Posts Tagged pembrokeshire

On holiday…again? Pffft!

I wish!

Greetings my followers and apologies again for the pause in posts from myself. Unfortunately, I have not even any decent images to show you nor trips to talk of from the recent past. Was I knocked off my bike by a marauding car? No, although that probably never crossed your minds…I haven’t by the way. Mind you, the way some drivers are around here, this surprises me.

No. Even more surprising is that I am moving house! Well, technically I have moved and my things are slowly moving into the house as from a few days back. I have purchased a small house (know as a bungalow in the UK) not a million miles away from where I was living with my family up until this point, just on the edge of the Preseli Hills in Wales.

Now, anyone who has done this house buying horror themselves will know that my preference was to indeed have been knocked flying from my Boardman racer and to be in traction in hospital, as it would have been less painful and more relaxing. However, here we are. No invites to any housewarming as yet, seeing there is much fettling to be done yet and my DIY skills extend to painting and….painting. Well, pretty much just painting.

So, should I get the opportunity to fiddle on my PC and pop the odd post out, I will but this is on a list with mowing lawns and attempting to erect flat pack furniture. Actually, I’m quite good at that as well as tea is provided regularly, with occasional sustenance.

Anyway, those who are interested, remember that I am still on Instagram and you are welcome to follow me…my handle is @lukegeoffreyjohnson as per this site, so you don’t get confused and I can be slightly embarrassed by my middle name. I post loads more on there as my phone is with me much more than the PC is one, so get an account, it’s free and there’s some gorgeous stuff on there to follow for a good photo fix on a daily basis, don’t forget to follow me too though!

So, thanks for following still. Here’s hoping that picture filled service will resume shortly!

See you soon!

 

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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 ūüė¶

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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Some Summer colour in the hills

Whatto!

Well, well, hasn’t it been a busy last few weeks? I hope that you are all well and enjoying the warmer and drier weather. In sunny West Wales the office has been stifling most days but now it’s cooled after some well deserved rain and everything plant wise has received a turbo boost; my girlfriends mother remarked that there was a rogue patch of grass near her summer-house that seemed to grow almost visibly every time she steps over it!

It’s been busy, as I said, so the blog has been on the back burner of late; essentially work is the usual unresolved stress and strain (to remain unspecified) and there have been a few small disasters in the household that have needed me to prioritise. The most long-term of these is the fact that I, by mistake, pretty much destroyed my fish tank that has taken me a number of years to stock to a self-sustaining level.

Thinking I was being a good and responsible owner, I decided to medicate the tank due to seeing a few fish with finrot, a not-so-serious fungus that can be dealt with via a tonic directly into the water. So, in the spirit of “read the directions, even if you don’t follow them” I did all that was asked of me and expected happy fishies. Not so. After the removal of a portion of my filter to allow the tonic to circulate, I came back home and replaced it early, as I would be away for a few days. Said few days elapsed and I came back to an aquatic version of nuclear ground zero…after queries with local pet stores I found that in my haste I had neglected to rinse the parts of the filter I was replacing and, in sitting out of the tank, they had become toxic. In adding them, I basically pumped toxic goo all over the inside of the tank and killed all but one plant and a good 50% of my fish. For the last couple of weeks, I have been scrubbing (literally) and allowing what is left in the tank to rest and recuperate before reintroducing some plants hopefully in the very near future and fish in the medium term. So, onward and upwards there then…

On to the pictures, this is after all why you are here isn’t it? Continuing with the summer theme from last time, I shall start off the pictures with this little guy, supping away at the flowers…a rhodedendron, perhaps? I don’t have green fingers!

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Now, the main cut of the post, a walk along the forestry paths into one of my favourite places, the old Rosebush quarry. As a place, this village did not exist until the slate was quarried in the early nineteenth century and it is rumoured that this was one of the first places in rural south Wales to have piped water, which was sent to the quarry workers cottages. The cottages, although modernised, are still lived in today.

Now, although it looks it, this next picture was not staged, I found this rusty old bit of metal on a stump after the clearance of the trees for timber. I suspect, since researching the area, it may be a piece of something to do with the railway built in the 1870s that facilitated the movement of the slate out of the village to Clynderwen, then on to Narberth and towards Swansea and Cardiff. If you walk and look nearby, or even drive the roads going past, you’ll see parts of leftover bridges, as well as tracks and such making fence stays.

