Blog from Rose Cottage
The weather continues to surprise us, not much snow yet this year, much to the dog’s disappointment. We had to take her up on to Beacon Hill to find some for her to play in, the wild ponies were not impressed!
Most days have been mild and our January guests enjoyed the local walks around the cottage.
There are lots of snowdrops along the banks and in the garden and the bulbs are coming through nicely. Not many lambs as yet but the local farms are getting ready for a really busy time in their maternity barns so the fields should start to fill up come March and April when the daffodils bloom all along the roads……. This is Wales after all.
Well, wasn’t 2018 an interesting year weather wise?
Despite having sudden and surprising snow in March our guests enjoyed the visiting wildlife and were able to get out as the road was cleared, much to their disappointment as it was a great excuse to be snowed in!
The summer was glorious and everyone seemed to have a really good time. There was chance to cool off in the river in the various spots for a bit of wild swimming. Some of our guests went to the sea but most enjoyed the local National Trust sites, local walks, cycling and visiting local attractions.
Either way the hot sun did not deter anyone and it was such a pleasure to welcome old friends back again.
Wow, its Autumn already……
…..and I haven’t written about the beautiful Spring and Summer we have had.
We have extended our parking forecourt this spring and planted more roses of course, as well as replacing all the front windows and front door, all guaranteed to make the cottage snug and further enjoy the views through the triple glazing.
Visitors have enjoyed the walking, as have the occasional dogs we have had, especially as there are good walks from the door.
The local pub and shop have been very popular. Other reported activities have included; cycling, swimming, fishing, visiting gardens, historic sites, our new Knighton museum, farm parks, tea shops NT properties and geocaching to name but a few. Others have been more adventurous with the rally driving and off-road adventures.
It has been lovely to welcome old friends back again this year and everyone seems to enjoy the Lemon Drizzle cake on arrival too.
Autumn 2016 into winter 2017
Autumn this year was beautiful, lots of colour and plenty of wild fruit. The roses on the terracing gave a grand display, lasted well and flowering late into the year.
The Knighton Carnival and show was good fun, lots to see and do, with guests arriving especially to take part in the fun; as was the winter show at the Royal Welsh showground, with Christmas in view.
It was lovely to welcome back several guests during the autumn too, a great time for walking Glyndwr’s way and Offa’s Dyke. We also had some energetic cyclists keen to cycle the Radnor ring.
The wildlife was busy out and about preparing for winter. We had hedgehogs, herons, small mammals and birds taking the abundant berries.
Winter was mild and we only had a short flurry of snow twice this year. There is always time for pony trekking, though most of our visitors just enjoyed the wood burner and the views from the window. Mr Fox was easily seen after a snow flurry, jumping around trying to capture the mice under the thin white blanket, but the otters were keeping a lower profile this season.
The spring bulbs are planted and now we wait for spring to arrive
Late Summer-Autumn approaches
It has been lovely to see so many guests return this year (I have to remember to give them a different cake on arrival!)
Everyone has enjoyed their break what ever the weather, and we have had quite a mixed bag. Dry, hot and sunny most of the time and we were glad of some rain recently because the river was getting so low.
Guests have added some lovely wildlife photos to our Face Book page as more and more wild guests make an appearance at Rose Cottage.
The evenings are drawing in now, squirrels are busy harvesting the hazel nuts and the birds are feasting on the blackberries, rowans and all manner of the early autumn fare.
Our guests have enjoyed, wild swimming, fishing, visiting gardens the beach and NT properties. The carnival was fun, the Ludlow food festival has just started; the small breeds farm, castles, horse riding, cycling, geocaching and the local pubs have all been highlights this year according to our guests and there are still plenty of other places to visit……maybe that is some of the reasons folk return. Either way it is good to see old friends back.
Late Spring and early Summer
May was glorious in Wales and our half term visitors from the East Coast were really pleased as it was so awful elsewhere. From then on it has been a mixed bag of hot, cloudy and warm with some rain.
We have had an explosion of baby birds; I think we must be feeding most of the population in Radnorshire. The baby woodpeckers are always amusing with their ‘chip-chip’ noises and we have enjoyed lots of different species, including our lovely Red Poll family.
July is hot and haymaking is going on apace at the moment. Everyone wants the summer tasks over in order to attend The Royal Welsh Show the week beginning July 17th. It is a wonderful day out with lots to see and no doubt we will have a few winners in the valley, judging by the all the animals which have been well spruced up!
Next month it will be the Knighton show and Carnival so there is much excitement in the town too.
From a mild winter to early spring with the daffodils well in flower, it has been a strange season. We have had a few frosts and a late smattering of snow but for a large part of this early spring we have had some gloriously sunny and quite warm days.
The larks on Beacon Hill and Glyndwr’s way have been singing lustily, the frogs are already migrating in to the pond and boggy places. The owls have been very vocal at night and the birds are coming in pairs to the feeders. Lambing has begun in the valley and the Kites are cruising up and down the hills.
It is great walking weather and our guests have been out and about enjoying the scenery because there is so much to see at the moment.
