24. Day Six in Llwyngwril: A Museum and a Bird Sanctuary, Machynlleth

Decided the “town” I would visit whilst in Gwynedd would be Machynlleth (pronounced Mack-EN-kleth, most people just say “Mack”). There is a modern art museum focusing on Welsh artists, cafes and bookstores, and a bit up the road by bus, a bird preserve!

The day started out rainy, and remained so for most of the day, off and on. A few blocks from the train station, I ducked in here. Quintessential used bookstore. You can smell it, can’t you?

And a little further on, this lovely churchyard.

Thought I’d give it the Goth treatment.
Almost every town, large and small, has a WWI/WWII memorial.

The Machynlleth MOMA is housed in an old chapel, and they’ve done a grand job of keeping the architecture intact. It’s a beautiful space.

Ynysmarchog, Aneurin Jones
The Legend of Saint Melangell, Dorie Schrecker
Legends, tapestry by Martin Weatherhead. Watch this YouTube about the making of this remarkable work, inspired by an ancient Welsh tale. See astounding detail below.

There are so many uniquely talented artists in the world, and traveling is a grand way to get to know them a little bit. Visit museums and galleries wherever you go! I am in love with Geoff Yeomans and Philip Hucken as a result of this museum visit, and I had never heard of them before this day.

In his long life as an artist, Yeomans worked in an amazing range of styles. I’ve seen him described as a photorealist, but a journey through some of his works shows he is not easily classified. This series, commenting on male and female body image, just blew my mind. Embiggen for amazing detail. He painted these in the 1980’s.

Philip Hucken’s work is realistic in the way that Georgia O’Keefe’s is, drawing your eye to texture and detail in nature that make it seem surreal. Hucken’s paintings all have a depiction of human impact, but the humans are long gone from the picture. Perhaps I love his work because I saw these hills and stones and ruins everywhere in my walks, and I’m really drawn to them.

And I loved this sculpture and forgot to get the artist info!
High Street and stormy sky.
I found the vegan blackboard restaurant! Tŷ Medi.
Lots of great art and a mellow vibe.
Dang, this was really good. One of the best meals of my trip.

On the train ride to Llwyngwril from Hereford, I met a delightful woman from the area who strongly recommended I visit the Ynys-hir RSPB site (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). It is about 5 miles north of Mach, so I found the bus that goes past and hopped on. A very nice bus it was, and photo-worthy.

It was a short ride, so I didn’t ascend to the second deck.
A lovely stream.
First hairy coos of the trip!
Welsh poppies.
A train runs through it.
Red kite. One of the few birds I actually *saw,* though I certainly heard a lot!
Very distinctive shape in the sky.
From the wetlands viewing hide. Mostly Canada Geese, but I did spot some herons, egrets, and pochard ducks.
Easy pickins.

I was rained upon quite heavily toward the end of this outing, and still had to walk to the bus stop (on a busy road). Getting out of the way of a car on the narrow road leading from the Preserve, I stepped into the hedgerow and got my feet entangled in some vines. Down I went, digging my elbow into my ribs. I was reminded of this fall for weeks to come. Ouchie.

I was happy to get home and make absolutely no plans whatsoever for the next couple of days.

20 May, 2022

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