Tag Archives: Wales

Rare harvest mouse found in County Durham

An endearing but rare animal for the North East has been found in one of its most northerly locations ever.

A dead Harvest Mouse was found near Bowburn in County Durham and reported to Durham Wildlife Trust.

Trust director Jim Cokill said: “We were alerted to this animal by a member of the public. It is a significant new record.”

The trust checked with the Environmental Records Information Centre (ERIC), based at the Great North Museum in Newcastle which collects information and sightings of wildlife in the region.

They have only 45 confirmed sightings for the region stretching back to 1974, so it’s a pretty rare creature,” said Mr Cokill.

Most of the records are in the south, around the Tees Valley, where there was a reintroduction project.

“There are no sightings from the area where this animal was found.

“Although this particular animal was dead, the report does raise hopes that there is a population living in that location and Durham Wildlife Trust will be trying to confirm that.”

The harvest mouse is the UK‘s smallest mouse and only weighs 6g.

It is mainly found from central Yorkshire southwards. Isolated records from Scotland and Wales probably result from the release of captive animals.

Katherine Pinnock, ERIC co-ordinator for the North East, said: “ This is a very exciting record because of the location. It improves our knowledge about this species.”

The find will be discussed at ERIC’s wildlife recording conference on October 11 at the Great North Museum, which is free and open to the public.

People can log any wildlife sightings on www.ericnortheast.org.uk

Harvest mice are extremely active climbers and feed in the stalk zone of long grasses and reeds, particularly around dusk and dawn.

Breeding nests are the most obvious sign indicating the presence of harvest mice.

The harvest mouse is the only British mammal to build nests of woven grass well above ground. Harvest mice have many predators, including weasels, stoats, foxes, cats, owls, hawks, crows, even pheasants and their average lifespan is 18 months.

Harvest mice usually have two or three litters a year in the wild. The young are abandoned after about 16 days.

Source –  Newcastle Journal,  26 Aug 2014

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Welsh Cocksuckers

At first glance it looks like any other page in a family-friendly, local newspaper.

But lurking within the adverts lining the letters page of the Pembrokeshire Herald, is a decidedly top-shelf offer.

For as well as a quality range of cars and vans, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car appears to be promising free pick-ups AND “cock sucking”.

The advert, published in the 19 July issue, has since gone viral but bosses at the newspaper are urging the police to investigate, believing it was deliberately sabotaged – “A number of adverts… had additional copy inserted into them after they had been proofed and signed off” said the editor.

Sounds like a disaffected ex-employee’s parting shot to me… or on the other hand,  perhaps it is genuine – hard times demand drastic marketing strategies.

Either way, I’m impressed they managed to avoid any reference to sheep.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/30/free-cock-sucking-enterprise-rent-a-car-advert-sabotaged-pembrokeshire-herald-picture_n_3676109.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

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Almanac – February 22

1797 – The Last Invasion of Britain began,  near Fishguard, Wales,  by Revolutionary France during the War of the First Coalition. The brief campaign, which took place between 22 February and 24 February 1797, was the most recent effort by a foreign force that was able to land on British soil.

The invasion was the plan of General Lazare Hoche, who had devised a three-pronged attack on Britain in support of Irish Republicans under Wolfe Tone. Two forces would land in Britain as a diversionary effort, while the main body would land in Ireland. While poor weather and indiscipline halted two of the forces, the third, aimed at landing in Wales and marching on Bristol, went ahead.

The invasion force consisted of 1,400 troops from the La Legion Noire (The Black Legion) under the command of Irish American Colonel William Tate, 800 of whom were irregulars.

Upon landing discipline broke down amongst the irregulars, many of whom deserted to loot nearby settlements. The remaining troops were met by a quickly assembled group of around 500 British reservists, militia and sailors under the command of John Campbell, 1st Baron Cawdor. After brief clashes with the local civilian population and Lord Cawdor’s forces on 23 February, Tate was forced into an unconditional surrender by 24 February.

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1900 – Luis Buñuel born. Spanish filmmaker . Often associated with the Surrealist movement of the 1920s, Buñuel created films in six decades, from the 1920s through the 1970s.

His work spans two continents, three languages, and nearly every film genre, including experimental film, documentary, melodrama, satire, musical, erotica, comedy, romance, costume dramas, fantasy, crime film, adventure, and western.

Despite this variety, filmmaker John Huston believed that, regardless of genre, a Buñuel film is so distinctive as to be instantly recognizable, or, as Ingmar Bergman put it, “Buñuel nearly always made Buñuel films.”

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1918 – Robert Wadlow born. The tallest person in history for whom there is irrefutable evidence.  He  reached 8 ft 11.1 in (2.72 m) in height and weighed 439 lb (199 kg) at his death at age 22.

His great size and his continued growth in adulthood were due to hyperplasia of his pituitary gland, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone. He showed no indication of an end to his growth even at the time of his death.

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1950 – Genesis Breyer P-Orridge born. English singer-songwriter, musician, poet, writer and performance artist.

In the latter capacity s/he was the founder of the COUM Transmissions artistic collective, which operated from 1969 through to 1975, while as a musician, P-Orridge fronted the pioneering industrial band Throbbing Gristle, from 1975 through to 1981, and then the acid house band, Psychic TV, from 1981 through to 1999.

