Am dywydd mawr!
Rydych chi wedi bod yn anfon adroddiadau tywydd cymysg iawn i fi dros yr wythnosau diwethaf! Cwympodd llawer o eira mewn rhai ysgolion, ond dim mewn ysgolion eraill. Da iawn chi i gyd am anfon eich adroddiadau drwy gydol y tywydd rhewllyd.
Eira mân eira mawr …
Dyma nifer o ysgolion yn cofnodi eira…St. Mary's Catholic Primary School, Ysgol Bwlchgwyn, Ysgol Gynradd Glyncollen, Stanford in the Vale Primary School, Thorneyholme RC Primary School, Coppull Parish Primary School, Freuchie Primary School, Balcurvie Primary School, Ysgol yr Eglwys yng Nghymru Gladestry ac RAF Benson Primary School.
Dyma rhai ysgolion yn dweud wrtha i eu bod nhw ar gau oherwydd yr eira... Manor Primary School, St Joseph's Primary School, Ysgol Gynradd yr Eglwys yng Nghymru Henllys, Ysgol Nant Y Coed, Ysgol Gynradd Rhydypennau ac Ysgol Gynradd Rogiet!
Dyma rhai ysgolion yn gweld ychydig bach o eira, neu ddim eira o gwbl... Diolch i Stepping Stones Short Stay School ac Ysgol Iau Aberdaugleddau am eich adroddiadau.
Ers yr eira, mae nifer o ysgolion wedi cofnodi gwyntoedd uchel, stormydd a llawer o law, ond wrth edrych drwy’r ffenest galla i weld yr haul yn tywynnu – dyna dywydd amrywiol mewn ychydig wythnosau! Mae’r egin cennin Pedr a crocws talaf yn yr ardd yn 7cm o daldra erbyn hyn. Pa mor dal yw eich egin chi?
Cyngor Craff mewn tywydd rhewllyd: Os oes eira neu rew yn eich mesurydd glaw, dewch ag e i’r ystafell ddosbarth i doddi cyn cofnodi. Cofiwch arllwys y d?r allan ar ôl iddo doddi a’i roi yn ôl y tu allan!
Eich cwestiynau, fy atebion:
St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth) Our school was closed last Friday because of snow so we couldn't get in to check on our freezing bulbs. We have noticed, however, that one of our bulbs has started growing whilst the others are snug underneath the compost in their pots. We tried to think about why this might have happened and wondered whether it is because that particular bulb was planted by you, Prof. Plant and maybe you have encouraged it to grow!? We are pleased to see that the weather has got a bit warmer and are hoping that this means that our bulbs will start to grow. We are very keen to see them flowering! Prof P: Thanks St Joseph’s! Well, I am very green fingered! It’s very exciting waiting for your flowers to arrive isn’t it?
Rogiet Primary School The bulb pots were full of snow this week, we were worried they would die but Mrs Carter said they would be all right! Prof P: Don’t worry, Mrs Carter is right, they are very hardy little plants so I’m sure they will be okay.
Ysgol Nant Y Coed We are sorry for sending the records late because school was closed because of the snow last Friday. Prof P: No problem! Thank you for sending them in when you could.
Stanford in the Vale Primary School Wow... what a bitter cold week, and all the snow we have had! All our bulbs are completely covered in snow... and more snow is expected tonight! Monday's snow/rainfall was frozen, so we brought the recordings inside and allowed to melt! (We hope this was the correct thing to do!) :-) Prof P: Well done Stanford in the Vale that was exactly the right thing to do!
Gladestry C.I.W. School We have started measuring the few bulbs that have come out. The daffodils and mystery bulbs have come out; we think the mystery bulbs are snowdrops, as they have grown very fast. Prof P: That’s a very good guess!Keep watching them and let me know if your guess is right.
Balcurvie Primary School One of the extra bulbs that we planted in a pot and left it in the classroom has began to sprout! We were all very excited. We have also had a very wet week! Prof P: That is exciting Balcurvie! I hope you enjoy watching it grow. I wonder when your outdoor bulbs will catch up?
SS Philip and James Primary School We thought it went well except we forgot to pour out the water once so we counted the amount of water added on the next day. We enjoy doing it, Phil and Jim Team. Prof P: That’s okay, thanks for letting me know and keep up the good work. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.
Ysgol Y Ffridd Dim Record Dydd Iau oherwydd ysgol wedi cau (Dim Dwr yn yr ysgol). Prof P: Athro’r Ardd: Diolch am y wybodaeth gan Ysgol Y Ffridd. Gobeithio bod y d?r wedi trwsio erbyn hyn.
Darran Park Primary 42 of the bulbs have sprouted. Prof P: Gosh that’s a lot! Well done Darran Park Primary.
