A solitary wanderer upon the Epynt mountain.

Puddles of sunlight on bare-bleached scatterings of harvested fields…

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Rich red-brown fields turned upside-down by farmer’s plough…

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Sheep spattered fields and slopes, Llanafan’s hills dappled by cloud-shadows. Country lanes winding lazily from farms to village and away, again, over the rises and falls of the rolling landscape to distant mountains, lush with green bracken, where Garnwen cwtches in Drygarn’s lap…

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Tormentil beneath me, steep gorges on either side. Above my head, the skylarks singing their songs of joy…

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Today, I am free, to wander without purpose or cause…

Breezes stir the mountain grasses from their slumbers, and they whisper to me of things I cannot understand or know, of the great wisdom of the earth that lies just beyond my reach.

Jenny Lloyd is the Welsh author of The Megan Jones trilogy; historical novels set in early, 19th century, rural Wales.

Leap the Wild Water new book cover meadow     The Calling of the Raven updated book cover     Anywhere the Wind Blows Book Cover - jpg

You can read about the books or purchase them by clicking on the links below.

Leap the Wild Water: http://ow.ly/jEoi302jXkd

The Calling of the Raven: http://ow.ly/4uRO302jXmd

Anywhere the Wind Blows: http://ow.ly/73tq302Ov71

You can also follow the author:

Twitter; https://twitter.com/jennyoldhouse

Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/jennylloydauthor

Pinterest; http://www.pinterest.com/jennyoldhouse

 

Walking with the ancients.

Last week, plans for a wind farm on my old stomping ground were rejected by all but one member of the planning committee. Before I left the area in 2013, I took some photographs, just in case the wind farm got the go ahead and this landscape I loved so much was lost forever.

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I also wrote in my journal about walking there…

Ripples of sunlight reflect off a quicksilver brook, swollen by heavy rain.

The chattering of water tumbling over stones.

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Sheep pause their languid grazing to gaze with idle curiosity, wondering why I am wandering in such wilderness as this.

I walk along the hallowed road that echoes with the footsteps of ancient drovers.

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The old road winds far away, up and over the hills, farther than the eye can see.

I cannot walk such ancient roads without thinking of those who have trod here long before me.

In my mind, I hear the hollow notes of distant cow bells ringing, and the drover’s voice a-calling ‘hey-hope, hey-hope’.

Over the rise he appears, in broad-brimmed hat and oiled long coat, with his herd of cattle and a gaggle of geese with their feet all tarred and feathered.

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I turn away from the ancient path to walk farther still into the mists of history, along the side of a tinkling brook, towards the remains of a settlement and hill fort, older still in its origins.

Faint are the outlines of stone wall boundaries, and crumbled are the circles of stones which once were ancient dwellings.

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I sit among the scattered stones where hearths once warmed chilled bones.

There is no sound in this sheltered place but the wind whispering through the grasses and a buzzard mewling overhead.

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I feel the tug of time spinning backwards, weaving the thread of my life into the fabric of the ancients.

Wherever I go from here, I shall carry the memory of this place with me until I, too, am no more.

Like the drovers and the Celts, we are all but passing through….

 

Jenny Lloyd is the Welsh author of The Megan Jones trilogy; historical novels set in early, 19th century, rural Wales.

Leap the Wild Water new book cover meadow     The Calling of the Raven updated book cover     Anywhere the Wind Blows Book Cover - jpg

You can read about the books or purchase them by clicking on the links below.

Leap the Wild Water: http://ow.ly/jEoi302jXkd

The Calling of the Raven: http://ow.ly/4uRO302jXmd

Anywhere the Wind Blows: http://ow.ly/73tq302Ov71

You can also follow the author:

Twitter; https://twitter.com/jennyoldhouse

Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/jennylloydauthor

Pinterest; http://www.pinterest.com/jennyoldhouse

Strange tales of animal rescue.

There are some things which are beyond understanding and there is a common and weird thread between the following incidents which I have no explanation for.

