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Mother’s Day

Sara Maidment, 11 March 2015

Treat your Mam this Mother’s Day with a gift from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales shop

Give your Mam a cwtch or say da iawn for being so great with our smart new denim shopping and make up bags.  Made from hard wearing dark denim with a pop of candy colour. Grab a discount and get £6 off when you bag both the large and small bag.

Made exclusively for Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

We love this painting by Charles Sims called The Kite. Have a look at our online print on demand service for this and other beautiful images of mothers and children that we can have printed for you and delivered straight to your door.

This lovely double drop brass necklace has been made exclusively for us by Cardiff based jewellery company Noa and features a striking detail from a late C19th Welsh quilt from our amazing collections at St Fagans National History Museum.  Browse this and other pieces of jewellery on our online shop.

This beautiful catalogue is of an exhibition of British landscapes from the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and includes works by Turner, Monet, Constable and Piper. A perfect gift for the art lover. Take a look at our books section for our complete list of publications about our stunning art collections.

Hacio'r Iaith - Cyflwyno Kate

Sara Huws, 10 March 2015

Ro'n i'n falch iawn (a braidd yn nerfus) i fynychu Hacio'r Iaith am y tro cyntaf dros y penwythnos. Mae'r diwrnod ar fformat barcamp - sy'n gofyn bod pawb yn dod â rhywbeth i'w drafod, ei gyfrannu neu'i gyflwyno. Canlyniad hyn oedd diwrnod llawn ymgysylltu, dysgu a hwyl - mi oedd bron bob sgwrs yn sesiwn yn ei hun, a mi ddysgais i gymaint am blatfformau a phrosiectau digidol Cymraeg. Dwi ar fy ffordd i sesiwn Digidol ar Daith, felly gobeithio y gallai bostio crynodeb fwy trylwyr o beth ddysges i yn fuan.

Er fy mod i wedi hen arfer siarad yn gyhoeddus, dyma fy sgwrs gyntaf ar ran yr adran ddigidol - ac am fy mod yn cyflwyno am @DyddiadurKate, roeddwn i'n awyddus i wneud argraff dda ar ran y tîm sy'n gweithio mor galed ar y prosiect. Cewch edrych dros fy sleidiau, a chrynodeb o'r sgwrs ar wefan Hacio'r Iaith. Cewch chwilio trwy #fwrlwm y dydd ar twitter hefyd.

Diolch i'r trefnwyr a'r cyfrannwyr am y croeso, ac am yr ysbrydoliaeth!

open grid format conference
cover of a diary from 1915
  • There are currently about 100 breeding ewes in the flock and we expect 150+ lambs.
  • Our ewes are 2 years old the first time they lamb.
  •  The gestation period for a sheep is 5 months:
  1. The ewes come into season in September.
  2. We put our rams in the field in with the girls on 1st October.
  3. Lambing will commence in the first week of March.
  4. We choose this schedule in order to have lambs on show in the fields for Easter.
  •  The pregnant ewes come in from the field just after Christmas for extra care, shelter and food. This is important for strong lamb development.
  • The ewes are all scanned in the New Year and we separate them into two groups:
  1. Those expecting a single lamb in one group.
  2. Those expecting twins or triplets in the other.
  • Normal presentation for a lamb to be born is head and forelegs first. If this is the case then the ewes can normally manage with no assistance. They will sometimes need help if the lamb is particularly big, or if it is coming the wrong way round.
  • Once they have given birth, the ewe and her lambs will be put into a separate pen:
  1. This allows the bonding process to happen.
  2. It prevents the ewes that haven’t lambed yet overenthusiastically ‘adopting/stealing’ someone else’s baby!
  3. They stay separate for 1-2 days.
  4. Weather permitting, healthy ewes and lambs can go out into the field after 3-5 days.
  •  It is normal for ewes to have blood and mucus around their back ends after giving birth.
  •  It is normal for new babies to sleep a lot - newborn lambs will sleep for 12-16 hours a day.
  • We will probably keep or sell most of the female lambs as pedigree breeding stock, most of the males will go for meat with a few of the best sold as breeding rams.
  •  Lamb on your plate is anything from 4-12 months old.

a llanwennog lamb takes it first steps

A newborn llanwenog lamb

newborn Llanwenog twins

A ninnau bron ar derfyn 3 mis cyntaf @DyddiadurKate, mae un ‘cymeriad’ wedi chwarae rhan blaenllaw iawn yng nghofnodion yr wythnosau diwethaf sy’n haeddu bach o sylw ar y blog – y peiriant dyrnu. Rhwng Ionawr a Mawrth 1915, bu’r peiriant hwn ar grwydr i sawl ffermdy gerllaw cartref Kate a’i theulu. Ynghyd â mynychu’r capel, corddi a chrasu, hynt a helynt y peiriant dyrnu yw un o brif weithgarwch y dyddiadur hyd yma. Ond diolch amdano. Arferion amaethyddol fel hyn sy’n gwreiddio’r dyddiadur o fewn cymuned a chyfnod.

