Posts Tagged cirrus

A little lesson in monochrome

Hello one and all!

..or at least my regular subscribers. Thanks for dropping in. I suspect that anyone nearby in Wales will be having a hard time getting online as the weather is “unseasonably windy” of late, in the words of Carol Kirkwood on the BBC Weather. This affects broadband. Everything affects broadband in Wales….sun, rain, temperature, wind, cars passing by, butterflies coughing. You get the idea.

I have just returned from a walk along the lane to exercise my knackered knee (as per the order of the doctor) and it was hard to stay in a straight line. I felt sorry for a few cats I saw struggling to stay upright! However, I am glad that I rode my bike last night instead of this evening as a headwind on a push bike is no fun. It was damp and murky but rather that than wind. I was upset to see some lovely flowers I was looking to take pictures of have been all but obliterated by the breeze 😦

There have been a few big things on of late, hence the pause. Fear note, I am still here, I have both arms, both legs and a (portion of my) brain. At least I think so.

Anyway, I return with a fe images I thought I would pop on in homage to a photographer I very much love the work of, Ansel Adams. I have a book of his images that will adorn a coffee table that I own…as soon as I own one….and as soon as I own a place to put the coffee table in. I digress. Essentially, he almost made black and white photography what it is today and it’s due to him I think, that it still looks good and is still so widely accepted and many modern cameras have an option to change any image to black and white. He helped develop a system to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of a final print. The resulting clarity and depth characterised his photographs. Adams also used primarily used large format camera images (like we would opt for a bigger sensor in a DSLR) because their high-resolution helped ensure sharpness in images. One of my favourites can be found here. Google him…I will put money on your recognising his pictures from a calendar or poster.

But now, on to my pictures, which are by no means as good and should not be compared! The trick is to get a subject that has a clear demarcation of light and dark on it on a bright sunny day ideally. Now, I live in Wales. The first one might be hard but the second one is by far the hardest! However, I took a trip to the local estuary to try my luck….

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Not bad. Some reflection too. It is worth examining a little more to keep on until you find a subject that suits. If this was my job, I’d be spending weeks doing this kind of stuff. However, it is not, so I just move further down the estuary…

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Again with the reflection. Alas, I missed the rib in the top right when composing the image, so it kind of spoils the antique effect I was going for. But, hey, I’m not selling it, so I’m none too fussed. I quite like it actually…this mystery hulk.

I’m sure those who know me wonder where the cloud pictures are. Yes, I tried the monochrome things with them too. This is even harder as you need a lot of contrast in the sky, which is not always the case. However, I did attempt it with a squall and some cumulus to get this….

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So, what does one of my trademark sunsets look like in just black and white? Well, black and white of course! Less, Ansel Adams, more of a silhouette image I think; interesting aside here, the term comes from the name of Etienne de Silhouette, a French finance minister who forced austerity on the French people. Because of de Silhouette’s austere economies, his name became linked with anything done or made cheaply. Prior to photography, silhouette profiles cut from black card were the cheapest way of recording a person’s appearance…there you have it. Anyway, this image is super cheap, in fact it’s free!

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However, fear not. I shan’t leave this post with no colour. Here’s a quick panorama towards the Preseli Hills at sunset with a nice cirrus cloud catching the last light of the day…

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Hope you enjoyed. By they way, I’ve entered the Weathernet competition for the 5th year running this year. I don’t hold out much hope to be honest but I may be surprised. A 4 year prize run is pretty good going I reckon, so I shouldn’t complain if I don’t win again!

Well, until next time, take care. Thanks for dropping in again

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Looking a bit closer at my regular haunts…

Hello Readers,

Not entirely sure where you have all gone, as my dashboard on here says that I haven’t been all that popular of late..strange, as I had some people say that they had visited, unless it was all lies?! At this rate, if I had my funeral soon, I’d be the only attendee!! Please continue to drop in, if only to poke fun at my limited portfolio, however, I enjoy taking the pictures, so I guess that’s the main thing. However, feel free to challenge me, I dare you 🙂

In this “episode”, I visit a number of my usual haunts but find, if I look a little closer, I see a few interesting things, which I hope you will also find interesting in turn. Up at the top of the Aberfforest waterfall, it did me good to lengthen the shutter speed taking this image, as I found a slow little whirlpool off to one side that made a nice effect on the finished image….

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Yes, I was standing in the middle of the river….

Now, this following image doesn’t exactly give the appearance of looking closely, but I thought I’d include it for the fact that it was a nicely framed Spring picture; you will note the wild garlic on the right and up beside the waterfall (yes, you can eat it…but I’d let you go first, however it smells lovely even just stood around it) and catkins on the trees above the water….

