Posts Tagged estuary

Kind of a water theme….

Hello All

Back again! Within a month. Well, nearly.

Greetings anyway and thanks for dropping by. It’s a bit of a hotch-potch this post, I went through the pictures I have lodged chronologically and they were all over the place (or rather I was all over the county taking them) but I hope that you find them to your liking. I did think I was going to be able to go on to a water based theme, then this moved to clouds and then to beaches so…woops.

Anyway, how about the weather in Wales then? For those who aren’t fortunate enough to live in this area, it has been humid. Phew. I work in an office that has air conditioning but this is essentially for show, as it broke down in the first year or so of me being there and has never been fixed…we have Japanese tourist buses call in on occasion wondering quite how we retain such ancient cooling systems without spontaneously contracting Legionnaires. However, I’m more of an open window guy but even that hasn’t helped, as wind has been in short supply. However, this are changing, a little fresher and drier to come the weather people say. Mind you, weren’t they the ones who failed to predict the famous 1987 storm?! Anyway, cynicism aside, onwards to the pictures and associated nuggets of information…

Firstly, on the partial water theme and following on from my images of the boats last week, I ventured once again down to Port Lion and was fortunate to see evidence of one of the highest tidal ranges in the UK (upwards of 25 feet in the highest tide). In this instance, just a wet mark was left but, bear in mind that as you continue down the slip, there is usually a considerable stretch of beach to stand on which is underwater, that’s a whole heap of H2O….

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Quite what possessed the owner of the house down at the bottom of the lane to think it was a good idea to build there confuses me, but build they did. Of late, the property has been revamped as well and it has a pretty awesome view but what does he say to his insurance company in the event of a disaster? I imagine the conversation would go something like this….

“So, how did the property flood?”…”Erm, it was a particularly sticky tap when I was running a bath upstairs….for a day…with mud in it”…”So, how do you account for the seaweed?”….”I like Japanese food and was hosting a sushi party?”. Hmm.

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Moving to less ridiculous things and away from my twisted sense of humour, the next images are from one of my favourite beaches, Newgale. This place is packed during the Summer but, if you are a resident you get to see it at the best times, during Winter and Spring when it is quiet and sunny. As well as being a blue flag beach, which is one of the cleanest going, it is very beautiful in pretty much all weathers off season. Some of you may remember that this beach featured in my blog earlier when I posted some images of the ancient forest that had been uncovered by recent storms. In this incarnation though, I need the sand to give the effect I wanted….

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Also, it appears that (unofficially) this beach marks the marks the boundary between English and Welsh-speaking Pembrokeshire, with the next beach north of Newgale being called Pen-y-Cwm. It also made an appearance in a music video (Delerium – Silence)…yes, you can see it here …Pembrokeshire on the tinterweb. Who’d have thought?

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It wasn’t going to be long before I moved onto weather was it? Lenticular clouds. What? Yes, quite a rare occurrence around here, but there was a little rash of them not so long ago, only small, but they were there. Let me explain…..as air flows along the ground, it encounters obstructions like water in a flood would. These are every day objects, such as buildings and bridges, as well as natural features, like hills…in my case, the Preseli Hills. All of theses things disrupt the flow of air into eddies. The strength of the eddies depends on the size of the object and the speed of the wind. It results in turbulence, of a sort. Where stable moist air flows over a hill, a series of waves form. If the temperature at the crest of the wave drops to the dew point, moisture in the air may condense to form lenticular clouds. I admit, the ones I saw were not as dramatic as the link….

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Here, you can see that the clouds have degraded into the waves I spoke of earlier…probably due to a change in the wind speed or direction. Not quite as pretty, but it demonstrates the principal.

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In some circles, these clouds are referred to as UFOs (or “visual cover” for UFOs), particularly the round “flying saucer” type in the link pictures, because these clouds have a characteristic lens appearance and smooth saucer shape. Also, because lenticular clouds generally do not form over low-lying or flat terrain, many people have never seen one and are not aware clouds with that shape can exist. Bright colours are sometimes seen along the edge of lenticular clouds making people think they are other-worldly. However, they can form where a mountain does not exist, usually as the result of shear winds which are, again, not so common.

As an aside, the term flying saucer was created by an early documented sighting of “vehicles” over Mount Rainier by an amateur pilot, Kenneth Arnold. He described flying shapes moving “like a saucer if you skip it across water”. However, I’m sceptical…as per the description above, where are you most likely to see these clouds? Yes. Near mountains. It is quite a regular sight in the area, as per this picture by NASA.

Anyway, I took some further pictures later on of the further degradation and now that the wind had dropped and the moisture had increased, so had the cloud cover and there was a nice blanket of clouds with a slight asperitas feel….

