Friday, 5 February 2016

Cyfaredd 19: Research on Ynys Môn: Day Two, Part Three

Haia Pawb

One of the joys of doing research on the spot is how synchronicities can occur. A chance conversation with my friend Grevel Lindop led me to the place where the druids on Ynys Môn made their last stand against the Romans. Ynys Y Fydlyn is a small rocky island on the northwest coast of Ynys Môn and accessible at low tide. Erosion has caused the island (which some call a promontory) to split into two, though one can scramble over rocks and slimy seaweed to the seaward end.

Earlier that day I had tried to reach the island in between my visit to Melin Llynnon and my meeting with Eflyn, but I became lost in the winding back roads of the island. Although I eventually found the right car park, I then went down the wrong trail. This time, I took the right track and after a pleasant walk over grassy meadows, past a fenced-off forest plantation and a small lake, I strode down to the shingle beach and gazed at the island. Here the remnants of the druids and their supporters, after the Battle for Ynys Môn fought on the Menai Strait, took refuge in a promontory fort whose remains are barely visible. The Romans besieged the Celts and threw them into the sea, though I image some escaped to either Ireland (Ierne) or the Isle of Man (Ynys Manau).

View of Ynys Y Fydlyn and the shingle beach, late in the afternoon.
Man-made ridges are visible on the landward section of the island.
Closer view of part of the possible man-made ridge-fortifications.
Continuing the wildflowers them from earlier posts: Forget-me-knots?
With the tide out, contrasting colours and textures.
Some of the seaweed I had to climb over to get to the seaward end of the island.
The plateau at the western end of the island, dotted wth wildflowers.
Looking over the edge of the western end.
Did druids scramble into boats here to escape the Romans?
Looking westward from the western end of the island, at the setting sun,
and imagining surviving druids escaping on small boats.

Solitary goose checking out the lie of the land or searching for its mate.

Can anyone see a creature resting its head on its forelegs?
Small lake and woods behind the shingle beach at Ynys Y Fydlyn

Departing view of Ynys Y Fydlyn
No jackdaws this time, just large gulls circling.
Other highlights of my trip to Ynys Y Fydlyn include

  • Spotting a large bird, an osprey, I think, perched on a fence, which then flew off at my approach, but was back there when I next passed by.
  • Watching a large kestrel hover, dive after a swallow, miss it, hover again, disappear behind a ridge of bushes, reappear with something small--a field mouse?--in its talons.
  • Enjoying flights of swallows, for days now, swooping, dipping, weaving above fields and meadows.
I returned to my car relaxed and blessed and drove back to Cemaes Bay. The local fish 'n' chips shop had closed minutes before my arrival, so I settled for a pub meal and went back to my room for some writing and emailing.

As always, I hope you’re enjoying these posts and I welcome any comments.

Cofion cynnes



Eflyn said...

Must remark on the wonderful colours of the pictures you take Earl - beautiful.

Earl Livings said...

Haia Eflyn, Diolch. It's partly me, but mostly the glorious Welsh landscape itself. All I'm trying to do is capture it for inspiration. I hope all is well with you. Hwyl, Earl