When it’s fine on Christmas Day we often go to Dunraven Castle at Southerndown in the Vale of Glamorgan to eat pâté and pickle sandwiches in the walled garden – our main meal of roast beef and Brussels sprouts is in the evening. This year the weather was good, with a cold, brisk wind that kept the cloudy sky interesting.
It was probably my imagination, but this robin seemed to have a redder breast than the robins in our garden – and it was singing its lovely song much quieter than our city birds.
I took many more pictures at Dunraven Castle on Christmas Day 2014 and you can see the pictures here. There were primroses in flower that day, and there were again, but I didn’t bother to photograph them. Here are just a couple of features I snapped this time…
The trees were, I think, sycamore, or another species of maple.
I caught this morning morning’s minion, kingdom
of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shèer plòd makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold vermilion.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
The kestrel was hovering over the edge of the cliff and beyond is one of my favourite views…
I love the Jurassic Coast so much that I will save my other Christmas Day pictures for another blog post…
Happy New Year!