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Deeper in the quarry, you find “The Blue Pool”. Well, it looks blue in certain lights and is as clear as a bell. In this picture, it was a bit windy and cloudy, so it’s not at its best, but you get the idea. However, as a safety conscious bod, I must say that pools like this, although they look nice, are full of hidden dangers…that water is probably freezing and who knows what chemicals are waiting the dirt at the bottom? The only certainty is that you never see any aquatic life in there, bar the odd plant or bit of algae. There must be a reason for that…

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Also, as I saw on this day, the surrounding quarry isn’t all that safe either, as this recent rock slip testifies. That slate is sharp too, just pick a piece up and look. On other days, this Summer in fact, I have seen teens climbing up these cliffs to throw things in to the water. Quick route to a Darwin Award in my eyes…

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Additionally, there is what I refer to as “The Lost World” nearby. This is basically just a hole in the quarry, whether it was a fall or a hole sunk¬† on purpose, I am not sure but it’s scary feet deep. I wouldn’t even like to guess. I often look over the lip and think to myself what special species of plants and such lie in there, undisturbed, other than by the weather? Probably a few mobile phones too!

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Anyway, I’m a predictable soul, so I’m ending on skyscapes and clouds for your viewing pleasure. In my opinion, not enough people look at sunsets. Schools should teach children about them and the gorgeous colours and what weather you can see or even predict if you are lucky enough. For example, in this gorgeous pinky red (usually about 20-30 minutes after sunset time), you can see both a gravity wave effect on the clouds (the horizontal lines on the clouds mid left) and the remnants of a sun pillar, which is formed when ice crystals hover in the light above the sun in cold air…

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You’re welcome. This other picture, although I chose it predominantly for the colours and the slight pollen corona around the sun just below the horizon, also has gravity waves in it. They are quite common. Next time it’s a bit clearer and you have high, thin clouds above you, take a look, it doesn’t hurt.

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Now you are all scientists. Well done! Maybe next time there will be another lesson? Until then, keep safe and don’t go investigating that hole in Rosebush! It’s dangerous!

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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 ūüôā

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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Never underestimate the power of the sea…and a lot of rain

Hello Readers!

I hope that you are all well. December already eh? I hope that we have all been making in-roads to our Christmas present buying? I have asked a few of the guys at work and the consensus seems to be that it is best to go out on Christmas Eve. Whilst, I’m usually quite organised, I am loathed to do any before the month begins with a “D” but I got some last weekend, so there goes that precedent….

Anyway, I arrive to yet another update on WordPress so I am hoping that all the buttons are in roughly the same place and this doesn’t get complicated. Seems straight forward so far.

Before I forget, I must pass on some sad news. The Temposcope didn’t make it ūüė¶ Seems that although quite a few thousand people believed in the gadget, they weren’t rich enough to pull it off and the fund fell short by around $100,000, which is no small margin I will admit. I was quite disappointed as I was promised some feedback by Weathernet as to their involvement but never got any….which reminds me, it’s been awfully quiet regards my winnings. Hmmm.

Anyway, less of my finances and more of the pictures. This week, I find my search landing at a trip I took to Newgale beach at low tide following the storms I wrote about a few post back, hence the title. The first picture tells quite a story showing what angry wave can do to a walkway on a beach…

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Er…might need a few more planks now

Actually, the reeeeal reason of my visit to this beach after the storm was due to the fact that the erosion and backwash (is it called backwash when referred to in a geological manner?) by the waves had revealed a rarely seen treat. A submerged forest. Sweet. I shall try to explain in my very no geological manner as much as possible, starting with this picture, which shows a preserved peat bed..

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The exposed peat layer on Newgale beach….look closely

If you look closer, you can see traces of roots and ferns. Quite a jumble, so I expect that the plants that used to live on top would have been thick and lush. I used Google to look into the type of plants that were here and when and it seems that Newgale peat and the fragments scattered around contain remains of¬†preserved stumps of willow, hazel, oak, pine and birch. The site I found refers to such wood remains as¬†‚ÄėNoah‚Äôs Trees‚Äô from an earlier belief,¬†before their true nature was understood, that they were believed to be the result of the biblical flood which gave birth to¬†numerous myths and legends of cities and countries swept away by the sea.

