Cymraeg

Hello Bulb Buddies,

Thank you for all the work you have done so far and for sharing your photos! It was extremely hard to choose just five winners. The chosen photos are from schools in Wales who are not participating in the Edina extension projects. If you are participating in the Edina Trust extension projects then your photo has been entered into that competition, and the Edina Trust will announce winners soon.

Here are the winning schools:

 

Severn Primary School

Ysgol Trellech

Ysgol San Sior

Ysgol Abererch

Ysgol Pennant

 

Your prizes will be posted to you soon. Well done Bulb Buddies.

I’d like to send a big thank you to all the schools that have shared photos with us. It has been lovely to see the work that you have been doing, so please continue to share your photos!

Some lovely comments were sent in with the weather data entries this week. It has been very interesting to read your observations. Here are my favourites:

 

Your comments

YGG Tonyrefail: Mae wedi bod yn wythnos sych iawn....a very dry week Professor Plant!

Ysgol Tal y Bont: Mae'n oeri yn araf yn nhal y bont wythnos yma yr athro planhigin

St. Charles Primary School: The weather this week was cold and mostly dry.

The Blake CE Primary School: It has been a bit damp this week especially at the end of the week. It is starting to feel a lot colder as winter is coming.

St Robert's R.C Primary School: It's been getting colder!!

Boston West Academy: We think the weather has been warmer than we would have expected for this time of year and there has been hardly any rain.

Darran Park Primary: We have noticed that the temperature has started to drop over the week. It has been mostly dry, however, there was a shower on Thursday night.

Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn: It was fun. There wasn't much rain.

Broad Haven Primary School: A dry sunny week cold in the mornings but warm by the afternoon. Rain expected this weekend -but only showers

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Monday we had no school. Enjoying looking at our planted bulbs! We have had some frosty mornings.

Carnbroe Primary School: We have had a sunny, dry but cold week. We have decided to make predictions about our bulbs and we are all excited to find out what will happen.

Henllys CIW Primary: We have had no rain and we have been allowed out to play!!!

Hudson Road Primary School: It has been really nice Autumn weather. We hope our bulbs are warm in the soil.

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: First frost of the Autumn this Wednesday!

Auchenlodment Primary School: We all enjoyed collecting the data and from next week we will work in pairs to collect the data.

 

Trellech Primary School: Thank you for letting us complete the bulb activity we really enjoyed taking our measurements. Diolch yn fawr.

Professor Plant: Thank you for taking part Bulb Buddies, I’m glad that you are enjoying the project!

 

Breckon Hill Primary School: We have measured the temperature and the rainfall in the location of the pots (front of the school) and in the flower beds (at the back of the school). We have noticed that it is slightly warmer at the front of the school as this area gets a little bit more sun.

Professor Plant: It’s fantastic that you are observing these differences and logging them Bulb Buddies! Which bulbs do you think will flower first?

 

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: This was our first week. Mr Kelly showed us what to do.

 

Barmston Village Primary School: We are noticing some liquid in the rain gauge when it has not rained. We think it is like the dew that has been on the grass as there is only a little bit of it.

Professor Plant: Hi Bulb Buddies, well done for noticing the liquid and questioning how it will have come to be in the rain gauge! I suspect that you are right and that the water is the result of dew forming inside the gauge. Air contains water vapour, and the higher the temperature the more water vapour it contains. When the temperature drops (as it often does overnight) the air cools and releases the water vapour it has been carrying. When surfaces or objects cool to the point that the air around them can no longer contain its level of water vapour, the air will condense and form droplets on the surface of the object. Fantastic Work Bulb Buddies!

 

Law Primary School: All pupils in Primary 5 have really enjoyed planting the daffodils and crocus. They are working in pairs to record rainfall and temperature each day.

On a bright and breezy Saturday morning in September an enthusiastic group of children and adults gathered at the Mumbles in wellies and hi-vis jackets ready for a Big Beachcomb.

The Beachcomb was the first activity of Swansea Museum’s Lost Treasures of Swansea Bay project, which is being funded by the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories project based at Amgueddfa Cymru.

Led by Paul Huckfield of the Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust and Mark Lodwick of the Portable Antiquities Scheme Cymru we set out with the retreating tide to see what treasures of Swansea’s past we could find.

Searching

The vast expanse of mud, sand, rocks and shallow pools did not look promising at first. But almost as soon as we had set off Paul was showing us the blackened and glistening remains of a prehistoric forest. Within another hour he had pointed out the sites of seven shipwrecks, old mooring points and other remains of Swansea’s maritime past.

On the surface of the shore we found hundreds of pieces of old pottery, metalwork, animal bones, glassware and pieces of clay pipe. A particularly evocative find was the base of a wine bottle, dating back to the 1600s.

The glass was thick, and so dark that you could only see its muddy green colour by holding it up to the sun. This was a high-status object - once, it would have held a decent vintage rather than plonk.

