that illusive item that is a bright colour up in the sky sometimes) came out, I thought I'd go onto Ferryside for a change, its only another 15 mins down the road. Had our lunch in the car (I'd taken a tuna salad thing and an apple) went for our walk, non-stop trains coming through but Em didn't seem as bothered as normal. She went in the water (it's an estuary, but the tide was in) came out covered in sludge! Great. Had to walk her round to the front bit and into the large rock pool to rinse off a bit. I didn't bother with any photos today, I've taken so many there before. As usual, there was a gale blowing too, I would hate to live down there, it's always, always windy and about 5 degrees colder than anywhere else. I don't know why I go there actually, I suppose it's because it's convenient. Really weird too, fog started drifting in up the estuary from the sea, and people were kind of disappearing like phantoms!

Okay, now to the sad bits. I have baby greenfinches in the garden, took a photo the other night of one, well there are three of them, and they are all sick. Poor little devils, they all have the dreaded tricho by the looks of things, all puffed up, seeds stuck all over their beaks, eyes half closed. It's bloody breaking my heart. Also was a male Chaffinch out there earlier in the same state. I don't know what to do, but think I may stop feeding the sunflower hearts for a while. At this moment the feeder is empty and lots of disappointed little faces keep coming to look. I still have peanuts up and wild bird seed up the top feeding table. And I keep putting out a few raisins and suet pellets. But I never had this problem here until I started feeding sunflower hearts. But then I guess I didn't have finches coming either.

And finally, I'm not very well either. Nothing tragic, but something very annoying and its getting me down now. I have had a bad eye on and off for about three weeks, my left one. Constantly feeling there is something in it, like an eyelash, can never see anything though, been using all sorts of drops, eyewashes, seen a chemist and got given something, well nothing seems to work. Its streaming virtually all day, and when I wake up in the morning, my eye is dried right out. Well yesterday, it spread to the other eye. So I bought some allergy pills today, work within 15 minutes. Yeah right. As usual, tablets rarely work on me. Well it did eventually after three hours, my eye stopped running, but I felt like death. Came home and had to go to bed, made me feel very light headed, dizzy, sick, and so drowsy. I can't ever take pills, it makes me so annoyed. Feel a bit better now, but the effects have worn off of course, so now my eyes are running again. If it's hay fever, why now? I've never had it before, not to this degree any way. Sigh, I guess yet another trip to the doctors. Fed up. Very fed up.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007


Went to Irene's and had a lovely salad for lunch. Then we took Emma and Sian up to the forestry. I hadn't been up that way for a couple of years, and was surprised to see they've done a mountain biking track now, with proper parking facilities, instead just parking in the entrance. Was also nice to see that they haven't yet started to cut down all the trees like they seem to be doing elsewhere at present. The scenery was stunning as usual, and it was so lovely to be out and not be frozen. I kept trying to take a picture of Sian, but she won't keep still for two seconds. In the end, she wound herself up with the extending lead and couldn't move, we didn't tie her up, honest! (Poor Sian is only partially sighted, can see very little, so has to be kept on a lead, even then she bashes into things sometimes)

Mass excitement coming home down the mountainside, we spotted what looked like a hawk of some kind sitting on a fence post away over the other side of the meadow. Couldn't see clearly enough, but did a photo on the zoom, and hoping to blow it up at home on the pc. It looked like it could be a male Sparrowhawk, from the grey feathers, but when it flew off, we knew it wasn't. Then right in front of us, another one appeared, no chance to photograph though, as it flew into the trees to our left. CUCKOO! My first ever sighting of one (or two as it turns out) We are hoping to go back later this week for another look, and hopefully a good photo.

Came home and sat outside with a cup of tea. Oh boy am I glad I cleaned up the patio area and was sitting round by the main bit of the garden now. One of the great tits is fairly fearless, and he kept coming down to the suet pellets on the window sill, literally three feet from me. If I were to persevere, I'm sure I could get him to feed from my hand. Also the hen blackbird looked at me from over the guttering, quite comical. It was such a lovely evening last night too, although still very chilly for the time of year, it was just nice to be out in the stillness and watch the swifts hunting and smell my gorgeous lilac blossoms by the back door. Ah bliss.

Just to round off a lovely day, my little hoggy came again last night, at 10.30, took some more pictures on the webcam. I must think of a name if he/she is going to stick around.

Sunday, 20 May 2007


Forced myself to do some stuff this morning, it was a real effort though, feeling fed up with the weather, completely grey and cold here again, spoke to my ex on the phone and it was gorgeous 40 miles away, which didn't help. The sun did break through a couple of times though, and I decided to clear the old patio area round the side of the place now that I shall get some sunshine there this summer. Moved all the crap away, shovelled mud, swept, and cleaned my patio table and two chairs which had been in the shed since last summer. Then the sun went in!

Had some lunch, and took Emma for a local walk, I just couldn't be bothered to get the car out of the garage, so thought I'd go on a walk which I used to enjoy a few years back - it's a public footpath just down the other end of the village, which goes across farmland alongside the river. Well it used to be great because the farm was derelict, but when some people bought it they started using the fields naturally, and me and cows are a no-no, so I used to give it a wide berth. Last time I went down there was last summer, no cows, but two bloody great pigs, I near pooed myself, they're a gi-normous, and I didn't notice the electric fence round their pen, and I moved out of that field very quickly. This time, I was prepared! Anyway, lucky day, no cows again so had a nice walk. Loads of bluebells still out along the shady pathway before you reach the stile into the field, along with wood anemones. Loads of buttercups in the meadow too, looks like the cows haven't been in there for a while, I saw them over nearer the farm, but without access to the field I was in luckily! Spotted two rabbits before one of them spotted me.....

Came home, cut the grass, put the guinea pigs out, cleaned them and Chippy out, and took some birdy photos. My Bouncer the Robin is being a little bugger and won't come to my hand. He is desperate for the mealworms (*puke*) but he just will not take them from my hand, and will fly off rather than come the extra three feet needed. Still, bless him, that's quite close I suppose, so I give in and put them down on the table for him. Although it turns my stomach, it's interesting to watch him grab them in exactly the right place, and bash them on the table, and it appears to kill them. (*puke* again) Also spotted my first baby birds - have three stripey Greenfinches around, and there's some Rook babies up in the trees making a racket.