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In the foreground is a fair chunk of wood, exposed to the air after thousands of years

It goes on to explain that as well as wood, the¬†remains of animals have been excavated from the deposits around the tree stumps, including red deer and brown bear from Whitesands and pig from Lydstep, both in Pembrokeshire. How fascinating!¬†The tree stumps are rooted in peat levels lying below the marine sand (see the pictures earlier where they were exposed) and have been preserved by the continuous waterlogged conditions…in fact the council in some instances attended to cover large logs with pebbles to preserve and prevent them drying too much. The sites around the Welsh coast do not represent a single flood, apparently fancy technical dating techniques give dates showing that most sites have trees that died around 3 to 5,000 years ago….

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Some debris was more obviously wood than other bits

Isn’t it mad to that that the stick poking from the sand above could be that old? If you think about it hard enough, it gives you a headache. To reiterate, this is how wet it was. I went into a small cave at the high tide mark and the water was running down the rocks where it is usually dry…

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Could this be described as a weeping rock?!

Once I had got home and it was dark, as we hadn’t had enough, there were more showers appearing over the Preseli Hills in the distance. Apologies for the blue tinge, no sun to give this image any warmth, such is the danger of pictures at night!

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An evening of showers as the sun sets over the Preseli Hills

Well, there we have it once more. Now you can impress your friends and/or co-worker about the effect of an erosive wave action on a submerged forest. Say, “marine sand” or “underlying peat layer” on occasion, you are golden. Instant IQ increase. Have a beard? You’re a scientist. Thank me later.

Thanks for dropping in..come back soon for more of my fave local landmarks and holiday snaps with scintillating explanations or artistic insight. Coming soon is a petrolhead experience to Germany with a long detour via the Eifel National Park.

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Some random garden and weather pictures for the weekend

Hello All,

I return. Been a bit busy of late and with the weather getting better by the day, they has been quite a lot of riding of my new bike to be done. Also, when I had it serviced recently I opted to fit gel inner-tubes to protect against punctures, so I am now more confident riding the paths around here that seem to be strewn with thorns for some reason.

Also, my work colleagues have decided that being single is a source of lunch hour amusement for them and have put me on a site called Plenty of Fish…probably to take the mickey even further, but it’s quite time-consuming! I was also persuaded to attend a singles night locally the other day; little did I know that I would be the only person there. No, not the only man, the only person. I even got let down by people who promised to come with me! The barmaid was very apologetic, but it was super embarrassing…

Anyway, what a difference an hour makes in South West Wales weather? When I got up the wind was blowing and the rain was horizontal but now, I’m squinting against the sun as I type! Mind you, there has been a lot more of interest in “space weather” of late as you may have seen on the news lately? If not, there was a “supermoon” (which saw some amazingly low tides around the beaches near here), the partial eclipse and a sighting of the Northern Lights over Pembrokeshire. Should you want to see the local cover, please refer to the local paper…

Read about the eclipse over Pembrokeshire here

See some pretty awesome (although not as you see them in Norway, unfortunately) Aurora pictures here

Anyway, I shall start popping my own pictures on now! As I said, this is a bit of a random collection of mainly weather, as it appears that my travels were somewhat curtailed and these were more local wanderings. Firstly, a spider that caught my eye in the garden, wrapping up his next big meal it appears..

Looks like this guy is wearing his desert camouflage...

Looks like this guy is wearing his desert camouflage…

That is a pretty funky spider tattoo down his back, isn’t it?! I fully admit that I am no fan of spiders, but will concede that they are amazing little creatures. I am quite thankful that I live in a country that just has small ones though, not like the tropics. Eeek!

Moving on to the skies, as I quite often do, a nice dusk that I took a few pictures of. I have included these as I noticed on review of the images that there was a little aberration in the latter picture…not sure whether I noticed this at the time though…

Notice the ripple effect in the cirrus towards the top of the picture; could this be Kelvin-Helmholtz forming?

Notice the ripple effect in the cirrus towards the top of the picture; could this be Kelvin-Helmholtz forming?

In the latter image below, just above and to the left of the trees, you will notice a line of Kelvin Helmholtz instability. Now, I don’t know whether this is some optical illusion or something as the earlier pictures shows some “waves” in the high cloud. I can’t say for sure, but I’d like to think I caught the¬†creation of the waves over time ūüôā

A small line of Kelvin-Helmholtz (I think) in the orange dusk

A small line of Kelvin-Helmholtz (I think) in the orange dusk

Next, a common occurrence over Pembrokeshire, some mild asperatus. This is the only place I have ever seen the regular appearance of this cloud, that is similar in age to me. In that, I mean that it wasn’t really officially recognised as a type of cloud until 30 or so years ago; I’m sure it has been around for donkeys years. In the textbooks and such, this is a precursor to rain or is on the rear edge of a front that was just carrying rain (this I can testify to). So, if you see clouds like this, get a coat….

