Archive for April, 2012

Waterfall Trail

I cannot begin to describe how wet and horrible it is right here at the moment. Even the fish in my aquarium are taken aback! Of late its been really damp so I have no option to look back through some pictures. This time it’s another trail from when I was in Blackpool.

The top of the Ingleton Trail. Love the lines in the rock over yonder. Striations, I think?

This trail was from one extreme to the other. You may remember the blurred brook that I posted a couple of weeks back from it. Well, this image is only around 20 minutes up the hill (slower than most walk, thanks to my iffy knee…old war wound…of sorts) so the trails was very diverse. From this point, it was all down hill to where a gaggle of geography students were gathered. Not entirely sure what they were doing. The conditions were just right as you can see although I would have loved to have spent the afternoon wandering around.

Hmm, this'll come in handy for the pot of car park change....

Earlier in the walk, there was a new phenomena I am seeing more of. A “money tree”. Not sure what purpose it serves or whether it’s just a single person that starts it off hoping that others will follow. As you can see, it works. Must be one of the most lavishly decorated tree trunks I’ve seen. Probably worth all of about £20, as no-one seems to want to put more than 2p in! There was even a big rock left for you to smack in your loose change.

Here’s for some more sunsets next week, getting fed up of this rain and wind.

Addendum – I’m getting a little peeved with WordPress at the minute, as it is getting increasingly difficult to upload pictures. This is, after all, why I started to blog! The browser upload is useless and the tool given gives errors all the time. If this isn’t resolved soon (all the advice given I have tried but to no avail) I may have to withdraw my support and stop posting. This post has taken nigh on 50 mins when it used to take less than 5 mins! I have better things to do, like take the pictures in the first place.

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Ruins and Refinery

What a genius, just thought of that one. Just a couple more shots from the archives, this time. The first picture is none too old and I have since revisited the site with the new camera and when it was sunny. Being Wales you can never quite guarantee the weather so I’m afraid you’ll have to bear with the cloudy shots.

This is Llawhaden Castle, near Narberth. If any is wondering how you pronounce the name, the best way would be to insert a “C” where the first “L” is and pronounce it as you would pronounce the word “clown” to make Clow-haden. First Welsh word complete, well done! Lovely set of ruins here, bizarrely situated next to…I mean right next to…a residential home for the elderly called Castle View. Well, they would call it that as honestly you can’t see a hell of a lot else!

Ooooh, pretty lights.

This is my favourite (easiest) night shot around here, the refinery across the water from Neyland. At this time, the weather had been rubbish and there was a constant scud of low cloud over the site. I wondered what it would look like exposed for a length of time and this is the result. Pretty cool huh? If you look top middle, you might even spot a few stars poking through the cloud as it thinned. Orion maybe? Enjoy, see you soon.

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Sunset doesn’t have to be bright

I think I’ve aired my view on here that sunsets don’t need to be spectacular to be enough to hold my attention, take the following couple for example. It’s got to that time again when the days are longer and the sunsets are clearer but, on occasion, planes make them just a little better with decaying contrails.

Technically, this picture's awful. But I like to consider it a work of silhouette..

Now, I’m having issues with the new camera and these kind of shades. I don’t know quite what it is, but I can only conclude that my old camera was worse and the new one has a more sophisticated sensor (I’ve gone from 3 points of autofocus to 11). If anyone use a D3100 and can troubleshoot, let me know.

Don't you just love those little ripples? I could watch them for ages.

Until I work that out, this will probably be the last few cloudy dusk pictures you’ll get! No bad thing some may say, but it’s been a busy week at work and I couldn’t think of much else to post. If I have a brainstorm over the weekend, I’ll post another more interesting picture. sorry!

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Some pictures from “Up North”

My last trip away was to the sunny climes of Blackpool, on the Northwestern coast of the UK. I say sunny sarcastically, but the weather wasn’t half bad actually; the only time it rained was once and that was at night.

A lovely Yorkshire brook on a slow shutter

One of the trips out we had was to the Ingleton Waterfall Trail (more info here http://www.ingletonwaterfallstrail.co.uk/). Took a few minutes to do a nice smooth time-lapse of a small brook as well as my more normal snaps. getting there was a bit nerve-wracking for us country folk as there were no fewer than 8 speed cameras on the way there; no worries most would say but for someone who’s not used to them, they are horrible and I hate them with a passion (see pictures here by people who hate them just a little bit more than me; http://www.speedcam.co.uk/gatso2.htm). I would much rather talk to a person if I was caught speeding and what about the drunkard or other ne’er-do-wells they miss? All is well, as long as they weren’t speeding it appears.