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I love the folds and lines in these types of clouds and you can pick up the shapes of the lenticular clouds in places if you look carefully. Nice. I admit, I should probably have smoothed this image of noise as it was dark, but the PC was protesting at this point, so you’ll have to forgive me!

Well, here endeth the prattle. If you have stayed on this long without just scrolling down the pictures, well done! No, thanks for that, all criticism and requests gladly taken but remember, don’t nick the pictures for your wallpaper! Ask me. I am happy to email full resolution copies upon request. All my details are in the blog, I don’t bite and won’t charge unless you ask me to print one, that’s a whole different kettle of fish…

Thanks again, see you all soon for more Pembrokeshire based picture based nuggets!

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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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Not quite Belgium…but I’m getting there

Hello All

What a foul evening. Windblown drizzle and grey murk abound (by the way, a very low uniform cloud deck sometimes is referred to as a nimbus deck) so I thought I’d keep in touch with my fans.

Last time I did promise that I’d post pictures of me arriving in Belgium but I had to take a slight detour because I thought you might like a Summer lift in the form of some flowers, butterflies (commonly known in this family as “flutterbies”) and some of the natural beauty around my home range. Let’s not stand here and make small talk then, best get posting some pictures.

Firstly, a relic (quite literally) of the by-gone days down on the estuary when the local waterway was used for ferry coal down the estuary. Think of human or wind propelled barges plying their way up and down this stretch. I expect that this keel is from one that became obsolete as someone bought the first truck and decided to load that with bags of black gold to and from Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock. Shame…

The spine of a victim of the internal combustion engine

The spine of a victim of the internal combustion engine

Next a view across the widest part of the estuary. At this point I’d usually say that “in the distance you can see…” but on this occasion you can see that the bank is pretty much just woods. In the foreground are some Brant Geese that we commonly see overwintering on the water around this area. As you drive around some early mornings you can see them fly over towards or from feeding grounds. Lovely to look at but are they noisy?! More honking than a drunken clown convention let loose amongst a showroom of hand honkers!

Suddenly, geese!

Suddenly, geese!

Next, a mildly atmospheric shot across the water towards the wood with an emphasis on the smattering of pleasure craft that litter the deep channel. As you walk around the “pill” or spit of land you almost have to step over the abandoned hulks of boats on the shore. Some are old and it’s obvious that people are no longer using them but others are very large and you do wonder about the stories behind them. I can only presume the poles are an aid to navigation as they seem to be on the edge of a channel.

The view from the pill across the estuary

The view from the pill across the estuary

Next, well, you knew I wouldn’t be able to post a blog without including a sunset but I hope that this pleases those couple of people who requested I don’t stop posting the cloud images completely. Quite a humdinger this one and the cloud deck looked as though you could reach up and cut a slice out of it. No amendment of this image by the way, save for a slight change in shutter speed to increase contrast.

Ooooooh. You know you want to ask for a copy of this don't you?! Go on, leave a comment asking for one!!

Ooooooh. You know you want to ask for a copy of this don’t you?! Go on, leave a comment asking for one!!

Next, some flutterbies. This year has been very sparse with the poor little things. My Dad presumes that they were all killed off by the ridiculous amount of rain we had in the early part of the year, about 5 weeks in all. However, having said this, we all live in hope of an increase of bugs and Dad bough some little bug houses to pop next to some climbing plants we have in the garden. After all, “build it and they will come”.

Firstly, a Cabbage White….

Nom nom, nectar...

Nom nom, nectar…

….next, a Red Admiral….

My favourite image of the three, even though ever so slightly off focus

My favourite image of the three, even though ever so slightly off focus

…finally, a Small Tortoiseshell.

What wonderfully delicate creatures these little things are!

What wonderfully delicate creatures these little things are!

All these little critters were snapped on or near a Budlea plant which apparently a favourite of many insects. They were massing on it last year along with bees and such. I only got a few pictures as they don’t half fidget!

Just around the corner from this spot there is a Clematis that had lost the orange trumpet flowers and had moved on to furry seed pod type things. I must admit I failed Biology at school so my knowledge of this kind of things is lacking, I was more interested in the fact that in the morning dew this looked as thought it could be mistaken for a crystal chandelier. Gorgeous!

This could almost be a diamond pendant

This could almost be a diamond pendant

Where’s this “nearly Belgium” I hear you ask? Well, here it comes, or at least my first stop, being London St Pancras railway station. That’s right, I went to Belgium by train. This is for two main reasons; firstly, have you ever been to Cardiff Airport? If you have, you will know what I mean. I shan’t go into detail, lest I am sued for libel by the Welsh government, but the word “shocking” springs to mind. Maybe I was spoilt when I lived in Sussex as we lived very close to Gatwick but still, Cardiff airport, pffft. Secondly, I am anxious of flying. This added up to me thinking around the problem and concluding that the Chunnel was the way to go.