Some mild asperatus in advance of rain overnight (which did happen, I'm not making it up)

Some mild asperatus in advance of rain overnight (which did happen, I’m not making it up)

As the sky got a bit dimmer, there was a nice watery orange sunset so I snapped a quick image of that with a little of the asperatus in…

A watery, orangey, asperatussy sunset. All technical terms, you understand

A watery, orangey, asperatussy sunset. All technical terms, you understand

A few days later, things had turned a bit squally again. This again seems to be a theme here, there are times where we have weeks of squally heavy showers and because of the position of the house and the hills in the distance, we get a pretty good grandstand view. In the first instance there was this little cell struggling to make itself into an anvil shape over the estuary to our north, bless it…

Must...create...anvil...shape. Nicely lit by the sun though

Must…create…anvil…shape. Nicely lit by the sun though

Alas, wind blew this little cell apart and it died away to be replaced by three of four layers of “scud” which were whipping along in the wind at quite amazing speeds. I took a picture of these as they passed, as the colours and contrasts of the different levels were pretty cool, I thought…

The type of clouds you avoid if you are in a glider, I suspect

The type of clouds you avoid if you are in a glider, I suspect

For every cell that falls apart there are a few that succeed in dropping their rain. This one and the following picture are from a day where things were a little less “lumpy” so they are much more streamlined and pleasing to the eye, even though in looking at them you would have got wet! From this angle, you can see what I mean in me getting a good view as the weather moves from left to right (from the Irish Sea inland)…

A windswept squall over the Preseli Hills

A windswept squall over the Preseli Hills

And to finish, a rainbow! Everyone loves a rainbow. No particular structure to this one as this was a fleeting one that passed by in the clouds as the rain flew around in the air. Again, this is something which happens quite a lot in the Spring around here, very pretty…

Rainbow! One of the plus points of rain in my opinion

Rainbow! One of the plus points of rain in my opinion

Well, there we have it, I hope that the fact that the sun is (trying to come) out and the flowers are blooming has cheered you up and these picture may have raised a grin too. Don’t forget the clocks go forward this weekend too!

Next week, I see that I was out and about when there was fantastic display of cirrus “mares tails”, basically windblown cirrus clouds very high up in the atmosphere that also seem to show themselves in advance of heavy weather which I also manage to capture, so I shall be posting those images. I have others from my wanders that week too so if you are good, I might post some more moving water…

Well, that’s the lot for this post, cheers for dropping in and taking a peek, see you soon. I will also update you on any decent single life news in the next entry ūüôā

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Broad Haven South – Part 1

Hello!

Yes, this title would suggest that there is going to be another post at some point. I have lined up the next set of pictures already, so I am committed now! Anyhow, no excuses for the length of time since posting this week, let’s just get on with it.

As you may see from the title, this was a walk I took in the area of Broad Haven south beach…or is it Broadhaven? Maps disagree. I took it upon myself to go out as it was a lovely winters day at this point (it was a while back) so this situation lends itself more to taking pictures as there are fewer people about to get in the way.

To get to the beach, you have to go through the Bosherton¬†Lily Ponds, owned by the National Trust and the main reason you have to pay to abandon your vehicle, although I don’t begrudge ¬£1 for a days parking, unlike some who line the road outside!

Fairly uneventful walk down to the start and I apologise in advance for the very beige pictures throughout the post, as the trees hadn’t started to bud significantly at this point. The scenery was still very nice and if you took a side path up a hill, you got a pretty good view almost at the very start…

The view down the currently empty Lily Pond to the beach

The view down the currently empty Lily Pond to the beach

Also, I was greeted by a few “interesting” bridges that traversed shallow water (you could see the dead reeds at the bottom) made of a mix of concrete, wood and bolts. I sure these were pretty original and repaired as and when needed but they didn’t seem all that stable and I was thankful there weren’t lines of people passing each other as I am sure there are in the Summer.

I suggest a sign here that says "Single-file or Swim" but I suspect I may be ignored

I suggest a sign here that says “Single-file or Swim” but I suspect I may be ignored

From these bridges,¬†you get a lovely¬†view down towards the beach along the reed beds. Yes, it’s not very photogenic if I’m to be honest, but stop complaining, there’s a blue sky, cirrus¬†and contrast;¬†this is a thing to be celebrated!

