Some Summer skywatching and….groundwatching

Hello everyone,

I know, it’s been a few weeks since I posted but things to do, people to see as they say. At home, things are moving on. Jobs that should have been done months ago have been finished (better late than never) and the clean up after all the high winds over winter has begun. A number of the one tonne builders bags that usual contain sand or bricks have been travelling back and forth full of branches and leaf litter to the local “civic amenity site”…more commonly referred to as “the dump”. I think my father should consider charging for all the stuff he has passed on to be composted!

Had a trip out to look at Newgale beach this afternoon too. Some of you may have seen the BBC news cover this area due to the storms? Well, now it’s all died down, the beach has been massively eroded of sand…apparently some areas as much as 7 years equivalent in a few weeks. At Newgale this means a massive slab of ancient forest floor has been revealed. I have taken pictures and will post them forthwith but if anyone is nearby, it’s worth a trip.

Overall, things are looking greener, the sun is out more and the birds are beginning to nest in the trees outside my window; specifically a pair of magpies who always nest in this one fir tree. Bless. Not long now and they will be screeching at the slightest movement past the back door…you think I’m joking? I can’t wait.

I feel the need to celebrate the passing of a milestone on my bike of pedaling 300 miles. Hurrah! Boy, do my thighs ache. I recently received a very useful piece of equipment from Amazon; a pair of glasses with 5 sets of interchangeable lenses, a hard carry case, cloths, two lanyards and such. Price? A whole £10…from China! Sweet. Can’t beat capitalism 🙂 I know there are those of you reading this who wonder why the heck a cyclist wears glasses when it’s not sunny? Try standing in front of a hairdryer with small suicidal bugs in the airflow and you may understand!

Anyway, enough gibbering about zipping around in my lycra; to the photos. It’s been a while since I have posted pictures of atmospherics on here so, it was a nice coincidence that I have a few sundog pictures that I took last Summer pop up on my archive. The first one here was unusual, as it was a double sundog. To make this more complete, there should have been a halo and another sundog at the 12 o’clock position but not this time…I remain hopeful….

If only the cirrus was above the sun as well this picture would have been much better

If only the cirrus was above the sun as well this picture would have been much better

If you can’t remember what a sundog is, shaaaaaame on you. I’ve explained before when I have posted them over the time I have been blogging. Tsk! Pay attention. A sundog is the refraction of light from plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds. These can happen any time of the year but if it’s a cold day in winter and the sky is like this, have a quick glance around the sun in the cirrus clouds for one, I’ve seen them more often in these conditions.

Impressively, one of the sundogs hung around until sunset

Impressively, one of the sundogs hung around until sunset

On to more ground based views now. Around where I live there are quite a few abandoned slate quarries, the most famous of which I think would be the one in the mountains near Rosebush, mainly because more people who walk in the hills see it. The others a dotted about and hidden behind overgrown hedges, as is this one near the hamlet of Scleddau, Fishguard. Ironically, it’s on the main route from the ferry so probably has many times more people pass than the Rosebush one.

Scleddau Quarry, since abandoned and being reclaimed by nature

Scleddau Quarry, since abandoned and being reclaimed by nature

Thankfully this quarry isn’t trying to kill you like the Rosebush site which has deep excavations all over it. You know the kinda hole that if you fall into you wouldn’t get out of? Those. This is very flat and although the walls are steep, quite open. I’m sure you could climb up if you fancy, but you’d most likely fall into a bloody, slate covered heap afterwards as this stuff is SHARP.

Some sprouting plants on the quarry floor...weeds, but pretty and nice to see

Some sprouting plants on the quarry floor…weeds, but pretty and nice to see

You can see how sharp the pieces of slate can be in the close up I took of the pile you saw in the earlier photo. Lovely colour and texture though, it’s no wonder it is in such demand for decorations all over peoples property. The shame is that now most slate comes from China (maybe I should take back my capitalism comment) and the slate industry here is dead and gone, bar a few small-scale quarries that can’t compete.

Almost seems that these have been arranged so you can browse through an buy, but it was actually a rockfall from the main face

Almost seems that these have been arranged so you can browse through and buy, but it was actually a rockfall from the main face

Although the place looks and did look dead to the casual glance, it was encouraging to see that even in the driest of conditions (we were in unofficial drought back then) there is still a little flower that can summon the energy to push on through and inject a little colour into the parched and cracked earth…..

Alas, the sun had gone in when I took this which would have highlighted this little trier

Alas, the sun had gone in when I took this which would have highlighted this little trier

Some of you may remember that the picture I took that won me a place in the Weathernet calendar was similar to this? Taken in the same place and on the same day it was. I’m hoping things pick up and I get a few more opportunities to get out and take more pictures to make it three entries in a row. Any suggestions?

Anyway, that’s me for another post. Hope you enjoyed looking as much as I enjoy wandering and taking the pictures. Have a good week, thanks for dropping in and I hope to see you soon.

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