We have yet another good place to eat in the Red Lion restaurant just opened in Knighton. What with our very local pubs- the Radnorshire Arms, the Castle and the Lloyney Inn -as well as a brilliant Indian restaurant, several good takeaways, pubs and coffee shops in Knighton none of our visitors seem to have used the oven much, which is not a surprise.
Well winter started off unusually wet and mild with a few lovely days in between the showers, and there were plenty of those. Our Christmas and New Year visitors didn’t seem to mind, there was plenty of wildlife to see from the warmth of the sunroom and they all enjoyed the wood burner, and the books; very cosy.
Christmas Eve stayed dry and singing carols around the clock tower in Knighton proved very popular.
The river came up a little bit, it would have to come up at least 40 feet to reach the cottage though and so far it has never even entered the bottom of the garden.
We had a lovely frost and just a little snow in January so I had to be quick with the camera because the sun shone and it was only really beautiful for a short while before it all melted.
As always autumn was beautiful in the valley, our visitors enjoyed getting out and about walking, cycling and visiting various places. They had a lovely couple of sunny weeks. The Elan valley is always popular at this time of the year with all the autumn colours around the reservoirs.
Mr Prickles was around and about and managed to creep inside the garage. He enjoyed a nice dish of cat food before I let him out with new directions to the hedgehog house. He looked pretty well and fat enough for hibernation, so I hope that is another hedgehog saved.
Summer at Rose Cottage
It has been a busy summer and the weather has not been so bad here. We have had sunny and glorious days and some showers but it did start off to be chillier than usual. We have had some lovely guests and it has been good to welcome several who have returned again. I have welcomed everyone with so much lemon drizzle cake that I think I can make it in my sleep!
The new terraces in the wildlife garden have developed well with lots of beautiful roses. Kingfishers, dippers, kites and nuthatches are just a few of the birds which have given pleasure to our wildlife watchers. The walks around the cottage continue to be popular, as do the local pubs.
The Knighton community market and shops have been enjoyed as has the Heart of Wales railway line and, a bit further afield, the coast at Aberdovey.
The Elan valley of course is always a great hit with everyone and we have managed to take some of our visitors to our wildlife study days when they happen. All in all a good time seems to have been had and that is very gratifying.
It has been mixed month weather wise as it has everywhere but we have had some really lovely days, which our visitors have really enjoyed.
Knighton walking weekend was really varied and interesting with themes such as wild life, local history, and Offa’s dyke as well as geocaching for beginners.
Our lambs arrived (much to the joy of the alpacas, who mother them) and guests enjoyed a cuddle or two.
The bluebells are still glorious just about everywhere in this area of Wales.
This month we have been out and about too. We enjoyed the Spring Show at the Royal Welsh Showground and took our cottage guests on a birdsong study afternoon with the Natural Mid Wales group.
We also managed to visit Gregynog Hall to see the wonderful gardens full of rhododendrons and azaleas, as well as to enjoy their café and gift shop. (Check out the pictures on our face book page)
There is so much to do at the moment around here that it is difficult to choose when we do have time for a trip, luckily our guests can squeeze quite a lot in, and often do.
We have had some glorious weather over the last month particularly around Easter. The lambs are frisking about around the cottage; the roadsides are full of waving daffodils and clumps of primroses. Up on Beacon Hill, above the cottage, the golden plovers are back and the larks are in full voice. The swallows have arrived across the river and all our nest boxes are under investigation. It is such a wonderful time to be in the valley.
Chilly but cheerful
We have had some cold nights, a smattering of snow, some of which remains on the highest hills. A lot of the days have been sunny and bright and the countryside has been spectacular, great for walking and taking good pictures (see our facebook page) The sheep are all expecting lambs at the end of April and in to May, so guests may like a little lamb to hold. There are signs of spring around the cottage; the snowdrops and some primroses are out, the woodpeckers are drumming and the birds are beginning to pair up. But the cottage remains cosy with the wood burner giving out a warm welcoming glow.
The autumn colours are beautiful as usual. The squirrels are raiding the hazelnut bushes, which keeps them off the bird feeders! The cottage is getting very cosy as guests are beginning to enjoy the wood burner in the evenings. The views from the sun room are changing again as the leaves turn and fall, and the gentle sound of the river below is echoing around across the fields of sheep. It really is quite romantic.
September- a warm sunny autumn
There has been a good bit of excitement in the valley already and it is only 10 days in!
The tour of Britain came whizzing past the cottage. All the friends and neighbours lined the road to wave and enjoy the motorcade, which lead the cyclists down the valley. Knighton had all the flags out, lots of dragons, colour and laughter. The sun shone and the atmosphere was brilliant, just as it was for the carnival at the end of August.
We then enjoyed a walking weekend for everyone far and wide starting with a ghost walk and this year we included a geocaching (treasure hunt) walk which was very much enjoyed by all.
Our visitors have had a lovely time out and about in the sunshine. The Kington farm park was again a particular hit with young and old alike. http://www.owlcentre.com/
And, as usual, a fair proportion of our guests just relaxed in our beautiful sun room watching the wildlife.
