Thursday, 23 November 2017

Ash Seeds

Frost at last; winter is slowly creeping in. Out beyond Oxwich Bay, threatening dark grey clouds cast patches of intense light onto the surface of the sea. They last just a few seconds, move quickly over the dark water, and are gone.

At this time of year Llandewi has a remote feel to it, the old Norman church, surrounded by a dirty farm, looks forgotten, and I suspect there are few visitors here during the winter months. The old drovers way to the west of the farmyard is now partially paved, and leads eventually to Old Henllys, and the eastern slopes of Rhossili Down. Just a few isolated trees grow from the hedgerows. Open to the wind, most are bare, apart from ash, which have retained their seeds, hanging in great bunches from the ends of branches. I muse about ash dieback, and wonder if the prevailing westerly winds will save Gower from this dreaded fungus. Only time will tell.

On the lonely road to Burry Green, I stop at a large barn, where years ago I could guarantee a sizable flock of yellowhammers in autumn and winter. There are none again today, and sadly this is the norm now, and like most small birds on Gower, they have dramatically declined. Pesticides and modern farming methods have seen to this.

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