Travels with MaryE

Most things I love best are about good light and good timing. That's where the adventures start. Don't be in no hurry here. Here you'll find a little bit about bluegrass music, fox hunting, life on the road, time on the mountain, and a whole lot about other things, too.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Enchanted Land

At last...back in Wales! For such a slow-paced, back-in-time kind of place time sure zooms on. I've been here for three weeks now but it seems like I've only just started to do what I intended. Knowing this is my last extended visit here I've taken to going back to some of my old favorite haunts and snapping a few photos so at least I can return to those great places in memory if no other way. So here are some of the places I've been visiting lately. I'll try to include some of my thoughts as I take you around these places. But somehow the photos seem to jump around alot and don't end up where they've been inserted. Anyway, I'll give it a try. This first photo is up in the hills of Radnorshire where I've been known to wander!

Of course time slips by for most of us and it has for me; now it's a week later and I haven't gotten very far with this entry - my first in over 5 months. There are a few folks who are actually interested in all these photos and things I have to say so I feel like I need to push through this and try to remember how to write again. If only those photos would stick where I paste them it would be a lot easier to write about a bunch of stuff, but bear with me! To the left (I hope) is a view of the Clywedog Reservoir which is situated up in some lovely hills near the pretty little market town of Llanidloes. Now I don't know what blogger is doing to these photos, but I assure you that the very prickly gorse in the foreground is a brilliant yellow; everything on here looks dark and dingy!
Since my most recent journey was up through mid-Wales and heading out toward northwest Wales I'll include a few photos of the trip I took on Sunday to the area around Llanidloes and the Clywedog Reservoir. It was quite a nice day with big puffy clouds in the sky, some sunshine, the gorse in bloom and ewes and lambs out there everywhere basking in the sun.

After driving all the way around the reservoir on a beautiful afternoon and kind of wishing I'd set out early in the morning and tried to WALK all the way around the reservoir I was just about to descend back into Llanidloes when up on a steep hillside above the reservoir I saw sheepdogs herding sheep. If you've never seen that, it is a real marvel. There were two men standing inside the fencing and a good place to pull over, so I did.

I thought the men were also just watching the proceedings, assuming there was some sheep farmer up there on that distant hillside with a quad bike (4 wheeler) directing those dogs to bring the sheep down for lambing or something. But no! I wasn't there a few seconds before one of those two men shouted commands and whistled (as they do at sheepdog trials) directing the dogs in steering the sheep to and fro like some amoeba slithering around on a glassy surface, they surged this way and then that. It was amazing. I stood quietly observing (and they didn't know I was there) and taking a few photos. Soon the sheep were off the hill and sort of flowed around the two men, engulfing them and then passing them at a full run, sheepdogs still guiding them at breakneck pace. The men then turned toward me and we began chatting. I learned that they compete in sheepdog trials and know two of the border farmers with whom I'm acquainted who also compete. It is a small world. This connection made them even friendlier and soon they were telling me all about it and about this breed of sheep - the ewes looked magnificent and were possessed of a very thick, rich coat of wool. This breed are Lleyns and are fairly uncommon. Not only that but they can run with the best of them.

Now keep in mind all this was taking place on a beautiful afternoon overlooking a breathtakingly beautiful view of the Clywedog Reservoir as the sun was making its way down behind the hills. It simply doesn't get any better than this and I found myself wondering why I hadn't discovered this spot long ago!
This last photo is of Meg, a wonderful sheepdog who performed like an Olympian and was totally chuffed (thrilled) by a pat on the head and a "well done" from her master, Glyn Williams.
More to follow.

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