Jumping ahead a few days from here, I was most pleasantly surprised by every aspect of this service. Yes, it takes longer but it’s a journey, not a chore. There we no queues, no baggage limits, no lengthy waiting, no crappy shops, you could take any amount of liquid there and back you fancy, no invasive searches, a choice of decent food which was reasonably priced, big comfy seats, a massive window…what’s not to like? I worked out my fare to Brussels after too and it was cheaper than the equivalent air fare. There was also something fascinating about standing in the cafe car looking out the window on the train whilst travelling around 250 kmh through France!

Anyway, I digress. Ironically, as I step on to the platform, what should I see? Clouds! Well, a piece of art showing clouds called “Cloud:Meteoros” by Lucy Orta. I must admit, it was difficult to work it out (I think the statues on top are travellers with bags and such) but I liked it. Me want.

A sign that I need to keep chasing clouds?

A sign that I need to keep chasing clouds?

My carriage awaits. Quite a monster isn’t it? I think the only security aspect that was noticeable here is that there is a rather large and solid screen around the train so you can’t interfere with or throw yourself at it. What I couldn’t get over is the fact that they arrive silently. I’m not kidding, this one appeared and I didn’t even notice! The areas to the left isn’t for boarding if you thought that…oh no, that’s a champagne bar. Don’t even ask the prices. I looked and nearly had a seizure. In fact, the pain inflicted on my wallet by just looking was so great that my brain has blocked the figures out.

Unusually, this whole place is quite aesthetically pleasing too

Unusually for a rail station, this whole place is quite aesthetically pleasing too

And finally, another piece of art I liked the look of, a 30 foot statue called “The Meeting Place”. Apparently this is meant to evoke the romance of train travel to the passing passengers. Looks like a massive lump of bronze (20 tons apparently) to me but I don’t hate it, I just would opt for the cloud installation myself!

Now THAT'S a statue!

Now THAT’S a statue!

Well there we are. I am on my way. well, at this point in the photos I was on my way, crawling through London and the south-east of England at what must be just over idle in these trains. Brussels and then Bruges awaited, dark, cold and wet unfortunately, but weather doesn’t stop me when I am on hols and I was prepared with every kind of coat you can imagine!

Next time, a quick whistle-stop tour around a few local sights near the hotel in Bruges. See you then, cheers for popping in!

Ta-ra!

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A trip to the Cleddau

Hello All!

I entitled this one a trip to the Cleddau (pronounced Cled-eye, not Cled-ow) but in essence it’s only walking distance from where I live! Well, part of it. The earlier pictures are from a different area, but I will explain in the fullness of blog. As ever, click the image for the full proper quality image…the previews are a tad fuzzy.

I hope everyone is sorted for Crimbo? We better had be as the weather here is blooming awful; every other day we have had very gusty storms and heavy rain and even hail at a few points. There was one evening I came home from work and I was sat in the car for a good 10 to 15 minutes waiting for the rain to calm down or something to fly off the trees in the garden, whichever happened first. A colleague of mine was in Milford Haven at that exact time and he swore blind that his vehicle moved ever so slightly in a big gust…and he owns a truck!

Anyway, enough talk of horrible weather, these pictures show the nicer days of late Summer/Autumn. Firstly, in the Neyland Nature Reserve, a little further along the Cleddau than the later pictures with nice clear access to the sea, hence all the sailing yachts under the bridge (they’re a bit further on, but that’s how it appears here). I’m down here quite often, as the guys who own the yacht I sail on moor it here in Winter and keep it just outside the marina in Summer….

Neyland Nature Reserve - the ducks had abandoned me at this point as I had no bread rolls

Neyland Nature Reserve – the ducks had abandoned me at this point as I had no bread rolls

A little closer to home now, a very small (and rarely used) launching bay called Port Lion. Reached by driving, if you dare, down a very tight and enclosed single track road. Once you get to the bottom, depending on the tide and weather, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to turn around! Hence I walk or ride. At low tide, there is a small shingle beach where I stood to take this picture….

Port Lion looking toward Llangwm village and the Preseli Hills

Port Lion looking toward Llangwm village and the Preseli Hills

Turning 180 degrees now, you can see the estuary disappearing between the clumps of trees and a few pretty permanent fixtures in the shape of yachts that never ever seem to move. I can only imagine this is because the moorings this far up the estuary are very cheap. But, honestly, if you ever visit, you will know where you are as these boats will be here. Unless they have sunk because the rain overwhelmed them! Such a waste.

You wouldn't want to paddle I know, but it is quite picturesque

You wouldn’t want to paddle I know, but it is quite picturesque

Talking of wastes, this is a little dinghy that never moves too. However, on this occasion with my most favouritest (yes, that is a word, honest) type of sky it was making a good picture today. Now we have had the storms, I am tempted to go down to Port Lion and see whether all these boats are still there!