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Spring at Aberfforest, the sound of tumbling water and the smell of….garlic

It was when I was buzzed by a little brown bird on getting closer to the falls that I saw it. A nest. Well, a hole of sorts built out of mud tucked in the rocks right next to the rushing water. Brave little thing…it must be pretty deaf as well!

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You can see here how close the Dipper lives to water that would drown it. Very brave

On returning home, I found that this brave little birdy was a Dipper of the european variety, of course. First time I have seen one and it must be so proud of the spot it has, as it’s a doozy. I’ve always considered the water here a bit dirty, but I think that this is proof that this is not the case as birds like this surely wouldn’t be able to feed. Amazing little things too; mostly, they perch on rocks and feed at the edge of the water, but they often also grip the rocks firmly and “walk” down them until submerged. They then search underwater for yummy dipper food; they can also “swim” with their wings like little penguins! Impressive. Oh, just to clarify, I wasn’t able to get a picture of it…waaaaay too fast. I did see the nest is still there this year though, so there’s time.

Along the way on the mossy stumps and debris I found some interesting fungus as well. The waterfall creates a microcosm of sorts, because there is moss, wild garlic and stuff here like you wouldn’t believe and you don’t see elsewhere…

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Feel free to name the fungus….

Closer to home, I was outside checking out the sunset in the evening when I saw some bird muck on the door, which isn’t unusual being near the coast and with seagulls passing overhead regularly…so, I go to wipe it off when I realised with some controlled horror that there is a baby spider disco happening on the door frame!

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Eeeek! Spiders massing against us. Luckily, I scattered this group in time….you’re welcome

Now, I don’t mind spiders, as long as they aren’t big enough to wink at me or anything, but the sight of these little things running off in all directions gave me the heeby jeebies!

My nerves under control, I concentrated on the sunset and have a couple to share with you on the end of this post which I thought were pretty good. The first I included because of my love of contrails and cirrus clouds. Difficult to tell but I think that this is a few contrails (common over us, as we get trans-atlanic planes over us daily) pulled apart by high winds way up above. Whatever, it’s pretty sweet…

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Contrail sunset. I loves it

Lastly, I do like a mixed cloudscape but a mixed cloudscape at sunset when it’s all at the stage it turns red, even better. The clouds lower down look just like mist arriving from the hills, maybe it was, but I can’t remember the weather on this evening. Enjoy.

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My favourite spot for dusks in Summer…because of pictures like this

Well, there we have it for another post. Sorry for the delay, due to unforeseen circumstances, but I hope you all still take the time to visit again soon, look through the archive, let people who love sunsets and nature know of my work even.

Until next time, all the best.

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Has it been a month or more?!

Good Lord.

I didn’t realise that I had left the blog alone for so long, I hope none of you set you calendars or anything by me 🙂 Anyway, hello there, welcome to British Summer Time and the longer days (the main reason I haven’t posted any pictures on here to be honest). I have now passed the 400 mile mark on my new super dooper Boardman hybrid bicycle and with 1000 on my last before I sold it, the total is racking up quite nicely. I recently got it serviced and fettled with at a local business, Enterprise Cycles in Neyland. Should anyone be local and looking for a good bike shop, your quest is at an end. Best place around. Just Google it, I’d pop a link in but the site is under construction….

On to the pictures for this entry anyhow. Last month I promised some pretty awesome cirrus clouds that I was going to post that I saw over my house recently, well, here you are. What’s that? Groaning because of more clouds? How very dare you! Clouds are important and, as you can see below, they sometimes look pretty awesome….

The threads of this cirrus caught the light juuuuust riiiiiight.....

The threads of this cirrus caught the light juuuuust riiiiiight…..

One estimate of the volume of water in the atmosphere at any one time is about 3,100 cubic miles/14.2 billion tons of water…that’s quite a lot. Just think if all that was on the ground and not in the sky? I think a fair few of us would paddling as it’s enough to deposit 30 mm of water everywhere on the planet at once and some places are already pretty wet!

As well as holding water, they provide shelter, little places for bacteria or insects to shelter and travel as well as this important role in the water cycle. Obviously, the ones pictured here are slightly less heavy than your normal storm cloud or anything, but I feel they are no less spectacular.

Same view but with a guest appearance from nearby vegetation

Same view but with a guest appearance from nearby vegetation

One clue that those in the know can take from these cirrus clouds or “mares tails” is that there is a change in the weather coming. Usually it means it’s going to get wet. I took these images at sunset, so it was due overnight I thought. I particularly liked this last picture as there was an imprint of a shadow from a passing contrail that made a nice shadow as the sun set….

