It's just struck me how much this hillock reminds me of a Kay Nielsen painting that I love - the one called 'And then she lay on a little green patch in the midst of a gloomy thick wood'.
In the painting the hill is covered in little flowers. I bet this was too, back in the spring, but the ferns and the grasses were the main attraction on this September day and we were drawn there to eat our picnic.
We are in Newborough Forest in Angelsey following a path through the forest to the sea, looking out for red squirrels on the way.
I love studying the Ordnance Survey maps when we go somewhere new (my Dad was a geography teacher) and this place looked so interesting on paper. Miles of forest laced with paths, big sand dunes, a long beach and a little island that juts off the coast. The mountain views were a surprise that I hadn't considered when map reading.
As we got closer to the sea, the paths became sandier and sandier. Dean recalled his first memory of a sand dune beach and his two year old self thinking it was as soft as ice cream!
As we climbed the sandy hill of the dunes it opened out to reveal a calm, silvery sea and the misty blue mountains of Snowdonia.
Swimming was irresistible. The water like a still lake. There were no waves to navigate, no jellyfish in sight and swimming with the mountains in the distance was magic.
And then we wrapped up in our new toweling beach hoodies (that have revolutionised getting changed on the beach) and mooched about, looking in tidal pools and marveling at seaweed.
At a glance we thought this seaweed had suckers on it. Zooming in, we find tiny shells!
Graphic grey and white pebbles were the theme of the day!
Now you might think, that all the forest walking and the cool swimming and the beach combing might have been enough for one day, especially after we had topped it off with an ice cream at the beach car park BUT there was a whole little island left to explore.
So we carried on, studying the marram grass on the way
and crunched up the shingly paths of Llanddwyn island.
The island has a lighthouse and a monument and the very old ruins of a church, all steeped in history and stories
and set against craggy rocks, sandy shores and big sea views.
But it was the plants that got my attention.
The delicate, fading sea thift,
the queen anne's lace seed heads
and kept me amused.
We spotted cormorants on this little island. They are familiar to me as we have one (or a pair maybe) that visits Hebden and fishes in the river near the school. They often capture the attention of bird watchers with big camera lenses as they look a bit unusual here in town.
There was lovely evening light as we walked back along the beach with our bare feet in the sea, watching the sun illuminate the mountains, one by one, putting them in their own spotlight for a minute or two. It was tempting to swim all over again as the sea looked delicious but we headed home to find some fish and chips instead.
We realised we hadn't seen a single red squirrel but we certainly saw a lot!