To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
The second of this week’s posts about our stay on Ynys Gybi, at the tip of Anglesey.
Now, even I know Anglesey’s good for wildflowers. Lots of uncultivated heathland, much of it on sandy soil and a good deal of it on cliffs us humans can’t get to. Ideal.
And then this year we’ve also had our late, slow Spring. So when we arrived in Anglesey this last Saturday it was like a party and all the wildflowers had come out to meet us. ‘Lots of them are a month late,’ the friendly woman at Anglesey Outdoors Centre where we were staying told us, ‘So they’re all here at once.’
Let’s have a look at them then, the cliffs up towards South Stack where we saw most of them, and some of the paintings Sarah did of them and the place while we were there.
And here to show us round is Sarah, who knows about wildflowers, whereas I am just the pupil.
Sarah here… with a wildflower feast!
Before we set off for Anglesey I say to a friend that I’m a little sad that we’ve not been in May, as that’s when my favourite spring flower is out – the spring squill. It is a lovely flower. It is ‘locally common on coasts of West Britain and East ireland, and scare or absent elsewhere. It grows within sight of the sea.’ (From the Collins Complete Guide to British Wild Flowers).
Imagine my delight then when we arrive in Anglesey… as soon as we walk up onto the cliff… it is covered in spring squill.
They grow low to the ground, especially in cliff top locations… and at first you don’t always notice them, but once you do, first one, then another… you realise that underfoot is studded with these gorgeous blue flowers. The dark blue anthers I find particularly attractive. You can see them very clearly here in this picture , six of them stop white filaments surrounding the dark blue central ovary.
We’ve strolled down to the beach at Porth Dafarch, about 300 yards from where we are staying at Anglesey Outdoors. A magnificent beach. Golden sand, surrounded by rock pools, accessible cliffs and blue water. Ideal!
Our first explore is of the cliffs you can see here on the far side of the bay. We then cross the beach and walk along the cliff path on the opposite side.
Walking back along the road to our home for the weekend, the roadside verge is full of life…
The next day we head to the cliffs again, and this time keep walking.
We stop for lunch, and for a bit of plant ID.
And we wander home… along abundant roadside verges and blue skies.