Ysgol Porth Y Felin To pp, plants are all ok the temperature rised alot on Tuesday! there was a storm on Saturday night so there was loads of rain on Monday. Happy planting!!! Prof P: Great reporting Ysgol Porth Y Felin, hopefully all that rain will help your plants to grow.
Rhydypenau Primary School A very interesting week of weather! Prof P: I agree!
Diolch yn fawr
Falkland Islands 2013: February 4th update
I ended up sampling two different shores at Hill Cove, one below the main settlement and the other at the far east end of Byron Sound by the West Lagoons area (Photo 1). Each was slightly different although fairly low in diversity with clean fine sand. In between those I also went to Shallow Bay (Photo 2) which was further east and north and very rocky. Here I found some interesting worms that I don’t think I had seen elsewhere under the rocks and in crevices. As the tides have been getting later the morning tides have been gradually creeping towards more viable times themselves. The second shore in Hill Cove was actually visited very early in the morning although I must admit my dedication to getting up before breakfast nearly waned when I heard rain lashing against the window. Luckily that passed and I did make it out.
Saturday morning dawned bright and still and the tide was slightly more sociable at 9am and, being a 5 minute walk down the hill, did not require too early a start. This was Port Howard where we were due to get the ferry back to the east in the afternoon, so a last easy site was a good way to finish. By mid-morning the wind had picked up and by lunchtime I had a feeling the ferry ride might be a little ‘lumpy’ but so long as we got back across the sound I didn’t care. Commerson’s Dolphins saw us off, playing in the waves alongside the ferry, a nice farewell (Photo 3). The trip was indeed lumpy but less than 2 hours later we were back in New Haven and after another 2 hours were in a very wet and blowy Stanley. Photo 4 shows the locations of the sampling sites.
The tour around West Falkland has been very successful with a range of different sites visited from all a around the coastline and I have collected some very good samples. Highlights that stand out were the large lugworms at Port Stephens (Photo 5) and the densely packed onuphidae colonies that occur in patches on many of the sandy shores (Photo 6). I have also seen many animals that I am sure I did not collect on the previous trip so that bodes well for the final species list.
Back at the office I set to finishing packing the precious samples. I had been regularly keeping up with changing the fluids in the pots while I was travelling and even sealing them up and putting them into small bags ready so as to make the packing process quicker. In no time at all I had 6 boxes packed and taped up. This was more than I had been expecting to have considering I have already sent 3 boxes back and I didn’t think the lady in the post office would be very happy to see me! Certainly I don’t think I gave her a good start to a Monday morning.
With my flight early tomorrow morning I only have today left here to wrap everything up. I’ve visited 23 different sites around both East and West Falkland over the last four weeks and after this second trip my map of sites looks much more comprehensive with points all around the coastline. Hopefully the eventual species list, together with a voucher collection that will be returned to the islands, that will come out of the project will enable future researchers out here to make better and more accurate identifications of this important group.
I have a radio interview this afternoon with the local station to talk about the research I am doing so that will be a good opportunity to explain to more people the purpose behind the visit.
So it just remains for me thank all of the islanders out here for their help, support and cups of tea during the trip (particularly those that helped and supported my car and supplied brake fluid).
The project also could not have continued without the support and assistance of the Shackleton Scholarship Fund and the Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Thank you all!
How more sales can mean less revenue
And they're here: for the first time, we have figures for a year of e-book sales, supplied directly by publishers. It's still far from the whole picture, as not all e-book figures are available. But we now have a much better idea of what the book-buying landscape looks like in the UK.
The figure that stands out is that e-book sales are now up to 13%-14% of all book sales. However, as their prices are cheaper, that's only 6%-7% of revenue. Print book sales are down again, by 3.4% on 2011, as are average prices.
The e-book market is still dominated by fiction, and those e-book figures track the print figures. That is, if a book sells well in print, it also does well in e-book. The stand-out example is a particularly, shall we say, shady trilogy, whose e-book sales are about 36% of the print sales. Could the success of the e-book version of these titles lie, I wonder, in the fact that no-one can see what you're reading on your Kindle...?
So, it's mixed news: more books were bought in 2012, but because more of them were e-books, publishers made less money. Good news for reading, less so for publishing.
Meanwhile, here at Amgueddfa Cymru our journey into 'e' continues...
With thanks to The Bookseller for the sales figures.
Cyfri dyddiauï¿½r Crocws!
Mae’r crocws yn dechrau blodeuo ddiwedd mis Ionawr, felly bydd eich planhigion chi’n blodeuo unrhyw ddiwrnod! Am gyffrous! Cofiwch edrych ar eich planhigion crocws bob dydd i weld os yw’r blodau wedi agor a chofnodi’r dyddiad a thaldra’r planhigyn.