A view along the extensive reed bed; those of you with eagle eyes will see a cairn of sorts on the hill. Not sure what that signifies, as it was unlabelled

A view along the extensive reed bed; those of you with eagle eyes will see a cairn of sorts on the hill. Not sure what that signifies, as it was unmarked

Around the corner, I almost bumped into a couple who had stopped in the middle of the path.¬†I wasn’t exactly sure why to be honest, so¬†I mentally tutted and walked around them to be confronted by a man hand-feeding little Robins.¬†Bless! Now, that’s something that you don’t see every day….alas, they wouldn’t pose on him, but I did manage to catch a picture of this cheeky chap daring me to get closer!

"You going to just stand there, or is there bread?!"

“You going to just stand there, or is there bread?!”

Come to the end of the track past the reeds and you are afforded a lovely view, complete with bench for those of us of a lower fitness level, of the well used path to the lovely sandy beach and in the distance, Church Rock. In terms of distance, this is very close to shore, only 150 yards or so and is quite dramatic close up.

The "drain" from the Ponds out towards the beach with Church Rock in the distance. Mmmm, I know, I haven't seen a church like that either!

The “drain” from the Ponds out towards the beach with Church Rock in the distance. Mmmm, I know, I haven’t seen a church like that either!

As a beach, it’s way up on the list in Pembrokeshire apparently; it has very high¬†water quality and its south-facing location and dramatic cliff views backed by sand dunes and expansive National Trust woodland and Lily Ponds which are located behind the beach make it quite a draw. I wandered a little further on to take a picture of the contrast in rocks and sand to illustrate the “microcosm”…

The varied landscape in such a small area that draws so many people to this beach

The varied landscape in such a small area that draws so many people to this beach

I confess I have only been a few times but I’d go there if I had a dog or a family to drag along! Does this look a touch familiar? It should do, as I posted a video of this spot not so long ago to encourage you to absorb the natural beauty…if you can’t recall, have a look through the archives, I’m sure you will find it.

Anyway, that’s the first part of my loop and the landscape I saw, the next set of¬†pictures are from the top of the cliffs to be added shortly…thanks for stopping by.

Remember, if you like a picture, please feel free to ask for a print, don’t just pinch them for free!

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Carew Castle and Tide Mill

Hello,

Firstly, sorry for the delay. I had a friend down from Scotland last weekend, so this went on the back burner, but all is back to normal now, so I thought I’d continue through my card and post a few pictures of my wanders. This time, it shows Carew Castle and Tide Mill.

Tide Mill? What’s that? The clue is in the name, it was a mill that ground flour using the power of the tides and stored tidal water. Now long since closed, it is a seasonal museum and a walk for locals that wish to brave the weather the rest of the time. On the occasion I visited, the tide was quite high or at least coming in fairly quickly as you will see. To get to the mill, you need to first go past the Castle.

Carew Castle; it is even imposing now as a ruin

Carew Castle; it is even imposing now as a ruin

According to Mr Wikipedia, a site of military use has existed here for at least 2000 years but the castle we see in the pictures dates from around 1100 AD and was occupied until the late 1600s when it was abandoned and taken on for restoration in the late 1980s; it’s now run as a visitor attraction by the Park Authority.

I'd like to say I was thinking of adding some winter foliage, but it was just a knackered old tree with some red berries on!

I’d like to say I was thinking of adding some winter foliage, but it was just a knackered old tree with some red berries on!

The mill is quite unique, one of only four intact in the UK and the only intact one in Wales. As I said, the day I was here, the tide was quite high and apparently when full, the 22 acres of the tidal pond provide a significant amount of power; this all just drains away now and under some pressure judging by my images!

Such a shame that all this power in the water goes to waste. Funny how things come full circle though isn't it, this kind of power is very fashionable now

Such a shame that all this power in the water goes to waste. Funny how things come full circle though isn’t it, this kind of power is very fashionable now

Once at the mill, the path follows up to a small bridge which now carries a single track road, although I couldn’t get there and take a different aspect of the castle, as it had been flooded and I was wearing trainers! Never mind.

From the flood gate and draining away into the Cleddau Estuary...think of the bread all that water could have made

From the flood gate and draining away into the Cleddau Estuary…think of the bread all that water could have made

As an aside, some of you may be interested in a ghost story about this place;

In the 17th century the castle’s lord, Sir Roland Rees, a former pirate captain, is alleged to have kept a Barbary Ape, most likely a mandrill, inside the castle. Rees had acquired the creature on one of his many voyages. Rees was a very ill-tempered and mannered individual, and would host banquets at the castle just to shout insults and laugh at his guests. The ape, whom he named Satan, would mimic him and laugh at the guests too.

