Friday 25 July 2014

Hot day, cool mountain

Our original plan had been to kayak the Dwyryd down to Borth y Gest but the tides were no good. Instead we went up Moelwyn Bach and as we looked down to Portmeirion it looked as if someone had pulled the plug.

The view on the lower slopes has changed a lot with the removal of the larch now almost complete. It’s good to see the occasional oak that for so many years has been hidden in amongst the conifers.

Everywhere is very dry but the mountain still has plenty of wet spots. At one stage we were walking along a shallow stream being patrolled by a Golden Ring, presumably looking for a mate. It latched onto my walking stick and was very reluctant to let go; I think I was being given the evil eye and told to get off his patch.

Golden Ring - 'Clear off!'
The beauty of going up is that the cooling breeze gets stronger and soon you’re above the bracken line and into the bilberries – there’s a bumper crop. Pop a hot, sun-warmed berry into your mouth and it explodes with flavour.

Now that Haydn is a geology student we are trying to be a bit more purposeful in our walks and took with us the brightly coloured geological map of Snowdonia. Our local mountain has so much variety which is evident from the many bands of colour on the map that need to be crossed to get to the summit; it’s also evident simply looking at the rocks themselves. Exotic sounding Breccia is my firm favourite.

Birds were keeping a low profile in the hot sun but butterflies were out in force, lots and lots of Small Heath. Also loads of little white butterflies (or moths?) – must take a closer look next time. Bog Asphodel was striking and so too the Sundew. Towards the top I noticed a compact plant that I now know is called Alpine Clubmoss. A perfect day.

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