Summer at Berclas

Lillies on the pond at Coed y Berclas

In early Summer we added more plants to our pond; sufficient to attract a pair of Mallard who arrived most mornings, spent the day swimming or dozing on the grass, then later in the day flew away together. We wondered where they spent their nights. They brought the pond to life and we loved watching them.

Pair of Mallard by the lower pond at Coed y Berclas

One morning the male arrived alone: he didn’t settle and was calling a lot. I suspect he was looking for his mate. This performance was repeated over the next few days, his visits became more sporadic and eventually ceased. I don’t know whether mallard mate, like swans, for life, but I’m sure he was missing her. I hope he returns next year with another bird…

Cheeky squirrel

A few weeks ago, Alison and Martin became the first of our guests to spot a red squirrel – not on our land which is in a red squirrel area – but in the woodland at Newborough. They are such shy creatures that a sighting is very lucky. Daf and I have yet to see one, although I have found acorns buried in places where they couldn’t have arrived on their own. They are probably sitting in a tree quietly watching us pottering about below and waiting for us to go away.

At the end of June we had a documentary crew at Coed y Berclas, making a programme about ‘Kate and The Real Housewives of Anglesey’. In my interview I talked about living on Anglesey/our Holiday Cottage/Quilting/Kate on Anglesey, and probably rambled on for ages – I wonder what will be left when it is reduced to a couple of minutes.The company producing the programme are Back2Back but I don’t yet know when or where it will appear. Let me know if you spot it first.

On the subject of TV, if you look very carefully you might spot me as a ‘supporting artist’ (extra) in a scene in a comedy series on Sky TV about the life and times in a Cafe on the prom at Weston super Mare, scheduled for the Autumn. I can recommend it for viewing even if you don’t see me lurking in the background… Daf might have had something to do with it but he’s not saying…

Ripening plumbs in the cottage orchard

Back at Coed y Berclas, in the cottage orchard, one plum tree has finished fruiting and the Victoria plum branches are weighed to the ground with fruit which is almost ripe. Unfortunately the wasps are also aware! The apples are doing well, so there should be a good crop later in the year and there are lots of pears this year for the first time since they were planted. I’m looking forward to harvesting everything.



A spring Daffodil

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!

Geese at Malltraeth Nature reserve

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.


Posted: 2009-03-08