An occultist, s/he is also a founding member of Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth.

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1987 – Andy Warhol died. American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist.

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HOW BALA LAKE BEGAN

There is a Welsh couplet, still well known in the neighbourhood of beautiful Bala Lake in Merionethshire, Wales, which, translated into English, runs:

“Bala old the lake has had, and Bala new
The lake will have, and Llanfor, too.”

For there is an ages-old belief in the countryside that Bala will continue to grow bigger until it has swallowed up the village of Llanfor, now about a couple of miles from the water’s edge.

According to the old story the site of the original town is near the middle of the present lake, at a spot opposite Llangower. There, years and years ago, a peaceful community lived a happy, prosperous life in their houses clustering around a well called Ffynnon Gwyer, or Gower’s Well.

Only one very important thing had these long-ago people to remember, and that was to cover up their well every night, otherwise, as they knew from their fathers and grandfathers before them, the spirit of the well would grow angry with them and wreak some dire punishment upon them.

But one night, after some special festivities, the guardian of the well forgot his task. Too late this omission was discovered, for as soon as the last inhabitant was in bed, the well began to gush forth water.

Soon the whole village was in a state of alarm. The quickly rising waters began to flow into the cottages, and young and old rushed to Ffynnon  Gower, which they realised was the cause of their distress. There they saw a great stream of water gushing upward. In their anger they called upon the negligent guardian, but he, seeing the harm that had come of his forgetfulness, had fled, though it is said he did not escape the angry waters, for they overtook him and drowned him miserably.

A frenzied effort was made to cover up the well and stop the unwelcome flow, but it was useless, and the people of old Bala had to escape as best they could to higher ground. When morning broke they looked out to where their homes had been and saw, instead of their fields and houses, a great lake three miles long and a mile wide.

To-day the lake is five miles long; and they say that on clear days, when its surface is absolutely calm, you may see at the bottom, off Llangower, the ruins and chimneys of the old town that was overwhelmed so long ago.

And, as the old couplet tells, they say too that the spirit of Gower’s Well is not yet appeased. On stormy days water appears to ooze up through the ground at new Bala, which is built at the lower end of the lake, and some day they believe that too will be swamped and the waters will cover the valley as far down as Llanfor.

View this thread on the Holy Wells & Water Lore Forum – http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=130

 

 

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Gwrach y Rhibyn, or Hag of the Mist.

Another Welsh supernatural being associated with water was the Gwrach y Rhibyn.  She was supposed to reside in the dripping fog, but was seldom, if ever seen.  It was believed that her shriek foretold misfortune, if not death, to the hearer, and some even thought that, in a shrill tenor, and lengthened voice, she called the person shortly to die by name.

Yr Hen Chrwchwd, or The Old Humpbacked, a fiend in the shape of an old woman, is thought to be identical with this Gwrach y Rhibyn.

In Carmarthenshire the spirit of the mist is represented, not as a shrivelled up old woman, but as a hoary headed old man, who seats himself on the hill sides, just where the clouds appear to touch them, and he is called Y Brenhin Llwyd, or The Grey King.  I know not what functions this venerable personage, or king of the mist, performed, unless it were, that he directed the mist’s journey through the air.

Full forum thread –  http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=125

 

 

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Almanac – December 11

1282 – Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last native Prince of an independent  Wales, was killed at Cilmeri, near Builth Wells, Wales.

There are legends surrounding the fate of Llywelyn’s severed head. It is known that it was sent to Edward I of England  at Rhuddlan and after being shown to the English troops based in Anglesey, Edward sent the head on to London, where it was set up in the city pillory for a day, and crowned with ivy {i.e. to show he was a “king” of Outlaws} and in mockery of the ancient Welsh prophecy, which said that a Welshman would be crowned in London as king of the whole of Britain. Then it was carried by a horseman on the point of his lance to the Tower of London and set up over the gate. It was still on the Tower of London 15 years later.

The last resting place of Llywelyn’s body is not known for certain, however it has always been tradition that it was interred at the Cistercian Abbey at Abbeycwmhir.

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1926 – Big Mama Thornton born. American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter.

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1964 – Sam Cooke died. American gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music.

He was fatally shot by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 33. At the time, the courts ruled that Cooke was drunk and distressed, and that the manager had killed Cooke in what was later ruled a justifiable homicide. Since that time, the circumstances of his death have been widely questioned.

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2008 – Bettie Page died. American model who became famous in the 1950s for her pin-up photos. Often referred to as the “Queen of Pinups”, her jet black hair, blue eyes, and trademark bangs have influenced many – The Cramps, for example.

From 1952 through 1957, she posed for photographer Irving Klaw for mail-order photographs with pin-up, bondage or sadomasochistic themes, making her the first famous bondage model.

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Holy Wells & Water Lore

 

 

http://holywells.boardhost.com

HOLY WELLS & WATER LORE is a new forum decicated to…. holy wells and water lore – rivers, lakes, pools, etc. Yeah, including the Loch Ness Monster – that’s water lore.

Anyone interested in these subjects welcome to share their knowledge, photos and videos.  Although the site will probably attract more attention from British and Irish holy wells, it’s not limited to them. Anyone, anywhere welcome.

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