Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Sharing Treasure #1

Welcome to Sharing Treasure #1. Sharing Treasure is a place where we can share the magic and wonders of our local history, folklore, ancestry, customs and nature with each other and rekindle the appreciation of our own environ. Anyone can join in by adding their blog link and name to Mr Linky below. The posts can be as long or as short as you like and expressed in poetry, creative writing, art, textiles, photography or other creative media. The important thing is to enjoy unlocking the treasures of this shared journey.

The first place I wanted to share with you today is Cemlyn Nature Reserve on The Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Mon). Cemlyn is an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. The history of this nature reserve is unusual and a living chronicle of one mans life work to create a haven for birds. A wealthy eccentric man, Captain Vivian Hewitt had a passion for wildfowl, and all other birds. He created the first ever dam in the weir of Cemlyn to create a lagoon as refuge for wildfowl. Inside the large walled gardens of his ominous house, he created a woodland for small birds, using the imposing walled gardens as wind breaks to shelter the birds. When Captain Vivian Hewitt died he left everything to his house keepers who subsequently sold the land to The National Trust to continue with Hewitt's work.

It is funny how local stories often differ from the real history of a place. Locally, Hewitt is known as 'The Reluctant Millionaire' and it is rumoured that he was the first man from Wales to fly to France. It is also said that Hewitt would buy all sorts of machinery that he did not understand and would take it to pieces, put it together again and then store it in sheds behind those huge wall. Who knows if any of of this is true. The only thing that I know is that Hewitt has created something fantastic and his services to nature make him a hero.

Today, Cemlyn Nature Reserve is a SSSI of geological importance, an important breeding site for Terns and other sea birds and rich in wildflowers and butterflies. Next month, I will need to watch my step for all of the big red and black caterpillars that will be carpeting the earth. I need to find a good field guide to help me identify them and the butterflies of this place. It would be a delight to understand and know all of the wildflowers here. Yesterday, as I walked along these shores for the second time this week, I noticed orchid like flowers, sea kale, land cress and sea radish.

On one visit, a geologist friend broke open some of the beaches pebbles with a hammer to identify the minerals in the stones. We found quartz, iron pyrite, red sandstone and more. So beautiful. I could collect pebbles and gaze at their purple,pink, red, green, grey , white and orange hues all day.

As I walked along to the oyster catchers anvil collecting shells with holes in them to string into wind chimes, I gazed out over the Irish sea looking towards Skerries Isles, watching the sun sparkle over the waves. I could hear the far off wolf like howl of the wind, the crashing of the waves and the barking of the nearby seals that could be seen glistening with silver and grey on the rocks. If only my camera could show you what I could see. I felt so calm and contented in that wild environment, reminding me of a different experience during a visit to The Farne Isles where I wrote this poem last May:

Air raid attack with a rattle clack-clack
Dive bombing Terns on maternal crack
Flapping hands, scuttling feet
Running for cover from the pointy beak

Nesting Terns under feet
Cache of eggs, indiscreet
Quickly pass by, run and hide
Best not tinker with mother's pride

Feeling overpowered by hormonal souse
Seeking refuge by an old light house
Safe at last, exhale and sigh
Sun beats down from a cloud free sky

Puffin mysteriously weaving about
Up and down from burrows,bustling in and out
Grey Seal beaching or bobbing along
To the whoosh and the swish of the ocean song

Igneous rock yielding natures display
The Farne Isles breeding seasons finest array
Puffin, Guillemot, Razorbill and Shag
Gracefully adorning these crags

On the way back home we stopped off at Nanner Farm for a 'Full Monty'. The full Monty is a cake tray to match the best cheese board. The home made ginger cake with rhubarb jam is the best I have ever tasted, the cream scones and Bara Brith (recipe HERE) were the perfect victual treat to draw a close to a wonderful afternoon.

Whilst looking around the Nanner Farm shop I got chatting to the bee keeper. The farm, once 117 hives strong is now down to 7 hives. Most bee keepers are experiencing the same levels of losses as a result of pesticides. It is not the pesticides that kill the bees, the pesticides wipe out the bees immune systems which then leave the bees vulnerable to grubs, and disease.

Hopefully, this farm is turning the corner as the 7 remaining hives seem strong. We can only wish them luck and remember to support our own local beekeepers by buying their honey and produce. Not only is locally produced honey good for fending off hay fever and boosting the immune system, but by buying the honey, we are helping the bee keepers bridge their financial losses and doing what we can to help them protect the endangered honey bee.


Barb said...

Stunningly beautiful.

Jasmine said...

Hi, sorry that this post is 2 days late. I have a virus on my computer that has prevented me accessing or using my computer at all. Luckily someone lent me a laptop today. I'm still having problems with Mr Linky. If you have something to share, please leave your link in a comments section and I will add it for you when I figure it all out. xxJ

Jasmine said...

Thank you Barb :)

ger said...