Some time ago, I’d been for a long walk with my dogs, over the top of the hills behind my house.  It was while I was heading for home that I veered from the path I usually took and it was then I saw it; hanging upside down with one of its back legs caught in a wire fence – a lamb. When I approached it, I could see that its back foot was caught in a loop of wire. Its attempts to pull itself free had only served to pull the loop tighter. I lifted the lamb in my arms to take the weight off its back leg. The poor thing was as light as a feather, from which I surmised it had been trapped there for some considerable time. Holding the lamb under one arm, I used my free hand to try to untangle the wire from around its leg. The wire was thick and inflexible. For a moment, I despaired of freeing her and was wondering how long it would take to walk to the nearest dwelling (about a quarter mile away) to borrow some wire cutters. Thankfully, with a little  more effort, I finally managed to free the lamb and placed it gently on the ground. It limped away on three legs, one leg dangling behind.  It went off to join the rest of its flock and rejoin the mother who must have all but given up hope.

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This wasn’t the the only time I’ve rescued animals from impending death.  I’ve rescued numerous sheep that have pushed their heads through fences thinking the grass was greener on the other side ( as we do), only to find themselves stuck fast. One such sheep had worked so hard and for so long to free itself, the fence wire had become embedded in its matted wool. It took a long time to tear the wool free of the wire and then turn the sheep’s head every which way to try to pull it back through. All the while, the sheep was pulling away from me, making my task harder. A sheep, even while weakened by lack of food and water, is a very strong animal when frightened.

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Then there was the sheep that had got itself trapped in a brook. The brook was narrow with high banks on either side.  The sheep had either jumped or fallen in and its fleece had become so waterlogged and heavy the sheep could not get back out. It was back-breaking work trying to lift the poor animal out of the stream but I was miles away from any habitation so there was no one I could ask for help. Eventually, I managed to drag her out and laid her down on the grass nearby.  Such was the weight of her waterlogged fleece, combined with weakness from being trapped there for goodness only knows how long, she could not get to her feet. I had no idea who she belonged to so I left her there with a prayer that she would recover. I went back the next day with some hay for her but she was gone.  I guess when her fleece had time to dry out she was able to get to her feet.

Though it is usually sheep I find trapped in wire fences, one winter when there was snow on the ground I rescued a full grown buzzard.   It had become tangled between two layers of overlapped wire fencing.  It was very frightened and distressed and while I worked to free it, it opened its beak wide and hissed at me ferociously. I carried it home. It continued to hiss and glare at me along the way until I got home and placed it in a cardboard box. I don’t know how long it had been trapped but it weighed next to nothing. I had no idea how best to care for it and so phoned the R.S.P.C.A.  I couldn’t get out as our lane was blocked by snow, but the R.S.P.C.A. chap walked the mile of lane through the snow and up our hill, to come and collect the bird.

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I’ve lost count of the animals I’ve rescued over the many years I’ve been walking the hills of Mid-Wales. The eerie thing which connects them all is that every time I have rescued an animal or bird, without exception, it has been when I have made an unintended diversion to my route. As on the day  I rescued the buzzard, I had been walking the snow covered hills and was tired, cold and weary, making my way home.  Then, for no reason I can explain, I decided to make a diversion around a field behind my house instead of coming straight home as intended. If I had come straight home, the buzzard would have died of starvation.

This is how it has been on every occasion that I have rescued an animal from impending death; too many times to be explained away as coincidence and always when I have taken a route I did not intend to take. I am quite convinced that I was somehow led to find them. Is it some kind of collective consciousness at work? Some form of telepathy at work between humans and other animals? I cannot know for certain, but my mind is open enough to believe.

Jenny Lloyd is the Welsh author of The Megan Jones trilogy; historical suspense novels set in early, 19th century, rural Wales.

Leap the Wild Water new book cover meadow     The Calling of the Raven updated book cover     Anywhere the Wind Blows Book Cover - jpg

You can read about the books or purchase them by clicking on the links below.

Leap the Wild Water: http://ow.ly/jEoi302jXkd

The Calling of the Raven: http://ow.ly/4uRO302jXmd

Anywhere the Wind Blows: http://ow.ly/73tq302Ov71

You can also follow the author:

Twitter; https://twitter.com/jennyoldhouse

Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/jennylloydauthor

Pinterest; http://www.pinterest.com/jennyoldhouse