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Amazing 

 Autumn 

If it's possible the landscape of Mid Wales becomes even more spectacular at this time of year.

A simple drive between towns treats you to views of heather-soaked hills, rushing rivers and streams, and naturally created tunnels between ancient trees with their heavy burdens of leaves scattering in the chilled winds.

 

Golden afternoon lights caress the tops of hills in the late autumn sunshine,

Puddles of rainwater on the ground await the jump from a pair of muddy wellies.

Leaves dance on the pavements in towns, whilst in fields and woodlands, they haphazardly arrange themselves into piles waiting to be kicked into the air and to float silently back into a carpet of gold and red before being crunched and trampled by adventurers boots

 

The water in the reservoirs and lakes begins to rise, the salmon make their journey upstream, leaping waterfalls and swimming to the promise of calmer waters.

 

Winter woollies find their way to the front of the wardrobe, ready for layering up,

There’s more of a chill in the air in the mornings, the first cup of coffee isn’t just a treat now...its a necessity, it reaches your soul whilst you look out at the frost-tipped hills and valleys.

 

Our dark skies roll in that little bit earlier each day.

The log burners in the cosy holiday lets and b&bs become even more satisfying to sit beside whilst you enjoy some of the amazing food and drink that is on offer from artisan shops, independents, farmer's markets and food festivals.

 

Fantastic firework displays, crackling bonfires, cravings for hot chocolate with squidgy marshmallows and dazzling star-filled dark skies.

Autumn has well and truly landed in Mid Wales

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Bonfire Night / Fireworks

Warm coats and woollen hats, Toffee apples sticking to your teeth, marshmallows turning a golden brown as they caramelise  on the fire before you, two gloved hands cwtching the mug of hot chocolate closer, bursts of light dance in the heavens , the smell of a roaring fire and a cacophony of explosions in the night sky

There is something about watching fireworks flying off into the sky and exploding before your eyes that remains magical no matter what your age.

Here are some top tips to stay responsible:

  • Attend an organised display instead of holding your own

  • Buy fireworks from a registered retailer, ensure they carry the CE mark

  • Consider using low noise fireworks as they can reduce the stress that is normally caused by loud fireworks where animals as well as people who suffer with PTSD are concerned

Please remember these considerations not just on Bonfire Night but at any other time throughout the year when you might be planning to set off fireworks.

You can find resources to download and support firework safety at http://www.gov.uk/guidance/my-safety-fireworks

The Swallows have now all departed for warmer climes but Autumn’s rich bounty of fruit and berries is attracting new visitors from distant lands.

 

Redwings flock to Wales from Finland, Norway and Sweden to feast on the berries produced by hedgerow shrubs such as Hawthorn and Elder. They migrate at night and their high-pitched whistling calls can often be heard on dark still nights, especially when large flocks are on the move.

 

Fieldfares are also arriving from their breeding grounds in Iceland and northern Europe. They visit Wales to feast on berries and fallen fruit. Orchards, especially those where fallen fruit is left on the ground, can attract huge numbers of Fieldfares. They are, however, a flighty bird and quickly retreat to the tops of trees if disturbed.  

 

Other winter visitors that are now arriving from their northern breeding grounds include Wigeon and Teal. These ducks are to be found on lakes and large ponds where they feed on aquatic vegetation and invertebrates. Wigeon and Teal migrate over huge distances to escape freezing winter temperatures in their northern breeding grounds. It's amazing to think that a Wigeon overwintering in Powys could have flown all the way from Russia.

 

At this time of year our iconic resident bird of prey, the Red Kite, is much easier to see, especially where large flocks congregate at feeding stations such as at Gigrin Farm in Rhayader. The Red Kite is a conservation success story; once down to just three individuals, the Red Kite population in Wales now numbers around two and a half thousand pairs.

 

Every now and again a bird with unusual and aberrant markings can spring up in a population of otherwise normally marked birds. There is currently one such bird coming to the Red Kite feeding station at Gigrin Farm. This unusually marked Red Kite is almost completely white; will this impressive looking bird produce white offspring? We will have to wait until spring to find out……...

Autumn Nature

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