Bydd blodyn y crocws yn borffor gydag anther a stigma oren (y rhannau yng nghanol y petalau). Gallan nhw dyfu i daldra o 10cm.
Peidiwch â phoeni os nad yw’r blodau wedi ymddangos eto! Bydd y tywydd oer a’r eira dros yr wythnosau diwethaf wedi arafu’r broses. Wrth i’r tymheredd gynhesu gall y blodau ymddangos yn sydyn, felly cadwch lygad arnyn nhw!
Diolch yn fawr
Falkland Islands 2013: January 31st update
It turns out that the car is not due to recover quickly and has been declared ‘unserviceable’ (a word that brought twinges of déjà vu and memories of my flight out). A replacement has been promised.
Still, I have a car on loan for now which got me to Crooked Inlet, a large winding creek on the southern side of the same peninsula I sampled yesterday. As with many such sheltered creeks the sediment was soft muddy sand and there were many promising holes and tubes poking out from even high up the shore. The creek is very flat and so the tide retreated quickly, so quickly that at one point I actually watched it move away from me. As the ground was so flat I spaced my sampling out with quite long distances between the locations, each time moving down to where the edge of the tide was at that moment. However the fauna at each location did not seem to change appreciably although I did notice that as I moved down, the animals increased in size, with the juveniles obviously staying higher up the shore and the adults being lower down. The soft muddy sand was home to some very large specimens of several different groups including orbiniids, maldanids, terebellids and lumbrinerids. The most interesting find of the day though was a species of nereid (ragworms) that I had not yet seen during this trip and had only found previously at three sites on East Falkland in 2011. This species is in fact a new, currently undescribed species that I was working on from the previous material before coming out here so it was great to find another site for it.
The speed at which the tide had retreated had led me to decide that it would be prudent to return up the shore 20-30 minutes before low tide was due in case it moved back in at the same speed. This marvellous plan however was scuppered by the tide deciding to turn half an hour early just as I had decided to try and sieve some sediment from the last site. As the site disappeared under water I retreated to my previous site with the oystercatchers jeering behind me and stubbornly sieved some there instead, all the while keeping a watchful eye on the line of water creeping its way towards me. Sieving done I retreated fully, albeit slowly, up the inlet back to the car.
At this moment I am watching the rain fall, hoping it stops by this afternoon otherwise it will be a wet trip to the beach later. I’m staying local today and sampling the main, large bay in Hill Cove. I saw it last night on my way back in from Crooked Inlet and it looked interesting with different rocky and sandy sections to it so I’m looking forward to investigating the life down there tonight.
Falkland Islands 2013: January 30th update
Communication with the outside world has been sadly lacking for the last few days as I drive around West Falkland. Mobile coverage only extends to Port Howard and Fox Bay which is where I was able to send a text update from. Since then, mobile and internet access haven’t existed. I am now in Hill Cove, on the north coast of West Falkland where my hosts have been generous enough to allow me access to their broadband.
Getting here has been a long journey in more ways than one. From Fox Bay, I travelled to Port Stephens on the far southwest tip of the island and visited the charmingly named Moonlight Bay. A flat sandy bay with a rich array of animals in both sand and rocky outcrops I then encountered the largest lugworm I have ever seen, measuring 30cm in length!
Only slightly further north but with an opposing aspect, I went to South Harbour. Mostly rocky but with a small soft sandy section enclosed by the rocks I found some interesting crevices to explore as well as a bright orange sponge growing on the surface of many of the shaded overhangs which had fanworms embedded in it.
A long drive back north, past Fox Bay, brought me to Little Chartres Farm, the only place I have stayed in that was not part of my sampling list. The farm is located at the top of the Chartres River which then heads west widening into a large estuary which was my sampling target. A short drive took me to Chartres settlement where I could walk down on to a large open shore with large areas of flat rocky ridges as well as a lot of very soft muddy sand, soft enough to sink into slightly but not disappear! Again, the variety of habitats on the shore provided me with lots of sampling opportunity. The soft sediment harboured some large mobile animals as well as many tubes with worms inside. There were so many animals to try and lok at that I sieved a few spadefuls of the sediment and kept everything retained so I could be sure of making as good an account of what was living there as possible. After leaving the shore at Chartres I then also stopped off on my way back to Little Chartres to have a look at the shore further up the river. There were some worms here but as far as I could tell only of a genus called Boccardia. These worms I have commonly found in most high shore regions and areas closer to freshwater input where the salt content is much more variable than further down a creek or estuary. I did of course collect a few for comparison anyway just to be sure they really were the same!
