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January 26 Botanic Garden of Wales Walk…Again! January 26, 2018

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One can never have too many visits to the Botanic Garden of Wales,  especially in January, when entrance is free during the week!  Weekend entry in January is only £4 and tomorrow 27th and Sunday 28th  there is an Antiques Fair to enjoy too!

Anyway back to my visit today with the Walking Well group led by Philip. Somehow or other he manages to arrange these walks when it is dry and sunny! The weather over the last week has seen our garden flooded!  Today, however,  with the sun shining brightly a large group assembled in the Botanic Garden carpark to begin a figure of eight walk around the parkland.

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The track led us around the perimeter of  the first lake with the Great Glasshouse,

The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world houses the largest collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern Hemisphere

looking like something from Stars Wars ( I enjoyed The Last of the Jedi..last week!)  set  up high on the opposite bank.  Wonderful reflections of the trees in the water- good enough to paint!

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Brilliant coloured cornus bushes  shone in the sunshine and the aroma from the fountain of green Sarcococca confuse bushes filled the air…everyone stopped  to catch a closer sniff!

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Passing a desolate farmhouse we walked up quite a steep incline until we reached the top. Here  Philip explained there was a spring  hidden behind a locked door and a pump room.

It was well worth carrying on up the hill as looking back we had the most marvellous view over the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside, including Paxton’s Tower.

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We walked along the ridge of the hill until we dropped down again  from the Parkland towards the Gardens.  We didn’t take a detour into the woods as we were uncertain what we’d find there!

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It wouldn’t be one of Philip’s walks if it didn’t entail some mud walking and some nature spotting. There’s an excellent exhibition on at the present in the Gardens by Julie Sheridan of the Last Gallery, Llangadog . Her  series of paintings depict the symbiotic nature and pattern of lichen.  She may have been able to identify some of our findings!

 

The Ghost Forest was our next stop!

‘This display of tropical tree roots is one of the most significant environmental art installations to come to Wales

The Ghost Forest has come from the tropical rainforests of Ghana .The oldest tree root is 300 years old, the heaviest weighs 19 tonnes

They’re the inspiration of UK based artist Angela Palmer. She was horrified to learn that a tropical forest the size of a rugby pitch is destroyed every four seconds. Just think how much is lost every minute, every hour………every year.
Apart from the huge loss of species, rainforest loss is contributing to climate change.

Angela Palmer made world ambassadors out of these tree roots. She chose Ghana as it now sustainably manages its rainforests. She brought the tree roots to Trafalgar Square, to the Earth Summit in Copenhagen, to Oxford University and now here, their final resting place.’

Lots of photos as they were amazing  especially against the blue, blue sky!

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Time for coffee and cake in the Glasshouse surrounded by exotic  and some recognisable lovely flowers.

 

Also to view were the antiques. The Rupert annual…one of my favourites  as a child… now classed as an antique!! Help!

The view going down the Broadwalk back to the carpark was  far different from last week when everywhere was coated with shiny icy crystals- this week shiny bright sunshine. I do love our changeable Carmarthenshire climate!!

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Thank you Philip for another happy, enjoyable walk.

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May 31 A Step Too Far? May 31, 2016

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Another beautiful, sunny day so after mowing  the lawns,  watering some of the plants and hanging out the washing it was decided that a walk was on the cards. Although Jim had had a significant amount of liquid drawn  from his knee in hospital on Friday I thought that  exercise was just what the knee needed!

DSC03945We drove to the Usk Reservoir,  at the Western  end of the Brecon Beacons , only half an hour away from home.

DSC03949DSC03951We walked across the dam and spotted some colourful lichen covering the wall.

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DSC03958-1The reservoir was beautiful to look at  but there were very few people around to admire the view.  Fishing from the beaches and from rowing boats was the only activity to be seen.

DSC03963-1 There was a machine just like those in car parks where one could buy and pay for a fishing permit for the day- what a sensible idea!

DSC03964Along the banks of the reservoir there were a couple of picnic benches where one could sit and admire the lovely views over the water towards Pen Y Fan , the highest peak in South Wales.

 

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Pen Y Fan in the distance.

DSC03967-1  As we looked towards the furthest end of the reservoir it looked a mighty long way to walk but as the knee was holding up we decided to throw caution to the wind  and continue…….isn’t hind sight a wonderful thing!!

DSC03969-1We strolled past vast plantations of forest where all the fir trees had new soft growth like little fingers on the ends of each branch.

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There was much to admire along the pathways ‘fairy glens’ , pretty wildflowers  but the forestry track seemed to go on forever.

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DSC03985 At last we reached the end of the reservoir. There was a delightful stream that ran  down from the hillside into the water  with a boggy area covered in a  dainty little white flower- water buttercup/water crowfoot?

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The end of the reservoir meant we were half way round  and the best half  had been covered!  The rest of the walk was very bumpy and hilly and not picturesque at all and many of the trees   had been mowed down and left . We were so pleased to see the car in the car park  about 3 hours after we’d left it there. Maybe I should have read this first:

4. A stroll beside Usk Reservoir

 

The Usk Reservoir is in a remote area surrounded by forest and moor-land overlooking Mynydd Du or the Black Mountain. There is an 8km circular trail which winds its way around the reservoir.

http://www.breconbeacons.org/4-walk-usk-reservoir

8km – quite a long walk for a poorly knee but we managed it  and now we are home and resting the knee is OK! (thank goodness)

 

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