Time traveller’s guide to Mid-Wales

The sun is shining, a domestic cat is yowling to announce its slaughter of a grey squirrel which it is dragging through the tall undergrowth of grasses, foxgloves but, this year, no policemen’s helmets (that is carnival policemen — pink helmets of Himalayan balsam): its June 2014 — elementary.

All these factors give away the time — grey squirrels in Wales puts us somewhere in the last 120 years, foxgloves bloom in June when it usually rains, but not this year!   Balsam only arrived recently — another invader, I prefer the notion of a pioneer species — but it doesn’t like floods in autumn and spring and, by God, we did have those.  That’s narrowed it down, June 2014 and the bins are out in the lane — it’s a Tuesday — it’s today!  I knew that all along!



What I want to say is that, here, June is pink and purple with foxgloves and thistles and clover and orchids.  May was blue and white (bluebells and wood anemones, dancing in the breeze) heady with the perfume of the May flowers and April was yellow.  In July the valley floor will be cream and scented with meadow-sweet.  June is pink.

Orchid meadow

Orchid meadow

Fritillary butterflies flit between the thistles, the air bumbles with bees and hums with wing-beats — I never was aware of the sound of bird’s wing until we came here.  The pied wagtails have fledged and are sitting on the truck to avoid the cats — there are some feathers on the ground.  The sparrows in the eves and the house-martins under the gable are still chattering in their nests.  They say ‘any time now’.  There is plenty to eat — a good year for midges and the damsel flies fluoresce in flashes around the pond.

In bed at night with the windows flung wide, there is squeaking in the yard as the bats whizz around on silent wings — Good night.


4 thoughts on “Time traveller’s guide to Mid-Wales

  1. Paula Readman says:

    Wow, what a wonderful journey you have taken us on thank you. My friend and I have been out with our cameras hunt for orchids and only found two types Bee and Pyramidal. In early spring other years in the woods with have seen early purple but not this year.

  2. Sorry “Blimey” wasn’t a very succinct comment (I might have been drinking at the time). What I meant to say was, What a fine writing style, rude and lyrical at the same time. I don’t know much about writing but I know what I like. I was just a bit taken aback and needed to read a little bit more. I am looking forward to reading much more of your blog. 🙂

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