Now that the sun was disappearing, a passing contrail became apparent, creating a nice diagonal line across my view

Now that the sun was disappearing, a passing contrail became apparent, creating a nice diagonal line across my view

I got my timing well out for the arrival of the bad weather but, arrive it did. See, these old wives tales do work. Along trundled a nice little storm cloud with an anvil like lip containing a few mammatus clouds on the leading edge…not the best mammatus I have seen or posted here but still, they were there…

This is the weather the next morning, I didn't edit things to fit, honestly!

This is the weather the next morning, I didn’t edit things to fit, honestly!

Seeing it had got wet, I decided I would go for a quick walk down toward Port Lion and follow the stream there to get some nice moving water shots, seeing I hadn’t tried that for a while. Surprisingly little water in the stream this time, which is why the blurring looks a little blocky as there were quite a few bubbles to contend with, but the colours from dead leaves and the ferns offset things nicely I thought…although more liberal use of a polariser would have been better here.

A smooth stream on the way down to Port Lion and the Cleddau

A smooth stream on the way down to Port Lion and the Cleddau

As I went down the lane, I noticed that the rain earlier had knocked loads of seeds off the larch tree lining the sides, made an interesting colour effect so I had to take a quick snap away from the water..

Port Lion Woods minus a fair amount of Larch seeds.....

Port Lion Woods minus a fair amount of Larch seeds…..

But, back to the water, the air was very still so I was able to take a long exposure of this little tumble with a fern around it which didn’t move an inch whilst I was doing it, good fern. Usually I cheat a little and move things aside to suit what I want. Oooh, did I say that out loud?!

I like the way the bubbles made a pattern in this image, can't get enough of stuff like this

I like the way the bubbles made a pattern in this image, can’t get enough of stuff like this

Well, short and sweet this time however, there are more stormy skies and moving water pictures to come, plus Mischief the cat will be making a cameo appearance at some point I see as he had posed for the odd snap, or rather, he was asleep in a cute position…

As ever, appreciate you dropping in. Remember, feel free to suggest anything you want pictures of on here, don’t be afraid to ask! Until next time, enjoy the longer days!

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Storm silhouettes followed by a colourful dusk

Hello everyone,

I have been away for the past weekends so apologies for the late post but I did promise that there was a bit of colour arriving in this one and it will be later on. When I was reviewing this images I was picking I didn’t actually realise I had taken some stormy cloud images in the morning before going to work and then the sunset ones were the same evening, so they all slotted together nicely.

I know what a few of you are thinking…”oh my god, more clouds, does this guy ever do anything else?”. Truth be told I’d love to be a professional cameraman and photographer but seeing the options you appear to have in these areas of work are dangerous and/or don’t pay the bills, it’s a bit of a no brainer that I do this as a hobby. I try to get out to be artistic but time is limited for this and so the local area is my playground….it just happens that there was a lot of weather activity this particular week. I can see more storms in the next batch of pictures but after that I did take a trip into the Preseli Hills so I shall include those too. Thanks for sticking with it!

Anyway, onward to the pictures. A few images to start the day is the best way (I usually don’t eat breakfast as I like my bed too much). This morning had been after blustery night and a blooming huge storm was passing by in front of the sun…..

The kind of cloud any person looks at and say "it's going to rain any second"

The kind of cloud any person looks at and say “it’s going to rain any second”

However, my struggling to get the right settings on the camera didn’t work all that well and I’m afraid the silhouetting that I was picturing in my mind didn’t quite work. I didn’t get wet though as the rain seemed to be falling a few miles away as far as I could see….

The sun is behind there, honest

The sun is behind there, honest

Amazingly, almost 10 minutes of so from the first image, the skies began to clear and left this wonderful mix of high, medium and low cloud shooting around overhead. Lovely….

Minutes later and who would have known there was a storm there even?

Minutes later and who would have known there was a storm there even?

After the tap had been turned on umpteen days during the day when I was at work, even with a little hail if I recall correctly, the evening was a clear as crystal save for a few wisps of cirrus in the far distance (probably over Ireland). My trained eye could see that was going to be a good one but silly me didn’t look properly until late on, so, instead of my usual haunt, I was relegated to standing on top of a pile of grass cuttings in the back garden for this image!

Taking a picture whilst sinking....not ideal

Taking a picture whilst sinking….not ideal

I decided that the soft ground I was on wasn’t the best so I decided to move on by jumping over our back fence down into the field to get under those cursed telephone wires (thanks BT). Seems that was a good choice as the pinks and red got deep, so much so, I was really struggling with the low light as you can see!

