Well it was a grey weekend but a rather nice one really, weather was grey damp and not exactly inviting but Eleanor, our eldest daughter came over Friday night for a visit and a sleep over – we had a very nice evening and enjoyed watching the film RED – a bit of silly with a great cast list and some enjoyable spoofs of other movies.
Saturday was a trip to take Eleanor to her goddaughters 4th birthday party up in Ogmore Vale Life Centre, we dropped her off and then took a leisurely drive over the top towards Port Talbot and stopped at Afan Forest Centre - http://www.afanforestpark.co.uk/. Looks like we will have to go back another day for a walk or two and take the bikes once I get the roof rails on the car. Then drove back to pick Eleanor up and off back home, the views over the area from the top are – or rather will be, great when the day is not grey and wet so another reason to go back and walk the hill tops.
Sunday we decided post Yokes morning migraine to go for a walk to clear our heads and pick some rose hips after seeing Hugh double barrelled make rosehip syrup – decided we had to have a go at that – recipe is simple and here – http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2006/oct/21/recipes.dessert even I can follow that one.
We walked the coast to St Donats, King Georges field, interesting name, tinternet says - ‘These Fields were created throughout Britain in memory of the King, who died in 1935, ‘to promote and to assist in the establishment throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of playing fields for the use and enjoyment of the people’. Then back via the road to home. On the way around we saw a few nice birds, male Stonechat, Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Linnet, and all the ususal suspects.
Loads of ivy in flower along the walls – its good stuff, it offer shelter to bugs and birds, not a brilliant shot, but it’s a wren. Spent ages watching it hunting through the ivy feeding up.
While it looks to be a drab little brown bird I have seen one close up in the hand – each and every feather is beautiful in shades of brown with a spotted pattern on it. Truly Ivy is top of the list for late autumn food for insects, hover flies and the like so is really important and no it does not destroy trees or walls unless it is simply the weight of it in stormy weather and the tree or wall is already damaged, it is a climber not a parasite. This is a male common wasp – Vespula vulgaris. you can tell its male due to the length of the antennae, the males appear in late summer to mate with the female - she is the only one to survive the winter to start a new colony
I know a lot of people don’t like wasps but if you stay still and don’t flap and fuss then they don’t think you are attacking and will leave you alone. In fact blow on them, they will move away in most cases, once they work out there is no food they recognise they leave anyway. They are a really great asset to gardeners as they are predators on other insects – caterpillars etc. so help you keep the pests down.
That was about it for the weekend still wet and grey but now dark as well – time for a homebrew, testing the Orc. It’s a dark heavy beer with a sweet malty start and bitter follow on, only problem it has is that it’s a bit lively. I made a mistake with the yeast it was not up to the job so the beer has fermented more in the bottle than is good for it – so far the only way to get a reasonable drink poured is to pour into a 1lt measuring jug, let the head settle down and then pour it into a glass – a bit of faff but the beer is good and worth it!