Collecting

When enough pieces had been collected in carefully labelled bags we laid them out on the slipway and sorted them into categories with the help of Paul and Mark – ceramics, glass and metalware, organic material.

Imagining

We speculated about who the objects had belonged to, when they were made, and how they ended up in Swansea Bay. Some, such as the bottle and some of the pots, were imported items – could they have been among the cargoes of one of the wrecked ships? Had the pipes been smoked by sailors and fishermen with wheezy chests? Were the bones the remains of their dinner?

Our treasures have now been taken back to Swansea Museum where they will be studied by the Young Archaeologists Club and used as inspiration for the Dylan Thomas Centre’s Young Writers Squad.

Look out for the next chapter in their history in a future blog.

This week we managed to combine cleaning floors with a fitness routine and aroma therapy.  Who said housework can't be Fun!


Hannah Glasse, writing in her 18th century books ‘Servant’s Directory ‘ and ‘Housekeeper’s Companion’, advised using green herbs to clean wooden floors.
We couldn't resist having a go and it just happened that the floorboards in our 18th century Kennixton farmhouse required a bit of attention.

Like us today in the conservation team, wetting floors to clean them was considered to be a bad idea in the 18th century. It would introduce damp into the house and excess water could damage furniture and precious soft furnishings and carpets. 
Hannah recommended taking green leaves of Tansy, Lemon balm, Mint and Fennel, all of which we have growing in abundance in the cottage gardens. The herbs are then strewn across the floor and rubbed in with a broom.  The oils are released and nourish the wood, while the moisture activates the dirt, which is then taken up by the leaves.


We left the floor to dry overnight before sweeping up the debris the next day. Hannah then recommends polishing the floor with a dry rubbing brush, which should bring the wood up to a fine brown colour, just like mahogany. 


The herbs would also impart a sweet smell creating a natural air freshener. An added bonus for us is that the herbs Hannah recommended are also natural pest repellents that we normally dry and use throughout the cottages to protect our woollen textiles from moth or carpet beetle attack, so hopefully the lingering aroma will also deter pests from making a home.


It worked! All that Hannah promised came true. Our wooden floors appeared darker and shinier and the smell was amazing, we’ll definitely be doing this again.
 

Hi Bulb Buddies!

I hope you all enjoyed your half term holidays!

I want to say a big thank you for all your hard work on planting day. You helped to plant 13,829 bulbs across the country! And from the photos I’ve seen, it looks like you all had a great time doing it!

Weather records should be kept from 1st November. So please make sure that your thermometer and rain gauge are in a suitable place next to your bulbs so that you can take weather readings tomorrow afternoon!

It’s a good idea to practise taking readings beforehand. You can do this by adding water to the rain gauge, noting the measurement and then checking that everyone has taken the same reading!

There is a resource on the website to help you prepare for taking Weather Records. I’ve attached this here in case you haven’t already seen it! This resource helps you to answer important questions, such as ‘why rain fall and temperature readings are important to our investigation into the effects of climate on the flowering dates of spring bulbs’!

Use your Weather Chart to log the rain fall and temperature every school day. At the end of the week, log into the Spring Bulbs website to add your weekly findings. You can also leave comments or ask questions for me to answer in my next Blog!

Schools taking part in the Edina Trust Extension projects should also enter their weekly findings to the Edina Trust Moodle site.

Let me know how you get on! You can share photos with me via email or Twitter.

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Professor Plant

It’s a strange sensation, being guided across a street blindfolded. Time slows. Distance is distorted, directions skewed. You become acutely aware of changes in the surface under your feet; shadows; things unseen brushing past your arm or cheek.

Being the guide is less disorientating but can be just as strange. Knowing that you have complete responsibility for getting someone safely to their destination is unnerving. The street suddenly becomes your enemy. Cracks and kerbs, streetlamps, benches, bins become anxiety-inducing obstacles – and don’t get me started on the cars!

The training was delivered by our friends at Cardiff Institute for the Blind, who have been helping us pilot our audio description tours for blind and visually impaired visitors. We wanted to practice our guiding skills, but also to experience what it’s like to be guided without vision in an unfamiliar environment.

Our trainers, Michelle and Sian, also gave us helpful insight into the day-to-day challenges of living with a visual impairment and the array of tools and technologies that are available to help. We were given a selection of simi-specs, which simulate the symptoms of common eye conditions, and asked to do everyday tasks like read, write and count out coins from a purse.

Sian gave us a valuable account of her experience living with a visual impairment, and the role of the lovely Arnie, not just a guide dog but a lifelong companion and friend.

Everyone agreed that the training was a positive experience on many levels, and although we realise that what we experiences is not directly comparable to the experience of people with sight loss, it felt that we all came away understanding a bit more. And after guiding our colleagues across a city centre street in the rain, the prospect of guiding people around the Museum safely is far less scary!

Our audio description tours run once every other month. For more information and future dates, please call (029) 2057 3240.