Friday, 8 April 2016

Simple pleasures

Last weekend was a deferred 70th birthday celebration for my dad - we headed off to the Brecon Beacons, to enjoy the amazing scenery and fabulous weather.

Lots of ravens, skylarks, pipits (uncertain whether rock or meadow - probably rock), and a possible peregrine in the distance. On the plant front, lots of primroses and wood anemones (no bluebells - Wales appears to be a bit behind us here in England) - life's simple pleasures appreciated for free whilst doing your body some good!

And then yesterday, whilst out on Martin Down for a quick yomp in the strong winds, I marvelled at a large group of ravens, merrily kronking away as they repeatedly climbed, glided then tumbled in the sky. Enjoyment or just breeding behaviour? Do ravens get joy from life's simple pleasures too?

I had hoped to see the pasque flower (only the one and very out of place from its usual northern haunts!) but perhaps I am too early - I contented myself with the clusters of hairy violets in flower. These are one of the main food plants of the marsh fritillary butterfly, a nationally-declining species. They also go remarkably well with the dense yellow clusters of gorse flowers - yellow and purple being opposite on the colour wheel - how does nature know this?!

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