This month has been glorious; more than a little warm and sunny. Our visitors are always surprised when we tell them that this part of Wales it is no wetter than the West Midlands.
Our visitors have enjoyed walking, cycling and visiting all that Shropshire and Wales has to offer. The countryside is so beautiful at the moment with acres of wildflowers along the verges, clear rivers and green hills and mountains.
We went to Aberystwyth this month to see the repaired seafront and we also managed Lake Vyrnwy again as well.
The bluebells are everywhere and just as lovely as usual and the wildlife is so busy, just check our facebook- http:www.facebook.com/RoseCottageDutlas to see who has been visiting in the evenings!
There are baby creatures wherever we look and those we cannot see we can hear.
(We have also seen a lot of ‘Sid Vicious’ the sparrow hawk at our smallholding, stunning, but not really welcome.)
There seems to be so much going on at the moment that I really can’t list it all! The best gardens are open- Gregynog is full of rhododendrons and azaleas, the Green Man festival is on in Clun and there are art exhibitions everywhere this month. May 31st/June 1st is Knighton walking weekend and there are lots of lovely guided walks planned for it-
(See www.visitknighton.co.uk for updates.) Our guests have had such a lovely time so far, which has given us real pleasure.
April 15th- Easter
Yes, spring is definitely here and in full swing. The weather is sunny and warm enough to wear t-shirts, could this really be just the beginning of April? There are a lot of tired farmers as lambing is still in full swing and the fields around the cottage are full of bouncing lambs and anxious mothers. The daffodils are still blooming as are the hundreds of primroses all along the lanes and byways.
The meadow in the garden has had its first cut and will now be left until the late summer so we can see which wild flowers pop up this year.
The redpolls and the swallows are back looking for nesting sights. The goosanders have paired and are swimming up and down the river at the bottom of the garden.
We haven’t seen the redstarts yet and we are hoping the pied flycatcher will nest again in a Rose Cottage nest box. (The ‘to let’ signs are up.)
Keep an eye on our facebook page for the animals we have captured on video.
March 1st- St David’s Day- (the patron saint of Wales)
The snowdrops are lining the roads, as well as carpeting the garden at Rose Cottage.
The larks are flying high and warbling loudly above the heath land on Beacon Hill.
Magpies and Rooks are flying about with sticks between their beaks.
The nuthatches are busy, the siskins are back again and the woodpeckers are drumming loudly on tree trunks and telegraph poles.
The sun has been out so much more, warming the new lambs (and our solar panels are heating the sunroom floor for free)
Our guests are seeing a lot of wildlife through the picture windows while keeping their feet warm.
There are more horse riders and walkers on our bridleways and footpaths. Could Spring be here?
Winter Wildlife-Jan 14
Imagine my delight this month as I drove home past Rose Cottage on a late and moonlit evening. I was travelling up the valley and a beautiful fox trotted along beside me, before crossing the road. Very splendid he was and I could admire him in the knowledge that our alpacas always keep him away from our hens.
Further on I saw two beady eyes reflected in the headlights looking through the hedge. Aha, I thought ‘Badger’, and slowed down to watch a less familiar undulating movement cross the road in front of me. I was puzzled and slowed down further and then to my great joy two Otters looked up at me from the side of the road causing me to stop. Totally unperturbed they gently wriggled their way across the road, so close I could see their whiskers!
Usually they are spotted down by the river but they have been known to wander up a friend’s drive in the middle of Knighton!
Radnorshire Wildlife Trust now tells me that more Otters are coming up the smaller rivers like the Teme because the large rivers such as the Severn have become too full with the rain. So we can welcome even more of these wonderful creatures for our visitors to see- and they usually see them more often than I do.
Happy New Year
The visitor who came very late to see the New Year in at Rose Cottage
2013 has been very memorable at Rose Cottage, lots of lovely guests, two legged and four legged. It was wonderful to welcome back so many of our past guests too. It has been helpful to have their lovely comments about all the improvements we have made to the cottage (especially the new sun room) without altering the peaceful beauty, which you all so much enjoy here. So our thanks and good wishes go to all of you, old and new guests.
The summer has been glorious and the wildlife was particularly stunning. Can we top all that in 2014?..... we hope so…….
Here’s to a brilliant New Year
Autumn has at last arrived in the valley!
Today is a real autumn day after all the mild weather we have had. Autumn days are great for walking and foraging. There is a bumper crop of blackberries this year and mushrooms are about now as well. The swallows and martins have left, but the kites are still frequently seen.
This summer has been fantastic in the valley and our visitors have enjoyed so many different activities. More guests came with bikes this year and not only rode around locally they really enjoyed riding all around the Elan Valley. The children have enjoyed coming to feed our animals; the animals were pretty pleased about it too!
We have welcomed so many lovely people visiting again, as well as a great couple of Australians exploring our area for the first time.
Noted by visitors this year was the Green Man Festival at Clun, the Victorian Festival at Llandrindod Wells, the seaside, the Shropshire hills and the general peace and beauty here. And, as previously mentioned here, the wildlife, particularly the mother otter and babies.