One stormy night, when there was strong wind and rain, the ape grew restless while Rees drank heavily in the dining hall. There was a knock at the door and a¬†tradesman appeared to deliver his rent, but had only half the money needed. Rees was already upset at the man because he did not approve of his son’s relationship with the man’s daughter. In a drunken rage, Rees loosened the ape‚Äôs chains and goaded it to maul the tradesman close to death. The tradesman escaped but, weak through loss of blood and struggling to make his way out, collapsed in semi-consciousness.

The tradesman was rescued by a benevolent servant who tended to his wounds and hid him away in his quarters, intending to let him go when the violent storm passed. As the two men talked a violent cry and mad laughter was heard coming from the dining hall. They rushed to the scene to find Sir Rees dead on the floor, his throat gashed open, and the ape burning in the fireplace. The ghosts of the ape and its master are said to haunt the castle to this day. Footsteps are reported regularly, objects throw themselves, and the mad cackling laughter of an ape echoes through the halls.

Oooooh, spooky! Just to say that I have visited inside and I haven’t heard any mad apes, so don’t let this put you off if you fancy dropping in! Next post in a week or so as per normal.

Thanks for stopping by.

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A Coastal Path walk and some weather..

Hello everyone,

Well, well. I had 36 views the other week, I reckon that’s a record for me, although I note with some sadness that nobody wants to “follow” me, which is a shame because the updates are ummm, fairly regular at the moment. However, I am due to be working out of Aberystwyth for a bit so, it may be a week or so until the next one.

It’s raining here now after some recent snow, so I though I’d quickly post a few pictures I took when walking the Coastal Path near Newgale¬†when the weather was somewhat sunnier. It’s my fave beach for a number of reasons, mainly the easy access and oodles of room to park (without using the pay and display machines¬†which I use¬†every day at work, so I’ll be damned if I do it at the weekend too) as well as the acres of room at low tide for beachcombing. The beach faces directly west too, so it was one of the first I went to and took sunset pictures from when I moved here and it’s a nice drive as well to be honest.

Anyway, moving on, this are a couple of pictures from the beginning of the walk where it is a touch up and down so those with weak knees need not apply.

On the way up from Newgale looking over some of the lovely beaches that Pembrokeshire has to offer

On the way up from Newgale looking over some of the lovely beaches that Pembrokeshire has to offer

I must admit, the dead ferns and bracken in the foreground worked quite well when taking these pictures. As you walk along, there are a number of steep drops down to lovely little beaches that would have no footprints on and are very tempting prospects to climb down to. Mind you, I wouldn’t give much for your chances once the tide came in, as the rocks may knock you about a bit; possibly¬†to the point of¬†a good list of broken bones and a free helicopter ride.

On my way back from my turning point, the sun was still out, so I took a shot of the entire beachfront

On my way back from my turning point, the sun was still out, so I took a shot of the entire beachfront

A couple of weeks later and the weather had got back to the usual with little showers and squalls travelling in from the hills and the sea. I know I complain about the weather, but the pictures I get are pretty awesome and these were some of my favourites, actually both were taken on the same day too so it just goes to show how quickly the cloudscape changes.

A very photogenic squall over the house. If you look closely it's almost green at the bottom left corner

A very photogenic squall over the house. If you look closely it’s almost green at the bottom left corner

Now, I do need to make two apologies here; firstly, I did promise I would post my best storm picture ever to a couple of people. I haven’t, as I felt I should take the pictures I wanted off the older¬†card first. As the storm is a¬†more recent image,¬†I will do them shortly.

Secondly, I do say that I don’t manipulate images on here, but with these last two I have as, mainly due to my lack of skill, the exposure was a bit pants and the finished image was a teeny bit blocky. I noticed early,¬†so they had a very useful tool set upon them…thank you Corel Photoshop for the Digital Noise Reducer Tool. I know that it may be a cheat but believe me, you would have noticed the difference and the images here look so much better for it.

A lovely little cell of rain travelling along the Preseli Hills about 30 miles from where I live

A lovely little cell of rain travelling along the Preseli Hills about 30 miles from where I live

Well, that about covers that memory card for this post so, next time I’m onto a new card and then will be revisiting the old one as I see fit or remember the stories associated. Hope you enjoy this weeks lot and also hope to see you soon!

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