Low light seems to be a weakness of mine in this set!

Low light seems to be a weakness of mine in this set!

I confess I had to crop this image a little as the noise really crept in around the edges…sorry. I shall tell myself off later!

The pinks are fading now leaving a lovely dark streak.....

The pinks are fading now leaving a lovely dark streak…..

As the finale, typically enough I had found the perfect setting to get that nice “cosmic paintbrush” effect I always talk about. If I was allowed to put the pictures up all over the walls of the house, this would be a “framer” I reckon, I really like it because it’s so smooth. Anyway, enough of me spouting about sunsets, I will lose your attention if I am not careful.

Not a bad finishing picture I think....where's that frame?

Not a bad finishing picture I think….where’s that frame?

Next time, I promise less clouds and more of other things OK? I did manage to get some nice pictures in the mountains so there should be some good project stuff coming your way…even a dragonfly I remember seeing.

Remember, if you fancy a copy, don’t cheat and download it even though I am happy for you do that; I am happy to send you the original by email in return for you “bigging me up” on your own blog or something. Fair exchange? Or even comment on any improvement you’d like me to make in taking them…all criticims gladly received.

Thanks for dropping in again and thanks to my followers which number near the half century at the moment. Much appreciated. Take care and see you in the near future for more Pembrokeshire pictures.

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More cheering up!

Hello All,

Thanks for dropping in again, much appreciated…seems I have a few regular fans (got some comments of late too) and for that I’m very thankful. It makes me want to come back and write more. I surpassed 100 posts the other day, so thanks for sticking with me.

Apologies for the gap again, I was away last week, but here I am back again. As the weather, it looked as though things were slowing up and settling down the other day but as I sit here, the house seems to rattle! I have never heard the wind whistle quite so much over a short period of time. This in mins, I decide to break out a nice cloudscape set with a lovely pink crepuscular ray finish. For those who don’t know what a crepuscular ray is a) where have you been, I’ve explained it before and b) you don’t know what you have been missing.

The pictures are all once again taken within a day, the first when I was out on my ex-bike (it’s been superceded by something a lot faster which means I have to wear lycra to increase the top speed…or something) last Summer.

A typical summer shot across the fields; it looks dark as I used a polarizer

A typical summer shot across the fields; it looks dark as I used a polarizer

Not a usual framing technique for this image but it was what was presented to me at the time and I think it worked quite well. May if I cropped out the tree branch it could have looked a little better, but you all know that I hate changing pictures for the sake of it looking good. Probably why this isn’t my job!

Windswept cirrus up high and some cumulus hiding the sun, nice picture!

Windswept cirrus up high and some cumulus hiding the sun, nice picture!

This is from one of my fave spots just down the road, a little later on in the day when things had started to cloud over properly and there was a rash of “popcorn” clouds (that is a term used in weather forecasting, if you don’t believe me, Google it!). You can see them creeping across in the middle of the image….

More very high cirrus here, a recurrent theme until later in the evening

More very high cirrus here, a recurrent theme until later in the evening

The popcorn is multiplying now! No matter, there are some lovely colours being cast by the shadows and such down by the treeline. I hear some people say a good sunset is a clear evening but to me that just boooooring. I much prefer these as there’s some substance, as well as often a myriad of colour and depth to what you see….

Pesky popcorn. But at this time of the day, it adds to the scene in my opinion

Pesky popcorn. But at this time of the day, it adds to the scene in my opinion

Another portrait image now, don’t do these too often as they are a pain to post. This concentrates on the popcorn clouds but also I got the exposure just right to ensure I had the colour in the clouds as well as the golden colours of the crops I was standing in. For those of the farming fraternity, I used the tractor tracks to get in, don’t worry, no trampling here!

Similar to the earlier image but rotated to get a bit more context in

Similar to the earlier image but rotated to get a bit more context in

And here we are, the best shot of the evening by far even though I took a good 20 or 30. This one is especially for one of my biggest fans who loves a good colourful sunset, she knows who she is and I hope it is enjoyed 🙂

This image is best seen BIG to enjoy it (left click). Or I can always send you the original if you fancy? Feel free to ask!

This image is best seen BIG to enjoy it (left click). Or I can always send you the original if you fancy? Feel free to ask!

One day the sun will return to this county, I’m sure of it! By this time of year, I’m usually out with the camera taking images of sunsets that interfere with dinner time. I know because I always used to be rushing around before or  after. This year, hardly a thing. There have been a few interesting clouds but I can only count the number of images this year in say the twenties or maybe thirties, which is probably what I’d take in one evening of a nice sunset.

