Posts Tagged fungi

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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Spring flooding in Pembrokeshire

Hello All,

I shan’t go into why I haven’t been here but I return. The weather’s lovely here, the sun is shining (although not correctly forecast) for the umpteenth time. I’m on a long weekend so I thought I would post a few pictures of one of my more interesting forays before I go out for a spin in the car.

I say interesting, as there is a scientific twang to some of the pictures, although I did manage to get my usual arty spin on even those! First, I shall start off with the nicer pictures…unusually by the way, this post covers a few areas I went to over the space of a week or so so excuse the skipping around.

One of my favourite haunts again. I know….booooring. However, as it had been very wet over the Winter/Spring, the showing of wild garlic was pretty massive. In fact, as you can see, where there wasn’t a path, there was wild garlic. All you have to do was brush against and you had wafts of garlic. It was very nice. I can only presume the smell was stronger as the flowers had died off and the bulbs were storing more energy to over winter. Or something.

Wild Garlic! Breathe deeply enough and you will suddenly speak with a ridiculous French accent

Wild Garlic! Breathe deeply enough and you will suddenly speak with a ridiculous French accent

As it had been so damp of late and this area is quite densely covered with a tree canopy, the logs that are around had quite considerable fungi growth on them, like this little chap. Funny, as I saw it and the colour, I thought if you picked it off and ate it, it would taste nutty. Weird….some subconcious link between brown and nuts?

By the way, with wild garlic and this kind of fungi, please don’t pick or eat. I’m sure you can if you know what you are doing but I’d personally steer clear!

Mmmm...nutty. Or the causes of much illness...not sure which

Mmmm…nutty. Or the causes of much illness…not sure which

Now on to the arty stuff. There’s my favourite waterfall, I had my circular polarizer in my pocket and a full battery so it seemed rude not to take a slow shutter shot. Actually, this gave me quite a headache. The sun kept coming out and going in, so most of the images I took were a bit screwed up as the settings were all wrong, so this is the best of a bad bunch. I was glad the stones showed up under the water though.

The waterfall that is a constant draw for me and a bit more wild garlic in the lower right

The waterfall that is a constant draw for me and a bit more wild garlic in the lower right

Now to the science kind of bit. As I mentioned before, there had been some considerable rain the few weeks before, pretty heavy too, the kind that creates a mist 6 inches above anything it hits. I think some areas of soil and such had pretty much waved a white flag! Upstream from the main waterfall, some trees had fallen and partly blocked the watercourse….

A natural dam just upstream from where I take all my pictures. Some pretty big logs there

A natural dam just upstream from where I take all my pictures. Some pretty big logs there

A little downstream, the stepping-stones had been undermined and were now all hickledy-pickledy. Luckily for me, I came prepared and had my wellies 🙂

If someone was going to walk across, I would have videoed them to post it on Youtube labelled FAIL!

If someone was going to walk across, I would have videoed them to post it on Youtube labelled FAIL!

Even further down, the beach that joins up with the Coastal Path had a fair portion of bank that had become exposed and was showing off its underwear for all to see. How rude! Nice slate, though.

The bank looks very soft, so hardly surprising that it had given up

The bank looks very soft, so hardly surprising that it had given up

In another place I often frequent, just along from Wolfscastle, there had been a very impressive bursting the banks of the little river there. You can see the normal course and the almost doubling of the width during the height of the flood. Impressive.

Looks horrible here but I went there the other week and no harm done. The nettles are as tall as me and a small nomadic tribe have taken up residence (the last bit's a lie by the way)

Looks horrible here but I went there the other week and no harm done. The nettles are as tall as me and a small nomadic tribe have taken up residence (the last bit’s a lie by the way)

Why, I ask myself, wasn’t I here to take some pictures when it was flooding? Oh well…maybe I don’t like getting wet. The way things are going with our Summers, it won’t be long until I get another chance! I shan’t go preaching about global warming or all that rubbish; my personal opinion is that we are such an insignificant spot on the planet that most of these things would happen in some form or other anyway, it’s just nobody would be recording them. Ooooh…political.

