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First Hike of 2014

My first hike of 2014:  Allegany State Park, of course.  We started on Coon Run Road, heading out the Fire Tower Trail.  Somewhere before we reached Willis Creek, we needed coffee and donuts.  Here was the view from our log: Once we crossed Willis Creek, we headed upstream, bushwhacking at first… but then finding the […]

Corpse candles and phantom funerals

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

When the nights are dark and the wind howls around the corners of the house, it is the ideal moment to gather the family together around the fire and enthral, intrigue and frighten them with stories of headless horsemen, strange apparitions and things like the mysterious corpse candles that once haunted...

This I Believe

I delivered this talk at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown today. This I Believe I have long been a fan of the NPR series “This I Believe.”  I admire the people who can so eloquently and so succinctly put their beliefs into words.  And I have long wanted to write my own “This I […]

Red House Lake

You have to love early mornings in Allegany State Park. Winter has returned. Subscribe to Mon@rch All Rights Reserved ©2006-2013 Filed under: iPhone

Happiness doubled by wonder

Cape May Point, Sandhill Cranes It's easy for me to forget where I am sometimes and get excited about birds that I shouldn't. Eastern Phoebes and Pine Warblers, for example. They merit a FOS (first of season) post heralding the arrival...Show More Summary

Welsh Christmas birthdays

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

When you look at the lives of famous Welshmen it is amazing to see how many of them were born during the Christmas period. Indeed, so many great actors, sportsmen and politicians entered the world around Christmas time that it's tempting to think some propitious guiding star was looking down on Wales...

Up the junction, BBC Wales Christmas TV idents

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

Just as many of us like to adorn our homes at this time of year with festive decorations and lights; we’ve also come to expect our TV channels to get into the spirit too by adding a touch of wintry wonderland magic into the mix.

Is it just Christmas, or is literature living in the past?

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

You look in a bookshop window and there hey all are, the characters who live forever on the sales charts. Currently, you’ll find it’s James Bond and Bertie Wooster. Even the ones who are officially dead can’t be counted on to stay that way.

Al Lewis - A Child’s Christmas in Wales

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

If you like festive tear-jerkers but weren’t so keen on the John Lewis or Sainsbury’s Christmas ads this year then you should take some time to watch the video of North Walian singer songwriter Al Lewis’ new Christmas track.

My Christmas: the wrapping paper designer

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

Ever wondered what it’s like to design Christmas? We spoke to Julia Berthelemy, who works for International Greetings, to find out who is behind the festive wrap and sparkle.

A Welsh literary Christmas

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

Dylan Thomas' superb radio broadcast A Child's Christmas in Wales – republished in book form many times – is such a powerful piece of writing that we sometimes forget other Welsh writers also celebrated Christmas in their work.

My Christmas: the church organist

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

A church service at Christmas without carols would be like Christmas dinner without turkey, and the church organist has at his or her fingertips the keys for keeping congregations singing together in perfect harmony.

A Delightful Surprise

One of our favorite bird guys stopped by Audubon to pick up the calendars he had ordered.  It was late afternoon and the meetings were over and I was just finishing a project… So when he suggested we go see if the Snowy Owl was still working the field up the road, I said, “Yes!” […]

Last Minute Christmas Present Buyer's Guide to the Best Welsh Albums of 2013

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

Admittedly it's not the pithiest handle in the world ever — but it does do what it says on the tin.

Christmas concerts!

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

Those who have followed this blog for some time will know that I love Christmas. Not only do I have a Christmas jumper (it has Rudolph on it), but I also have a Christmas themed thermal top - which is much cooler than it sounds.

Welsh albums of 2013 - part five

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

So that's it. My 10 Favourite Welsh albums of 2013. Buy them for someone using the entirely spurious suitable for/unsuitable for advice detailed here in. Happy Christmas/Nadolig Llawen to you all!

A Couple of Backyard Birds

American Goldfinch By: Pat Coate The American Goldfinch is a common visitor to our backyard, visiting both the sunflower and nyjer seed feeders. And goldfinches never come alone, seems there is always a minimum of three when they show up and often many more. Their song, which they chatter quite effusively, seems so cheerful that […]

Researching your family tree

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

When I’m asked by people for tips on researching their own family tree, he questions range from which online resource to use, to ‘If I have two people with the same name, how do I know which one is mine?’

Milder air and settled weather for a few days

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Wales Nature

The reason for the winter warmth is down to the wind direction with southerly winds carrying mild air northwards from Spain and Morocco.

Mindful Creatures

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Marcia Bonta

Scientists interested in cognitive ethology have begun to study learning in vertebrate and invertebrate animals, bolstered by the work of neurobiologists, who have discovered that any animal with loops between thalamus and forebrain is a conscious thinker. Birds, mammals, and reptiles all have such loops.

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