Those of you who wish to grizzle about global warming, do so amongst yourselves, as I’m not a believer!

Well, on to the next subject for the next lot of pictures, I’m sure there will be something of interest for you as I remember I have a few optics and unusual clouds after the weather broke to show you, maybe even a towering cumulus or two if you are lucky. Keep stopping by, thanks again for the comments and suggestions, however I get them.

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Some sunny stuff to cheer us up!

Hello All,

I hope that everyone is well. Seems the rain is still continuing here in the UK; as I know that there are some people who visit from abroad, I shan’t presume that you know this. If you are and your country is quite dry, please feel free to have some of our rain, we have too much!! The thing is, though we expect it this time of year, this isn’t “normal” rain as such, this is driving horizontal stuff in great bucket-loads that soaks you in a split second. Well, let’s hope we have a decent Spring and Summer…although I doubt it.

Well, I hope that the pictures, simple as they are, cheer people up. I have quite a few coming from the garden when everything was a lot greener so I hope you look forward to those too. First, the Mischief was caught doing some “gardening”…..

If anyone is worried whether the pigeon was killed, don't worry, he's nowhere near that fast

If anyone is worried whether the pigeon was killed, don’t worry, he’s nowhere near that fast

Poor little beggar is really not getting on with this wet weather. Dad even thinks he is depressed in a feline way as he is off his food, refuses to go out unless it’s for important tasks and such. Can’t blame him, we get fed up getting wet and blown sideways and he can’t wear a waterproof and weighs much less!

Next up is a nice cloudscape from the back garden during Summer. Not just clouds though, look a little closer in the middle left……

Like I keep saying, it does you good to look up once in a while on days like this

Like I keep saying, it does you good to look up once in a while on days like this

On my travels on the new bike, although I have a feeling this far back, this was the old bike, I had a good few pictures of the local fields as they became nice and colourful too. In this image, some colour, some cirrus and, in the middle, the Moon….

Some ripening crops on the edge of a village called Rosebush. No, I haven't got pictures of any roses

Some ripening crops on the edge of a village called Rosebush. No, I haven’t got pictures of any roses

Those of you who worry about my safety will be pleased to hear that I have got a new, fancier bike and am currently zipping all over on it. Got some proper muscle building going on I reckon. I took a ride to Haverfordwest on the cycle path the last weekend to buy a helmet and a lock…nearly didn’t get there on a fast bit but it’s all good. Would have been ironic to crash on the way to buying safety gear really. Done a few long rides (20 miles or so) around the local area when it’s been decent conditions so maybe this Summer, I will discover more lovely landscapes.

Moving onto some good stock stuff now, a good load of high coloured cloud with the grassy bank acting as a foreground in the field not so far from the end of the garden…..

Ooooooh, very arty. I think I could frame this one once I sharpen it

Ooooooh, very arty. I think I could frame this one once I sharpen it

And lastly, yup, more colourful clouds. Judging by the fact that these have no border or foreground, I suspect it was as I rode or walked back after the previous picture and glanced up! Sorry about that….

Real colours as ever, hence the darkening in the corners as the lens struggles to cope with the light...nice, even though that happened

Real colours as ever, hence the darkening in the corners as the lens struggles to cope with the light…nice, even though that happened

Apologies for the lack of in depth subject matter this week, I promise to have some things with a little more interest attached to them next time. Looks like the rain is stopping here now, I might be able to get out on the bike again. Sweeeeeeet.

Well, until next time and with all hopes that I’m not run over on the road (even though I wear a bright orange jacket, this has nearly happened more than once) have a good week. Here’s hoping for dry weather!

Take care and thanks for dropping in!

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Late Summer wandering

Hello you lot.

So it seem that Christmas is upon us once again. Before I go any further I will say though, that I shan’t presume that every person who reads this blog is actually Christian. I was just looking at my statistics and amazingly, my blog has been read around the world. Staggeringly, I have a reader (singular) in places as far-flung as Uganda and Vietnam. Whatever religion you are and wherever you are, thanks!

Moving on to the images, I am slowly catching up to the time of year I am actually posting in. Now the clocks have gone back here I’m not out as often, so the pictures you see are from my archive still but now we are looking at late Summer. I recently went riding in the dusk on my bike and nearly became a car door handle so I’m limiting that to day time! In fact these first two images are staggered to show the colour of the local fields changing over a few days. This Summer was a pretty good one to be honest so the fields almost changed by the day from this….

