Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Exploring Wales, Part 2: Not-Quite-Wildlife

One of the coolest parts about our recent trip to Wales was that we saw animals everywhere we went. Not all of them strictly counted as wildlife, so I guess I'm veering a little off topic with this post... but these creatures entertained us greatly, and I think that makes them worth sharing. :)

From the little bit we saw, Wales seems to be a land of sheep. So much of the countryside (even right outside town) was fields dotted with these white puffy mammals. We had fun seeing the sheep, of course, but even better was the fact that we were visiting during lamb season, and just about every field had a few (or several) of the smaller frolicking creatures:

And they were definitely frolicking! Such cute babies!

One more picture of this pair, with a little pink tongue for extra cuteness:

These first pictures are from the inland town of Dolwyddelan, but we saw sheep on the coast as well. This mom and her very young baby (a few days old? less?) were at a farm way at the top of the Great Orme, a hunk of land surrounded by cliffs that juts out into the ocean at the town of Llandudno:

The wind gusts were super intense on the day we visited the Great Orme -- I actually got blown off course by several feet at one point -- and this poor baby was having a hard time standing up:

Eventually it gave up on the whole walking thing and plunked down in the grass to rest:

The Great Orme is also home to another group of large fuzzy mammals: feral Kashmir goats that have been roaming this place since the late 19th century. We were lucky enough to get to see these fancy creatures on our visit -- just look at those horns, and that long fur!

These goats apparently help with conservation on the Great Orme because they graze away the tough competitive plants, and this makes room for rarer and more delicate wildflowers to grow in this unusual limestone environment. It wasn't yet wildflower season when we visited, but we were more interested in seeing the goats anyway. :P

The goats made quite a sight as they ambled across rocky fields bordered by cliffs and ocean (the goats are the little white dots in this picture):

It's a good thing goats are so sure-footed -- I would definitely be afraid of tumbling over the edge if I were standing where these three goats were:

Some of the goats came quite near the road where we were walking, and we got to admire them up close:

I'm a big fan of all that hair, and this one even has bangs:

Another goat. Hello!

Long fur and strong wind makes for some dramatic poses:

Overall, Wales was completely awesome, and I definitely could've stayed longer. Wonderful scenery, friendly people, interesting history, and cool animals... I'd call that a successful vacation for sure!

And now, back home in Connecticut, spring is in full swing but I haven't even gotten a chance to go for a walk in the woods yet. Next on the agenda: Catch up with the local spring happenings!


  1. What a lovely trip, the sheep, lamb and the goats are all wonderful. I would count them as wildlife too. I love all the critters, great shots!

    1. Thanks, Eileen! Yes, I certainly thought these animals felt like a part of the "wild" country, even if they were tagged/managed/etc. It was great to see, and very different from the suburban area where I live!

  2. Are the goats wild, or are they herded like the sheep? Very cool animals!

    1. I think the goats are allowed to wander all over, but I did read that they're managed for population. (Some of the lady goats are on birth control, essentially.) Most sources describe these goats as "feral," which basically means "wild" to me!