Poor thing looks so lonely. But I bet if you moved it, there would be hell to pay!

Poor thing looks so lonely. But I bet if you moved it, there would be hell to pay!

Back up the hill,m the single track opens up and I never noticed the field of oil seed to the left but couldn’t help but not this time as it was in full bloom under a blue sky, which was too good an opportunity to miss. Possibly a tad too dark this picture, but it got all the colours I wanted so I was happy.

A lovely Summer image...slightly twee but pretty good nonetheless

A lovely Summer image…slightly twee but pretty good nonetheless

Last but not least, a little bit of a hark back to the good old days of Summer sunsets that are a little bit dusty so you can see the disk of the sun. This one wasn’t a cheat taken on another day and was in fact on the same day as all the other pictures I’ve posted here so this is a full day of edited highlights of me wandering around camera in hand.

Must...resist...cirrus...sunset pictures! Can't help it, I'm afraid

Must…resist…cirrus…sunset pictures! Can’t help it, I’m afraid

Right, now I’ve said it, I’m going to hop on my bike and going for a quick zip down to port lion and see what it looks like down there after all this wind and rain. Dare I take the camera? Hopefully I don’t get caught in a shower but amazingly it seems to have cleared up now…here’s hoping.

Before I go, Merry Christmas to you all. I hope you all get what you wished for or, if not, a close second! I’ve asked for a Ferrari from my girlfriend, but I’m hopefully for at least a model from her. See you all in 2014 when I have to try to remember how to update my copyright label!!

Thanks for dropping in.

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It’s been a while, but I return

Hello!

Yup, a little later than predicted, but I am back with another post from my recent download. I have been here there and everywhere of late so apologies for that but, on with the pictures, you don’t want to hear excuses!

Moving on chronologically in my SD card, the next few pictures cover a quick wander down to Port Lion..just a short walk down the road..but there wasn’t the weather to go further as it would have been a waste of time. Mind you, when I was down there, I got some surprise visitors…

Firstly, on the way down, a previously seen little brook crosses under the road, so it’s always worth stopping as the water can be different colours, different volume and such so it’s always worth a look. On this occasion it had been quite dry for a short time so the flow was about normal and the water was clear, so I used a polariser to get some detail of the rocks on the stream bed at the bottom of the picture.

A little water off the hills in sloooow motion

A little water off the hills in sloooow motion

Moving on down, having been down a few times of late I noticed that there was another hulk laid up on the beach in a very sorry state. In comparison to the quite possibly ocean going yachts in the background, it doesn’t give a very good impression sat on the beach! Having said that, I can say I have NEVER seen either of the large yachts that lie in the middle of the estuary move and I have lived here for 6 years. What’s that all about? You need to be rich or dim to waste money like that, surely?

If this was a car park, that boat would have been clamped!

If this was a car park, that boat would have been clamped!

I’m sure someone has bought this with the best of intentions but when it’s in this state, wouldn’t you work on it as often as possible?! I think it can float, but this may be the only thing it would be able to do constantly and maybe not all that well, judging by all the water in it.

No mast and still in some kind of cradle, what a shame

No mast and still in some kind of cradle, what a shame

There was me busy taking pictures of the boat, when I looked round to see a gaggle, or at least a family, of swans rounding on me. I could almost hear them chanting “bread, bread, bread” of which I unfortunately had none, after all, I don’t carry a granary roll in my pocket every time I go out! It was very nice to see that the family was a big one, Mum, Dad and 3 nippers that had grown very well by all accounts. I say this as I have heard of some evil people not so far away breaking swan eggs for fun…I know some people don’t get on with swans, but that’s just wrong.

"He's got no bread! if we stick our heads in the water, maybe he will go away"

“He’s got no bread! if we stick our heads in the water, maybe he will go away”

Once they had figured out that I wasn’t able to feed them, a lot of beak dabbling ensued and I managed to get a nice picture of two of the youngsters giving me the evils after they’d had their heads underwater, water still dripping off their bills which I thought was nice.

The youngsters were very trusting, to a point, this is as close as I dared to get

The youngsters were very trusting, to a point, this is as close as I dared to get

The only thing that would have made things a bit nicer would have been the sun being out, but hey, got to make the best of what you get haven’t you? Things have brightened up of late, but I would hardly call it Summer just yet. as I type, it is once again raining. On the plus side, it fills up the waterfalls for my later pictures!

Anyway, things seemed to have calmed down now, so hopefully I will be able to keep posting every week or 10 days as I did before; keep popping back, I very much appreciate any comments you wish to make and remember, if you REALLY like a picture, I can email it to you 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

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