A young field of crops, unmolested by the currents wind and rain we have

A young field of crops, unmolested by the currents wind and rain we have

….to this, a more golden and mature crop. Now if I could only tell what it was. I am very lucky to live in an area close to a National Park where, although we have the refinery area not so far away and an hours drive you pass the oh-so-love Port Talbot, the level of agriculture is quite high, be it diary or crops. In other words, there are always fields to admire of cows to talk to (more in the next few posts…moooo).

A mixture a maturing and young plants in the fields close to my home

A mixture a maturing and young plants in the fields close to my home

Moving on from my insane bovine rambling, I present to you more hedgerow heroes that sprout into our lanes and make it harder to squeeze down roads during Summer. Honeysuckle. Like a number of plants you may just pas by, you might want to stop and look next time you see one. The fruits of some of the 128 species are grown commercially as flavourings although some are mildly poisonous…wouldn’t want to mix them up. In the Himalaya region, there is a honeysuckle that is grown for the specific reason of using the stem as a binding to carry bags up Everest and the surrounding range. Bet you didn’t know that.

A good mix of colour from a Honeysuckle bush in the lanes

A good mix of colour from a Honeysuckle bush in the lanes

Just along from the Honeysuckle, I found this little slug that appeared to have got out of his depth and was struggling over a spider’s web full of water drops. Made me smile to wonder what he/she/it thought was going on to be honest…silly I know but don’t tell me you don’t wonder what goes through animals minds? Maybe not slugs though, that was just me.

I can only liken this to a person crawling blindfolded on a trampoline covered in water balloons...poor thing

I can only liken this to a person crawling blindfolded on a trampoline covered in water balloons…poor thing

And so, wanderings over one of my fave type sunsets and dusks with a lovely bit of cirrus. Those cloudy people amongst you will probably be able to spot it was very still this day as the images show an awful lot of haze/pollution/smoke at the low levels….

Nice cirrus swoosh up above...not so nice haze down below

Nice cirrus swoosh up above…not so nice haze down below

….hence we are able to see the disc of the sun in this last image, as opposed to being instantly blinded!

I particularly like how the sun is showing the crops in the field in front of me here. I didn't notice it at the time

I particularly like how the sun is showing the crops in the field in front of me here. I didn’t notice it at the time

There’s plenty more of these types of photos but I shall break it all up next post as I notice my archives that I took the bike to Neyland nature reserve and the Cleddau estuary near me where the weather was, amazingly still pretty damn good weeks later.

Should this post not be this side of Christmas or the festive period however you celebrate (or not) I hope you all have a good one! Hopefully, I shall post again before the year is out and will still appeal to far off nations!

Thanks for visiting….see you soon

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From “Mares Tail” to Storm

Hello all,

Hope we are well. Autumn has well and truly appeared here in Wales with a bit more rain (we have actually not had all that much over the Summer, so much so that many of the small creeks and rivers have been dry for weeks) and colder mornings and evenings. I have reverted to a winter wardrobe…..

To the pictures! It was only when I picked the pictures I was going to use in this post that I realised, looking at the dates and time attributed by my good old Nikon, that they actually followed the natural progression of a weather event. What are the odds? I was only picking them as they were striking.

The images were all taken within a window of around 3-4 hours on 11.05.2013 and hopefully will show you that, although we are no exciting weather chasing destination here in Wales, there is a lot of variety. Cirrus “Mares Tails” (not the plant) are, in folklore, often said to be the precursor to a storm so I shall leave you to form your own opinion here.

Firstly, when I was out in the garden, I noted an unusual cirrus formation. Usually, the cirrus we see over us is patchy, spread out. However, this was almost like a lace blanket being pulled over the top of us made up of masses of “Mares Tails”…

Cirrus "Mares Tails" heading towards the Preseli Hills over the house

Cirrus “Mares Tails” heading towards the Preseli Hills over the house

That was that for a little while but then we got a few showers and squalls pass over the top of us and off towards the hills. For some reason when we get these showers appear, they always appear over the line of the major road in the distance and follow it. Poor drivers!

A shower in the distance drenching the main road out of Haverfordwest

A shower in the distance drenching the main road out of Haverfordwest

Things calmed down but then it was time for my regular wander at sunset, the premise being you never know quite what’s lurking behind the houses to the west during interesting weather. The answer to that query was this little monster in the distance (probably over Haverfordwest)….

A storm (through a hedge) in the distance moving towards Haverfordwest

A storm (through a hedge) in the distance moving towards Haverfordwest

I moved further down the road (well, the farm track) to get a better view without the undergrowth and pole. To be honest, I had been caught out by this as I wasn’t in my usual spot. So, please excuse the buildings and jazz….

