Sunday, November 12, 2006

The mother of all fairy rings

It's been a while! A difficult time at work, and what the insurance people understatedly call an RTA, have meant that I haven't really felt inspired to commit my thoughts to blog. However, I think that failing to record this sighting would be a crime against mycology. It was on 26 October above Happy Valley near Aberdovey. It consisted of Lepiota Procera (Parasol mushrooms) and the evidence of abundant nettles and the remains of giant puffballs suggested that this was an old manure heap. Apart from this, there was a wide range of wax caps in the surrounding meadows. The walk itself was lovely. It was a sharp uphill climb, mainly on tracks, followed by a descent into the valley. Another climb took us up to the bearded lake, then a return walk along an almost traffic-free gated road proved to be the best part of the walk. The fairy ring was by this roadside, and following this, the autumn afternoon sun on our backs meant that we were able to stroll gently, and even sit for a while, enjoying the aerial displays of three buzzards level with us above the beautiful valley.

The rest of this short break to southern Snowdonia consisted of a thorough soaking by Lake Bala, courtesy of a sudden dramatic downpour during what was supposed to be a gentle stroll to break the journey, and for which we were toatally unprepared, a splendid walk near a small hamlet rejoicing in the name of Llanifhangel-y-pennant, the highlights of which were a waterfall near the start of the walk, and a nice cup of tea, a sit down and a slice of buttered bara brith in the community centre in Abergynolwyn, conveniently located at the halfway point of the walk, and a repeat of the precipice walk near Dolgellau, which has to provide some of the most stunning views for amazingly little effort. Thanks to our hosts Alex and Lorraine, and their stunningly located guesthouse, it was a great few days. The fact that somone decided to pull out in front of us on the way home and cause what became several weeks of stress, that I hope is now mainly over, almost made me forget what a lovely time we had. I'm glad I finally got round to recording it.