The weather is just gorgeous: the sun is shining from a clear blue sky onto a blue sea rippled by gentle breezes and the mountains are clear as though they had been cut out. All the trees are in full leaf and the sound of bird song fills the air. We watched recently as a family of blue tit fledglings left their nest in the cottage nest box one at a time – some of them were distinctly nervous of leaving their sanctuary, their little fluffy heads bobbing in and out as they summoned up the courage. The rabbits too have a number of young (well that’s what rabbits are supposed to do!) including some really tiny babies. They form the welcome party at the entrance to our drive and frolic, as though to entertain us, on the lower lawns.
The buzzard parents have been teaching their young how to fly, calling to them to watch the most amazing aerial displays – we, of course, were watching too. How wonderful it must be to soar, swoop, hover and dive with such consummate skill – I can both admire and be envious of this wonderful bird and its astonishing abilities up there in the wide open skies.
The snowdrops have now finished flowering and the daffodils are in full bloom especially on the aptly named ‘Daffodil Lawn’ which catches sunlight throughout the day. In fact, Coed y Berclas ushered in St David’s Day (March 1st) with a fanfare of the first yellow trumpets opening their smiling faces to the sun. These lovely blooms were well chosen as Wales’ national emblem. We brought one daffodil into the house where it glows in our kitchen against a backdrop of Snowdonia and the Menai Strait.
The Spring has begun here in earnest and the birds are busy, their song brightening our garden – I’ve been out there starting the seasonal tidying. There’s plenty to keep me busy and soon I’ll be out in the vegetable garden getting the seed potatoes in – I love going out mid summer, taking crops straight from our garden and into the kitchen. I don’t know whether they do taste better but they certainly seem to and they couldn’t be fresher. It always takes me back to my childhood, sent out to pick peas for Sunday lunch – there were always three for the bowl and one for me and I still eat a few while I’m picking – I refuse to cook any peas I’ve grown, they’re much better fresh!
The days are lengthening now and Daf and I went back to Llyn Coed Mawr at Malltraeth – such a lovely peaceful place – and this time there were no fewer than ten egrets sitting together like sophisticated white mopheads resting in the last of the day’s sunlight. Two pairs of Canada geese noisily layed claim to the same small island, Mallard were ‘a dabbling, up tails all’, a couple of Gadwall glided silently along with the ‘peeping’ coot, while a group of Shovelers paired up to perform an intricate circle dance. The bright eyes of the Tufted Ducks caught our attention before they vanished under water to come up some distance away. A large Buzzard flew low over the water but none of the waterfowl seemed in the least bit disturbed. High in a tree two Raven sat motionless, surveying the scene below. I’m sure you can see why Llyn Coed Mawr is now one of our favourite places.