A slightly wider angle of the storm...looks a little like a dragon maybe? That might just be me

A slightly wider angle of the storm…looks a little like a dragon maybe? That might just be me

A little further on. To be honest, this cell was quite a slow developer. The light was fading, well, it was being blocked by this massive amount of cloud so I was unable to take many more images but in the last couple you can see rain in the lower right so someone was getting a good soaking and it wasn’t me for once!

A little clearer bu the light was fading quite rapidly due to the cloud blocking the sun at this stage. Nice light shining on the lower "deck" though

A little clearer but the light was fading quite rapidly due to the cloud blocking the sun at this stage. Nice light shining on the lower “deck” though

Later on though, the sun was revealed for a short time and the remnant of showers and such were still around so I did manage to get a nice rainbow with some virga facing east (away from the storm that had now broken up and moved away)….

A rainbow with some nice pinky shadowy virga to finish the day

A rainbow with some nice pinky shadowy virga to finish the day

Well there you have it, a few hours of May weather in half-a-dozen pictures, I hope you enjoyed it. Now all we need is a few tornadoes and supercells and I’d be happy! For the next few months I suspect it will be quite quiet but remember, I have plenty to pass on from the Summer to you in the meantime.

Oh yes, for those who were interested, it looks as though my pictures weren’t good enough to make the grade for the WeatherNet competition this year. Bah. Well, I can’t invent the weather, so if the pictures (all 25 or so) weren’t good enough, then blame Mother Nature.

Thanks for dropping in again, catch you soon.

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Some unusual phenomena…and sunsets!

Hiya!

I’m back again for another instalment of my usually skyward-gazing photographs from the skies over a quiet area of Pembrokeshire.

Before I forget, as I will probably, I will mention that I am once again entering the WeatherNet weather photography competition this year. I won a prize last year of, I think, ÂŁ20 which is no kings ransom I admit, but it was nice to get some input. Mind you, I didn’t think the image I sent was particularly deserving but there we are. This year, I have sent some very nice ones and, whilst I’m no storm chasing pro, I think there’s some pretty awesome cloudscapes. I posted some on here a while back actually….in February this year; take a look. I seem to recall I entitled it the best storm cloud ever. How imaginative.

Anyway, back to the current pictures. The first couple I am not too sure about but I think there was some mild disturbance in the clouds called Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. Now, I never did get science at school so let me introduce Mr Wik E. Pedia with his explanation (all credit to the well-known online encyclopedia);

The Kelvin–Helmholtz instability can occur when there is velocity shear in a single continuous fluid, or where there is a velocity difference across the interface between two fluids. An example is wind blowing over water, the instability manifests in waves on the water surface. More generally, clouds, the ocean, Saturn’s bands, Jupiter’s Red Spot and the Sun’s corona show this instability.

Still confused? Me too. Basically, in this instance, it is waves and undulations in the clouds…

The instability I refer to can be seen just below the telegraph wire...blooming wires

The instability I refer to can be seen just below the telegraph wire…blooming wires

This picture may show things a little more clearly. When people say that air should be treated as a liquid, this is where it all makes a bit more sense!

Just to the left of the pole, the instability looks like weak breaking waves and there's some more above in the upper left of the picture

Just to the left of the pole, the instability looks like weak breaking waves and there’s some more above in the upper left of the picture

The next phenomena was a little more “normal” per se but quite nice nonetheless. Just a normal squall mixed with some blue sky and cirrus that I regularly watch and take pictures of to begin with, but I noticed that as I was watching, there was a distinct little “cell” (don’t know if I should refer to it as that to be honest, but for the purposes of the blog I will) off to the left of the frame…

Another Pembrokeshdire squall...yawn. But what's this off to the left of the frame?

Another Pembrokeshire squall…yawn. But what’s this off to the left of the frame?

Surprisingly, you could actually see this “cell” moving in a spiral manner. It was admittedly happening veeeeeeeeeeery slowly, but you can actually see in this frame that it looked a little like foamy water in a bath plug. Not quite rotating but nearly….

Is it a little rain cell? I think so...what do you think?

Is it a little rain cell? I think so…what do you think?

Pretty much bang overhead now and there is a distinct oval/circle formation here with lumpy cloud in the middle which was probably very mild mammatus, having seen this kind of thing on a larger scale on YouTube…

The shadows made the middle of the cell look quite dramatic in a way. If only it were more defined!

The shadows made the middle of the cell look quite dramatic in a way. If only it were more defined!

