Walked up the Usk river towards Llancayo; an absolutely stunning summers day. There were clouds of gnats and other insects on the water and so lots of fish were jumping, and the swallows were swooping low over the river scooping up mouthfulls of food. There are a few birds that have been conspicuous by their absence from the river and brook this year, but saw them all today; Kingfisher, dipper and grey wagtail. They're not about in their usual numbers as the flooding last year I think destroyed their nests, but it was lovely to see some today, the turquoise flash of the kingfishers feathers was a welcome sight. A pied wagtail was busy collecting food at the waters edge, and a few pairs of mallards with chicks were about.
Another bird that I hadn't seen until today on the river this year is the common sandpiper which is a usual summer resident, but saw a couple on the small pebble beaches.
Also, was surprised to see a metre long grass snake swimming across the water from one bank to the other. I know they are good swimmers but this is the first time I've witnessed one doing it.
The red campions are out in beautiful bloom at the moment as are swathes of greater celandine.
|Illustration available here|
The Windmill- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Behold! a giant am I!
Aloft here in my tower,
With my granite jaws I devour
The maize, and the wheat, and the rye,
And grind them into flour.
I look down over the farms;
In the fields of grain I see
The harvest that is to be,
And I fling to the air my arms,
For I know it is all for me.
I hear the sound of flails
Far off, from the threshing-floors
In barns, with their open doors,
And the wind, the wind in my sails,
Louder and louder roars.
I stand here in my place,
With my foot on the rock below,
And whichever way it may blow,
I meet it face to face,
As a brave man meets his foe.
And while we wrestle and strive,
My master, the miller, stands
And feeds me with his hands;
For he knows who makes him thrive,
Who makes him lord of lands.
On Sundays I take my rest;
Church-going bells begin
Their low, melodious din;
I cross my arms on my breast,
And all is peace within.