Magical day part 2

Saturday, August 07, 2010

After a semi-healthy lunch (we did walk a lot so we could justify the super hand made chips - honest!!) we then headed off to St Johns. This is the location of Tynwald Hill where our parliament holds its annual Tynwald day ceremony, a very important feature of Manx life. We're very proud of our heritage as world leaders where government is concerned. In 1979 the island celebrated 1000 years of continuous government, Tynwald.

One of the ways of marking the millennium was to create the National Arboretum at St Johns. I'd never visited before because dogs aren't allowed.

What a surprise met us! We had no idea how lovely this place is.

Different areas are named after the various parishes of the island. Trees were planted at the time by royalty and political figures from around the world and they are now coming to maturity. Their shade was welcome on this warm afternoon.

We were surrounded at every turn by very tame wildfowl, mainly ducks and chickens. We saw a hilarious episode of cockerels racing down one of the avenues, all trying to out run and out crow each other! They weren't at all nervous of us humans.

We found this nest of 'teenage' chicks under a tree root.

We watched, mesmerised by about 8 chicks all snuggled up and writhing around each other. At last the mother hen appeared from underneath them but at that point the cockerel, who'd been patiently eyeing us up for 10 minutes, decided we'd seen enough of his family and he shooed them away to the undergrowth to protect them. He was indeed a formidable dominant presence but he wasn't at all aggressive towards us, just a strong protective male doing his job.

After sitting for a while in the sun laughing at the antics of the hundreds of ducks, moor hens and choughs in and around the lake and around our feet, we decided it was time to move on to our last destination.

Part 3 coming soon to a blog near you!

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