No rain came down from this over us, but I like to think it may have broken somewhere further away. Once it had moved off the light got better and most of the details were lost for the purpose of photography, which was a shame.

Back to my easy wins then! I love a good sunset and I have caught a good few nice ones of late, as well as some arcs and sundogs that will feature shortly. This one is just down the road in Sardis. Truth be told, I was in the wrong place to catch it properly so I had to make do with the less that ideal foreground. Mind you, I don’t think it’s all that bad…

Although the foreground is spoilt by people having the cheek to live there, the house nicely blocked the disc of the sun

Although the foreground is spoilt by people having the cheek to live there, the house nicely blocked the disc of the sun

A few days later, the air was still pretty clear and there were hardly any contrails around, so there was a rare full frame cirrus cloud that I took a snap of. Remember, this is how it appeared at the time, none of your digital manipulation here!

Simple, yet effective :)

Simple, yet effective 🙂

Well, I hope that you found this a good distraction for a few minutes…I enjoyed taking the pictures anyway. I will keep you informed regards the competition but the closing date is late September so you will see another few posts before then.

That reminds me, I really must send the remainder of my shots! See you all soon, thanks for dropping in.

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Llys-Y Fran, Pembrokeshire

Hello everyone! Bit of a wet day today so I thought I’d catch up on this blog stuff as it’s been a couple of weeks.

So, to Llys-y-Fran, or to give it the full name, Llys-y-Fran Country Park, this is a big old reservoir that serves a fair proportion of the county I’d imagine. It has circular walks and boat hire and you can even go fishing on it. Whilst this would be interesting, I’m not entirely convinced that I want to eat this fish…if you even can. The agreement may be a “catch and release” scheme, if not I’d imagine you eat at your own risk!

Anyway, none of that fishy fish wander about and knacker yourself out stuff interests me, I’m more interested in the visual impact of the dam at the end and the moving water you often see in the vent (at least I think it’s a vent) to the side of the dam. I sure it’s more complicated than I describe, but here it is….

The main dam drain and vent (I'm sure I have just made those terms up) at Llys-y-Fran

The main dam drain and vent (I’m sure I have just made those terms up) at Llys-y-Fran

Just up the way from the little bridge that crosses the water-course draining out, there’s the ruin of an old building. I have googled etc but do you think I can find anything out about it? All I can imagine is that it was a storage shed or something which just fell into disrepair and was never replaced. I think it looks quite nice now covered with ivy and such.

A strange ruined building just on the way past the dam; you might have to squint to see it to be honest as it's been "reclaimed"

A strange ruined building just on the way past the dam; you might have to squint to see it to be honest as it’s been “reclaimed”

When I’d been looking at the ruin, the sun had come out a little more so the colour in the vent water was in turn a little more vivid so I decided to go back for one more snap.

Brighter sun, brighter rainbow :)

Brighter sun, brighter rainbow 🙂

Couple of disadvantages to the Llys-y-Fran; if you are walking there are hundreds of steps but if you are driving, it has the most fun road in the county for zipping up and down, as it has cool rising hairpins in like in a range of mountains. However, there are always silly people walking down them with unruly children or MPVs stopping to get a view. Blast them all!

Some of you may be thinking that this is irresponsible of me to want to go nipping up and down the hill? Well, you’d be wrong, as there is actually a Council sponsored Hill Climb event here every year, so there. I have 180hp so I may very well try it one day…

Anyway, back to a couple of Spring sunsets; as I said before, the weather started picking up on this download so a good sunset was more prevalent. In fact, during this recent dry spell there have been may things I haven’t seen for some time; vivid red and pink sunsets, crepuscular and anti-crepuscular rays, asperatus (very impressive), towering cumulus, even some obvious convection on very humid nights…and think I spotted arcus cloud one evening.

All this to come my friends! However, I’m afraid the Spring sunsets are a little more watered down…

From left to right, light to dark. Very nice...and a contrail to boot

From left to right, light to dark. Very nice…and a contrail to boot

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy them or that they are any less welcome, I love all sunsets and I enjoy fiddling with the camera to get the best out of them for others to see.

I reduced the shutter speed to make this image a little darker than in real life, but only to exaggerate the rays which were just visible

I reduced the shutter speed to make this image a little darker than in real life, but only to exaggerate the rays which were just visible

The rain is really beating down here. I think this may very well mean that the hot days we have had of late could well be on the way out. If it reaches 20C during the day now, I’d be quite surprised, but I am no weather forecaster, I just like looking at it.

Until next time, best wishes to all who take the time to read this. Ta-ta!

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