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  • Writer's pictureJanice Gill

Ultimate Blog Challenge Day 2

Mountain Ash covered in yellow fruit, bowed under the weight.
Mountain Ash laden with fruit by Janice Gill

Living on the Welsh side of the border between England and Wales means the natural environment is right on my doorstep.

Walking down the hill our house is situated on, the valley opens out to a broad plain. Two rivers meet on the edge of the village - the River Severn (which is the longest in the UK) and the River Vyrnwy. This confluence leads to flooding during long spells of heavy rain.

Walking up the hill takes you past fields set to pasture for various farm animals, on through wooded areas and finally to more scrubby land with bracken and gorse. Wildlife abounds in the hedgerows and copses of the farmland as well as the wilder areas.

The Breidden Hills are crisscrossed with public footpaths, and one of the peaks is surmounted by a monument, Rodney's Pillar.

Today was extremely wet, so I took a short walk up the hill. I took my phone with me and relied on it for photographs. Cameras on phones are getting so much better.

The first half of the walk was a good workout. It got me working hard and slightly out of breath. Perfect for building stamina. Even though I only planned a short outing due to the weather, I made sure to take a drink and a healthy snack, just in case.

For day two of my 31-day "walk with my camera" challenge, the 45-minute stretch was sufficient. Despite the weather, it lifted my mood to get out in natural surroundings and fresh clean air.

If you are joining me in this challenge, how have you done today? My daily target is 30 minutes walking so I smashed it. Knowing how much better I feel after getting out and about keeps me motivated.

There was plenty to see in the hedgerows with late flowering plants such as Ivy playing host to a variety of pollinating insects including butterflies and hoverflies where there was shelter from the rain.

The photograph at the top of the page is of an unusual variety of Mountain Ash, common where the soil runs thin and unable to support larger trees. It was so loaded with fruit the boughs were bending right over in an arch.

Another name for Mountain Ash is Rowan (Sorbus Aucuparia). The berries of this tree can be used to make a jelly - Rowan Jelly - which goes beautifully with cheese or lamb. Don't try the raw berries, however, as these are bitter and inedible.

Autumn is a beautiful but changeable time of year. Today, dressed in sullen grey, she was hiding her visual charms. Still, the scents were fabulous, the air refreshing and small hidden delights shone like jewels.

Dewdrops suspended on moss - closeup image.
Dewdrops and Moss by Janice Gill

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Oct 03, 2023

Janice, I can imagine being on your walk with you. I love the dewdrops and moss-- so exquisitely beautiful!


Oct 03, 2023

Thank you for this beautiful post. I look forward to following along on your journey.


Oct 02, 2023

I also went out for a walk today. It was marvelous. I am so grateful to hear your goals (and see you reaching them is inspiring!)


Oct 02, 2023

Wow, that photograph is incredible! Thank you for sharing the jewels with me! As for my walking goal for the day, I made it! I walked for about an hour and a half and I feel good and happy about that! Really great blog post, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of your photographs!

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