I shall leave you on that note, please feel free to put me “right ” (i.e give your opinion too) in the comments if you feel you want to. See you soon!

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The anatomy of a sunset

Greetings loyal followers!

Apologies for the delay of late, things have been a touch manic here of late due to work mainly but also I’m back sailing again but the weather has been awful and days are cancelled last-minute, so I never know when I’m going out. Sorry. Also, if you think things are getting back to normal (roughly a weekly post) think again, as I’m not near my PC next weekend, so it will be another week or so after that.

However, on the bright side, I have downloaded my SD card to the PC (and backed it up to DVD of course) so I have new material. Yay! Around 1100 images to be precise.

In the first instance, and because they were the earliest images on the card, I thought I may show you the life of a sunset and explain the science behind the colours in it. My god! The man’s a scientist. Nope, I’m afraid it’s all gathered from websites as I can’t explain things as well as they can. Anyway, here goes…

Firstly, you need some nicely textured clouds at the right level and a window pointing the right way, as I did. This particular evening, I could see that there was some cirrus (my favourite type of cloud) mixed with open cell or “popcorn” clouds. The wind up at that level was also fairly strong it would appear, as the were trails leading away from the uppermost clouds which were castings shadows.

From my bedroom, I could see that the clouds had promise at this point

From my bedroom, I could see that the clouds had promise at this point

Here, in portrait aspect, you can see that the shadows are a touch more distinct and the colour is getting a little deeper, although it is still predominantly orange. At this stage, I was stood on a little step straining to get the right angle for the picture!

A little darker, a little more orange and a few more shadows

A little darker, a little more orange and a few more shadows

Now the colours are deep still, although the best is yet to come. However, here comes the science bit explaining the change in colours; as a ray of white sunlight travels through the atmosphere to my little eye, some of the colours are scattered out of the beam by air molecules and particles, changing the final colour of the beam I see (or the camera sees!). Because the shorter wavelength components, such as blue and green, scatter more strongly, these colours are pretty much removed from the beam.

Although this is slightly underexposed, it is how the cloud appeared. Loving those shadows...miles and miles long

Although this is slightly underexposed, it is how the cloud appeared. Loving those shadows…miles and miles long

At sunset, when the path through the atmosphere is longer due to the curvature of the earth, the blue and green components are removed almost completely leaving the longer wavelength orange and red you can see in the pictures. The remaining reddened sunlight can then be scattered by cloud droplets and other relatively large particles to light up the horizon red and orange; near where I live you get some very red sunsets and using this explanation I can only guess that the refinery at Milford Haven may assist in pushing out these particles. This also explains why they are longer and deeper sunset colours when volcanoes erupt and scatter ash. These particles account for making gorgeous reds and pinks like this….

Just at the point where colour is starting to fade. I can't help but look at sunsets like this; doesn't it look like someone got a big paintbrush and just painted this with those trailing lines?

Just at the point where colour is starting to fade. I can’t help but look at sunsets like this; doesn’t it look like someone got a big paintbrush and just painted this with those trailing lines?

Pretty complicated eh? Mind you, I find it fascinating to be honest. To think that some guy thousands of miles away, maybe in another country, is seeing the sun as bright light that is then ending up in my camera as pink or red. Sometimes, we take these things for granted and I find it amazing that people pass things like this by day in and day out. Even if I’m not taking pictures for the blog, I always look at the sunsets or sunrises, if I’m up early enough…I can’t help but try and work all the science out. Hope I haven’t bored you!

Lastly, a bit of a random picture. I found these fungi in a wood not so far from the house. They look like red roses but I couldn’t get any closer to have a proper look. Can anyone tell me what they are?

Random fungi. I can't quite understand the bright red aspect of these, unless it's to attract or deter animals or something?

Random fungi. I can’t quite understand the bright red aspect of these, unless it’s to attract or deter animals or something?

Well, then. It’s good to be back and there are some nice pictures coming your way I assure you, so keep popping back when you get the email, I really appreciate it. Next time, I promise not to be all scientific!

See you in a couple of weeks.

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