18 Ionawr – Yr injan ddyrnu yn Llwyniolyn

23 Ionawr – Ellis yn Tynybryn gyda’r peiriant dyrnu

30 Ionawr – Y peiriant dyrnu yn Penycefn

2 Mawrth – Yr injan ddyrnu yn y Derwgoed

4 Mawrth – Ellis yn mynd i Fedwarian at y peiriant dyrnu

Yma yn Sain Ffagan, mae sawl un mwy cymwys na fi i drafod peiriannau dyrnu. Un o fy mhrif ddiddordebau i fel curadur yw hanes prosesau casglu – y dulliau hynny a ddefnyddwyd gan Iorwerth Peate, Ffransis Payne, Minwel Tibbott ac eraill i roi hanes Cymru ar gof a chadw. Mewn blog blaenorol, soniais am waith arloesol yr Amgueddfa ym maes cofnodi hanes llafar – bu Kate Rowlands ei hun yn destun sawl cyfweliad. Dull poblogaidd arall a fabwysiadwyd gan yr Amgueddfa i gasglu data oedd holiaduron a llyfrau ateb. Roedd y rhain yn cael eu gyrru at unigolion o fewn plwyfi yng Nghymru yn gofyn am wybodaeth benodol ynglyn ag arferion eu milltir sgwâr. Mae casgliad helaeth ohonynt yma yn trafod amrywiol bynciau – meddygyniaethau gwerin, arferion tymhorol ac ati. I’r un perwyl, mae gennym hefyd bentwr o lythyrau ac ysgrifau.

Tra’n chwilota am ddeunydd yn yr archif o ardal y Sarnau, Cefnddwysarn a bro @DyddiadurKate, fe ddes i o hyd i ysgrif gan Mary Winifred Jones o’r Hendre, Cwm Main. Bydd mwy ar y blog cyn hir am y teulu hwn – mae tad a brodyr Mary yn cael eu crybwyll sawl gwaith yn y dyddiadur. Ysgrif yw hon sy’n disgrifio ffotograff o ddiwrnod dyrnu ar fferm Pentre Tai’n y Cwm, Cefnddwysarn. Gallwch weld y llun a’r ysgrif fan hyn. Tybed os mai hwn yw’r peiriant dyrnu y mae Kate yn sôn amdano?

Ar fuarth fferm Seimon Davies Pentre Tai yn Cwm Cefnddwysarn y tynwyd y darlun hwn. Perchenog y peiriant oedd Morgan Hughes Bryniau Cynlas ar ol hyny. Bu y peiriant yn gyfrwyn i roi gwaith i amryw amaethwyr bychain yn ystod y gaeaf pan oedd ychydig yn dod i fewn am fod ganddo ychwaneg nag un peiriant yr oedd yn rhaid cael dau ddyn i ganlyn pob un sef y gyrwr ar porthwr…

Yr hyn sy’n dod yn amlwg wrth ddarllen atgofion Mary Jones, ac yn wir dyddiadur Kate Rowlands, yw pwysigrwydd cydweithio o fewn cymuned amaethyddol – cymdogion a ffrindiau, hen ac ifanc, yn cynorthwyo’i gilydd.

Seaweeds in Northumberland

Katherine Slade, 5 March 2015

On 19th February, I joined science curator Kate Mortimer-Jones to study marine life on the shores around Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland, not far from the border with Scotland. While Kate hunted for magalonid marine bristleworms, I looked at seaweeds. Much of England’s east coast is not particularly suitable for seaweeds; however, the rocky shores around Northumberland form plenty of ideal habitats.

It was early in the year, so I wasn’t expecting to see the seaweeds that die down for the winter (similar to annual and perennial flowering plants). I was also expecting a lower diversity here when compared with Welsh shores due to the colder climate. Species with south-western distributions that prefer a relatively warmer climate, such as Brown Tuning Fork Weed (Bifurcaria bifurcata), relatively common in Wales, do not grow as far north and east as Northumberland. With climate change, however, there is always the possibility that these southern species may expand their range further north. This is more likely for non-native species that are in the process of establishing in the UK, so I was on the look-out.

There are some seaweeds that only grow in the north of the UK, such as the Northern Tooth Weed (Odonthalia dentata) which is absent from Wales. I wanted to become familiar with these in the field rather than just seeing them as pressed specimens in our collections. It’s always exciting to find a species for the first time in the wild too.

Despite the time of year and the north-eastern location, the very sheltered shore was an excellent one for seaweeds and I documented a wide range of species. While it was important to collect specimens as a permanent back-up for records and for future research, I had to remind myself not to collect too many as they take a long time to process and I didn’t want to be up until the ‘wee hours’.

Preservation of the seaweeds involves several techniques depending on future use. To preserve the seaweed’s DNA for molecular analysis, the seaweed needs to be dried as quickly as possible in a bag with silica gel. Combining DNA characters with morphological ones (such as shape and colour) is sometimes the only way to be sure of an identification. To preserve 3D structure and some microscopic details well, a sample is placed in a tube with formaldehyde for fixation. Finally, the traditional and still most effective method for overall preservation is to press and dry the specimen, unfortunately this is the most time consuming process. You float each seaweed out onto paper, place nappy liners on top (a crucial part to stop the seaweed sticking to the paper above it), then place a piece of blotting paper underneath and on top and put it into a plant press. At least once a day, I swapped the wet blotting paper for dry and made sure the wet paper dried out quickly enough to be used in the next cycle. A lengthy procedure, but worth it for excellently preserved specimens that will be invaluable for future research.

I had access to a microscope with a camera attached and so was able to take close-up images of the seaweeds while they were fresh. These will be useful when looking at dried specimens back in the museum. Characters such as colour and 3D structure can be altered in the drying process, but will show up well in these photos. I also took lots of photos with a waterproof camera (it is too terrifying to take a non-waterproof camera onto the shore!) and I will share some more of these in my next blog.

Collecting Laver (Porphyra species), making sure the holdfast is collected for identification purposes

Some of the seaweeds recorded and collected from the lower shore

Reproductive features of Winged Weed (Membranoptera alata) recorded down the microscope

A pressed specimen of Stalked Leaf Bearer (Phyllophora pseudoceranoides)