Northward travel resumed and I headed towards the northeastern tip of the island at Dunbar. The owners directed me further along the road to Hot Stone Cove Creek, a long, narrow bay which, as the tide receded, completely emptied out to leave an expanse of sand leading out to an exposed rocky point. The sand harboured an enormous population of lugworms (but not a population of enormous lugworms this time) but there was also a large diversity of other polychaetes squeezed in amongst them. The rocky headland was also interesting as on the exposed side the rocks were thickly covered in a pink encrusting alga which formed fairly loose crusts. Such crusts can provide a great habitat for animals such as worms so some sections of that went into a pot for investigation. After finishing on the shore my destination was the settlement at Hill Cove where I am staying now for a few days.
It was at this point however that circumstances went downhill rather disturbingly. Without going into long detail, the car I was driving started having a very bad day. This is not what you want when you are on a road that probably sees an average of less than one car a day and the nearest house is several miles away. In a stressful drive involving leaking brake fluid and an overheating engine I limped into Hill Cove which I knew would be the best place to be for help as I would have access to phones, internet and importantly an airstrip for help and, if necessary, car parts to get to me. Magically, the person who hired me the car turned out to have a partner here in the settlement who has taken the car away fixed one problem and is getting a part flown in to fix the other and promised me a spare car to use this afternoon so I can keep my sampling on track as I head west and slightly south to Crooked Inlet. Tomorrow my plan was to stay by the settlement to sample here so a car is not essential and hopefully by then the car will be well again!
The launch of 'Wallace 100'
On the evening of Thursday 24th January I was fortunate to be invited to the Natural History Museum in London. The event was for the unveiling of a portrait of the intrepid explorer and brilliant naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace by comedian and fellow naturalist Bill Bailey.
The painting was donated to the NaturalHistoryMuseum in 1923 to mark the 100th anniversary of Wallace's birth but was moved in 1971. It has now been restored and returned to its original position on the main stairs of the Central Hall, near to the Charles Darwin statue.
The unveiling of the painting also marked the official launch of Wallace100 and the Wallace Letters Online website, both of which are part of the celebrations for this year's centenary anniversary of Wallace's death.
Some famous names of the natural science world were in attendance at the launch including Sir David Attenborough, whose hand I got to shake!
A number of organisations in Wales, including Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, will be joining the Wallace 100 celebrations. The museum is planning a number of activities and events to run alongside our exhibition planned for later this year. Keep an eye on our website for further information.
Plant mewn Amgeuddfeydd
Ar 31 Rhagfyr, caewyd yr orielau yn Sain Ffagan: Amgueddfa Werin Cymru er mwyn gwneud lle ar gyfer gofodau addysg ac oriel newydd sy’n rhan o waith ailddatblygu yr Amgueddfa a ariennir gan Gronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri.Yn ystod project ‘Plant mewn Amgueddfeydd' diweddar, gofynnwyd i ddisgyblion o Ysgol Coed y Gof, Caerdydd, pa wrthrychau ddylai gael eu dangos yn yr orielau a pham.
Falkland Islands 2013: January 26th update
Thursday: New Haven
Windy,cold, rocky gravelly shore. Watcghed by penguins, attacked by a tern!
Friday: Fox Bay West
Galeforce winds, driving rain, numb hands! Sandy shore, lots of lugworms, very long Orbiniids (20cm) but not much else. Onshore wind holding tide in.
(Text update rather than email)
Falkland Islands 2013: January 25th update
No sampling today and very glad I was too as a torrential hailstorm (photo 1) battered the office windows! A third parcel is now with the post office and will hopefully be winging its way up the Atlantic by the end of the week. The rest of today has been spent preparing for my trip to West Falkland tomorrow. I will be over there for 10 days touring my way around the island to try and get as good coverage of the shoreline as I can. As my choice of shores is largely dictated by the existence of roads by which to reach them and places I can stay my choice of sites was fairly restricted but I think I have a fairly good itinerary.
The ferry goes from New Haven to Port Howard in the evening which gives me time to catch the tide in New Haven just after lunch (why miss an opportunity?!). I’ll then be travelling south down the east coast to Fox Bay, further south and west to Port Stephens before turning north to South Harbour. From there I keep heading north this time up the west coast, stopping in at Chartres and Roy Cove before reaching Dunbar in the northwest. From Dunbar I will move along the north coast to Hill Cove, West Lagoons and Shallow Bay before heading back to Port Howard and digging a few holes there for good measure. Then its back to Stanley, get the last parcels on their way home before packing myself off too. Photo 2 shows the locations of the various sites.
It will certainly be interesting to visit the shores on the west and see if there is any obvious difference in the fauna there, particularly as I get up to the northwestern areas. That part of the islands is affected by more northerly temperate currents rather than the colder southerly currents dominating the southeast so potentially there may be many different species there.
Internet access is unlikely for most of the tour although I am hoping to be able to send short updates for the blog whenever possible by text to report any notable events!