Valentines at Pendine

A gorgeous Valentines Day walk from Pendine along the coast and back through the woods yesterday. I found this duck on the beach and hoped it was one of the ducks being tracked by Curt Ebbesmeyer as part of his study of ocean currents, but sadly, handsome as it is, it is the wrong sort of duck!

It is amazing to be in a limestone landscape for a change, you go into those caves and within seconds you are in silence and total darkness.

The colours of the lichens and algal growth are amazing! Like blobs of paint and brush marks in themselves.

A highlight of the walk was seeing a Greater Horseshoe bat deep inside a sea cave.
Bats are very sensitive so we left as soon as we saw there was one there, Den tells me that the heat from a human body can change the temperature in a cave enough to disturb a hibernating bat in minutes. Every time a bat is disturbed during hibernation, it looses roughly 2 days worth of hibernating energy which it might not be able to replace at this time of year when it is running out of fat reserves, so it is crucial to minimise disturbance.

A Greater Horseshoe bat hanging in a cave (picture http://www.bats.org.uk)

We were blessed with sunshine and sharp showers, we saw catkins, buds on the trees and our first open daffodils of the year at Marros.

We finished the walk with a fantastic cup of tea and toasted teacakes at the brilliant Point Cafe on the beach at Pendine.

I had forgotten places like this existed! A real local run-down-welsh-seaside-honest-to-goodness-cup-of-tea-kind of place, with surely the best view of any cafe in Wales!

View from Point Cafe, Pendine.

So now it is back to the studio and I hope Ruby will walk the dog today and give my aching legs chance to recover!

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Turn of the year walk


Fantastic wintry walk this afternoon. You can really feel the year turning on this, the shortest day. Sheets of ice on the river like glass fibre.

Den was very excited to find Barbastelle bats hibernating. Barbastelle bats are very rare and it was his first sighting despite the fact that he has been out checking bat roosts for nearly 2 years with his trainer! He is passionate about bats and is currently training to get a license to enable him to do bat surveys.

Barbastelle bat.