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Archive for the ‘Wales’ Category

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The red dragon of Wales at the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival in 1992

I can’t believe that 2017 sees the 25th anniversary of the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival that brought two million visitors to Blaenau Gwent in South East Wales.

The festival lasted six months, from May until October and transformed a derelict industrial wasteland into a blossoming landscape nearly two miles long. (more…)

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Glamorgan Heritage Coast at Southerndown, seen from the viewing point in Dunraven Park on the clifftop

When I visited Dunraven at Southerndown on Christmas Day (see blog post here) I did say I would tell you some more about the cliffs of the Heritage Coast itself. So here goes. (more…)

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Clematis vitalba or old man’s beard beside Blackweir Bridge – I had never noticed how lovely the seeds were before

The other day after lunch with an old friend I decided to walk back from Cardiff city centre to Pontcanna Fields over Blackweir Bridge, as I hadn’t been there for decades. My hour-long ramble started in Bute Park and took me to areas I had sometimes wondered about as I viewed them from the path on the opposite side of the River Taff. (more…)

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Frosted oak leaves on January 3, 2017

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Before I turn my attention to a new tree to follow in 2017, I am looking back with fondness at the old oak (Quercus robur) I have followed throughout 2016 in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff.

I visited again on a frosty day last week but now it’s winter there is not going to be much change until it starts the annual cycle again in spring.

The only new observation was this spent firework from the New Year’s Eve festivities…

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Firework shell under the oak on January 3, 2017

So here is a comparison of how the tree looked as the months passed in 2016. (more…)

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Robin (Erithacus rubecula) at Dunraven on Christmas Day 2016

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. (more…)

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Lush leaf of bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis) in December

At the beginning of 2016 I promised myself I would keep an eye on Thompson’s Park in Cardiff as the seasons changed through the year, so I have just enough time before Christmas to fit in a snapshot of the park as we pass from late autumn into early winter.

I took these pictures on November 25 and December 9 and in just a fortnight almost the last of the autumn leaves fell. Some berries and seeds remain and there are a few winter blossoms. Please let me know if I have misidentified anything… (more…)

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Pasteur, Lister, Hunter and Jenner feature on the Queen’s Buildings of Cardiff University

I have often passed Cardiff University’s Queen’s Buildings in Newport Road, usually when I am on the bus and stuck in traffic. And the stone faces above the door always intrigued me. So much so that I went there on a day off a while back to take some pictures and find out more. This post explores what I discovered about the building and the scientists over the door… (more…)

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