Anyway, we also visited the Blackpool Zoo. Now, as a rule I am not a zoo person, but I’m not so naive to think that these animals are safer on the outside as they are clearly not, so I tolerate them and am happy to give them the entrance fee as long as they look after the animals. In this zoo, the conditions were fantastic, they even had open enclosures for small monkeys and lemurs that you could walk through. However, my other half, being one for anything small and cute, leant down to a monkey pursed her lips to make that squeaky noise…what does little monkey do? Presumes her finger is food and chomp! No blood but fair teeth marks. No lasting damage but I suspect she won’t do that again in a hurry.

We timed a number of the visits to certain areas right, as we got to see the sea-lions and penguins being fed as well as these gorgeous elephants. I’ve never been near an elephant but they are magnificent. Whilst we were there, no more than 15 foot away, this one made that low growling noise you hear on the nature programmes and it went straight through you, it felt like it bounced around your ribs! Quite an experience.

What a magnificent animal; I think that's a bit of squash being munched on here. Yum!

So, if anyone is in the area and fancies a well spent day, I’d recommend it. However, keep you hands in your pockets in the walk through enclosures!

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Some more Holiday snaps

No, this isn’t a new holiday that I have been on, I’m just revisiting an old one, the Rome trip. I was flicking through the pictures as it’s a cold, windy and wet day here in Pembrokeshire and I though some just needed to be posted. Thought it was brightening up a little while back but it appears I was wrong.

I’d forgotten how blooming hot it was whilst we were there until I found this set of the Forum and the associated ruins where I distinctly remember having to shade myself from the sun every few minutes, due to my inherent Northern European pastiness. If ever anyone fancies visiting, this really is the place to go first.

The Forum, what little you can fit in the camera lens! The Colosseum can be seen in the background.

This was my kind of place because, once you had wandered the streets looking at a myriad of ancient monuments…and I mean a myriad, the photos I took don’t do any justice at all…you could pick up a cool drink and sandwich from the regularly spaced vendors (none of whom were Italian or sold Italian food I’m disappointed to say, this was mine and my other halfs only real downer) and slink off to the best park ever, the Villa Borghese Gardens, seen below.

Welcome shade and a cool breeze in the Villa Borghese Gardens

Shady, above the roads, nothing more powerful than a hired pedal bike is allowed to pass through here so it was one of our regular quiet haunts. It reminded me very much of the big cities in Australia, where they all had parks in the centre. When I lived in Sydney, I spent almost every other evening in Centenary Park in Surry Hills. The ice-cream shop must have made a mint out of me!

However, it is sobering and right to remember that not all of us have the cash for a nice holiday. When I went for a walk of an evening, I spotted in the half light what I though was a pile of rubbish.

Did circumstances create this, or did the occupier choose to live here? I wondered quite hard.

Appears I was wrong, as it was someones “house”. He didn’t appreciate the attention either. I don’t speak Italian, but I suspect he wasn’t remarking on the weather. All this spitting distance from hotels and house with very expensive cars outside. Food for thought.

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Cloud effects & sunsets, I love them!

Now, a few of the more regular viewers (if there are any) will appreciate that I may spend more of my time looking up as opposed to where I am walking, hence the number of sunset pictures and such on the blog. Here’s a couple more I am afraid, so best skip this post if they don’t interest you!

Cloud shadows on the Preseli Mountains

This particular picture was taken on the Preseli Mountains (which have recently got some snow, despite a warm spell where my car thermometer showed 23C). Not quite sure what it shows exactly, but it looks pretty cool. From what research I could doo via Google, seem that the upper side of the cloud was very ragged and the sun just created some dramatic shadows. A simple phenomenon but still, very pretty.

Contrails and colour, the best kind of sunset.

Now, a good old Summer contrail sunset. I know we are meant to stare hatefully at people who take long haul trips (or at least you’d think so with the increase in taxes and protests) but if there weren’t planes about there would be the beautiful sunsets. It’s a bit backward I know, but keep them coming I say.

I have the new camera now, thanks to my colleague for taking on the old one so he can get back into photography with his grandchildren. It’s rather super dooper I must say, so I shall be having a play now that Spring and Summer are here. Keep posted. Next post will probably be a couple of pictures from my recent holiday in Lancashire….plenty of waterfalls and scenery, I recommend it!!

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