That certainly is an environment very different from Berlin... I wanted to join, but didn´t get around to it (+ didn´t succeed to conquer my aversion against city life enough...) - perhaps next month...! cheers, H.

Jasmine said...

Hi Ger - It will be good to read your post whenever you get time to join us. Until then I will read your lovely textile posts :)

Faerie Moon Creations said...

How wonderful this is! Thank you for sharing. I posted a link to my recent post about a nature walk at one of our local parks - the park itself has history as does the town. I included a link on the post which tells the history of the park and of the town. Theresa

ArtSparker said...

I feel as if I have been in your neighborhood, as I am just back from Pt. Reyes, where we saw a lot of flora and fauna Your poem is lovely, it has quite an evocative rhythm. Speaking of hormones, while in Pt. Reyes, we saw a cow trying to mount another cow, and my brother in law explained it was a bulling heifer - that young cows will attempt to mount other cows (and humans too) because their hormones are in such an uproar. Apparently they are quite dangerous.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

I feel like I spend the day with you! -J

Jasmine said...

Hi Theresa, I just read your link, it is wonderful. Thank you so much for joioning in. All of that nature is a real tonic for the spiriits xJ

Hi Susan, yes, we have those same cows over here, they have been known to crush the bonnets of cars. I have heard of such cows needing rescuing by the fire brigade when they get stuck in all sorts of positions and places. Or maybe their hormones are holding out for the man in uniform, who can say? x

Hi Jayne, it was a pleasant day :)

GreenWhisper said...

Jasmine this is so beautiful, reading it has given me goosebumps, and your poem is so a feeling and visual kind of way, thanks for sharing this.

when we are out and about over on Mon, i always come home with shells and little pieces of quartz..also a pretty pebble collector.. i like to turn them into neckwear :)

off to check out your links now..
have a wonderful day sweet lady..xx

GreenWhisper said...

the disappearance of bees is quite disturbing, isnt it? and could also be seen as awarning as to the affect those pesticides and other chemicals in our environments are having on our immune systems.. just at a slower rate!

:) will leave you in peace now and get back to those links...

Tammie Lee said...

Hello Jasmine,
Such a wonderful post and I can feel the peace and joy you had in being in this place. How amazing that the house keepers gave the estate to be held in trust for the people. Really grand.

How often will you be doing this prompt?

Jasmine said...

Hi Sue - Sounds like you get over to Ynys Mon regularly? Maybe we should meet for coffee on one of your visits. The pebbles are amazing, I think they would make beautiful jewelry. Right now, I'm creating a little rockery with pebbles and stones from various locations. I don't want to take too many from any one place so I gather them just a few from each place I visit. The bees are a good identifier of the effects of chemicals. Pat of me wonders if the the fact that Cemlyn lies in the shadow of Wylfa makes any difference? Have a wonderful afternoon and week end xxJ

Hi Tammie, thank you. I think the house keepers must have loved the birds as much as Hewitt did. He must have had great energy and passion to be able to create a still water lagoon in the place of salt marshes. His work is so valuable. I plan on making these prompts monthly but am still working on a date that is suitable and does not clash with other blog carnivals. Maybe the middle of the month around the 15th would be good? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

This month, I was a little late myself as had planned for the 23rd, but computer virus made that impossible for me. I will welcome any contributions for the rest of the month xxJ

Jules said...

Such a fascinating post Jasmine, and somewhere I will add to my list of places to visit. I love your description of the beach pebbles, and am delighted to hear the Nanner Farm bees seem to be doing well! I will try to come up with a suitable post for Mr Linky! x

Jasmine said...

Jules, if you ever do visit, let me know and maybe we can collect pebbles together. I look forward ot your post xxJ

GreenWhisper said...

Jasmine i've emailed you..hope i've sent to right addy:)

Jasmine said...

Hi Sue, I just pressed send on a reply email to you when your comment came through :) xx

orchidlover said...

Wonderful. I've been ill this week so I'm behind on everything. Let me know when the next one is and I'll get a bit of South Wales history out there for you

Love and hugs Ginaxxx

Jasmine said...

Hi Gina, Hope you feel better soon. I'd love to know more about South Wales. I've only ever really been to the Gower, which is stunningly beautiful xxJ

Momo Luna said...

Hi Jasmine,
tnx for sharing this wonderful place on the earth. Beautiful photographs, great poem, delicious post!

Have a great weekend Jasmine!

Debrina said...

What a neat idea, Jasmine. I've linked in with a post I did in the middle of our winter (only just gone). Your post is just gorgeous and I think you are SO lucky living on this island you've just moved to. Wow - beautiful.

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Wild Somerset Child said...

I've come to this a bit late but try to 'share nature's treasures' on my own blog from time to time. Been somewhat absent of late but will try to do better. The nature bits are interspersed with other posts. Lovely idea to share our thoughts and good to say 'hello' in this way.