Saturday, 16 January 2010

Postcard 62: Philippa Scott of the Wetlands - a tribute

Swans in flight over WWT Llanelli, Penclacwydd
Photo: David Gill
(click on picture to see detail)

I hope you will join me on a winter ramble
through the WWT (Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) site
at Penclacwydd near Llanelli.
Not surprisingly, there are many signs of winter,
but there is also an indication
that spring is not too far away.

But before we set off,
I want to draw your attention
to The Guardian obituary of Lady Philippa Scott,
widow of Sir Peter Scott, who set up the WWT
and did so much else besides in the field of conservation.

Lady Philippa Scott died on 6 January 2010, aged 91.

Lady Scott, also known as Phil, was a keen photographer, scuba diver and writer.
Her publications include two autobiographical accounts,
Lucky Me
(1990) and So Many Sunlit Hours (2002) -
and a book on one of her multi-talented late husband's passions,
The Art of Peter Scott

The Scott family legacy will live on in the minds and hearts of many of us.

The sun is low at this time of year, so we had better hurry.
There was a Bittern in this vicinity a few days ago,
but sadly there is no characteristic boom from the marsh today.
The snow has all melted;
and to my surprise, there is a great bloom of algae
on the waterways around the scrapes
by Vole City.

A flash of brilliant red overhead.
A Bullfinch - no, a pair of these beautiful birds.
Watch as they dart in unison
along the winter hedgerow.

There is no mistaking that steady flap-flap of large wings
as a Grey Heron soars majestically overhead.
The lichen sparkles in the fading sunlight,
and the reeds and rushes make a wonderful backdrop
to this water-world.
Can you smell the salt from the Loughor estuary?

The Mute Swan over there seems quite obsessed with her fine reflection.
That Cormorant, on the other hand, seem content to stand in a stark pose,
like those sad statues in Narnia.

I find it quite hard to believe
that this land of small creatures
was once the home of huge mammoth and bison.

Did you know that a Pleistocene hippo tusk
was found beneath nearby Loughor Bridge?

Wouldn't we have a shock if we encountered an Ice Age survivor
emerging from the shadows,
around the next corner?

It's almost 5pm.
We had better begin to make tracks,
and leave the Robin to his worm .

But what about those signs of spring?

Well, if you look up now,
you will see the silver sparkle of the sun's ebbing ray
on those bursting Pussy Willow buds.

It's time for tea!

Thank you for joining me.


donnie said...

great pics and story

Crafty Green Poet said...

oh lovely, specially the photos of the bullfinches - one of my favourite birds and good to see them doing better than they were a few years back....

Bovey Belle said...

Good evening. I have just been blog hopping and my curiosity got the better of me. I think I must live in the same county as you. I loved your photographs - we get the Bullfinches in our copse occasionally. Such pretty birds.

Mary said...

That swan shot is really pretty!