Posts Tagged preseli

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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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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In the depths of the Preseli Hills

Hello All,

It’s late and I’m typing a blog…things must be bad. Had a bit of a tiring day overall and now the wind is blowing hard outside so I probably won’t get much sleep. I can tell Friday is going to be heaps better!

Anyway, enough moaning.

On occasion, when I am at a loose end (fewer and fewer of those) I head up into the Preseli Hills north of where I live. When I first had my camera I noticed a ruined building out in the fields off the road as you climb over the pass. In the first instance, I thought it was private and I shouldn’t approach it but after a while I though “Forget that, let’s have a look”.

As with all good trespassing opportunities, there’s very little handy parking nearby so it’s a take-your-life-in-your-hands walk along a blind verge to get to the gate where there’s what looks like an old railway car rotting away…

Quite why this is here is a mystery to me but it's very atmospheric

Quite why this is here is a mystery to me but it’s very atmospheric

Then there a bit of a steep incline down the hill towards the “farm”…I presume it was a farm which, on this occasion, was absolutely surrounded by sheep. The Preselis are a prime grazing area and also this are is also used for managed timber (which you can see in the top part of this picture partly covered by the clouds).

You can almost hear the howling wind.....

You can almost hear the howling wind…..

Quite a ramshackle affair isn’t it? I can assure you that it’s not better inside. In fact I only ever went in once when I first ventured down there…I daren’t now as the whole place looks on the verge of collapse! Mind you, if you want slate tiles or corrugated iron, this is the place to come.

Went a bit bonkers with the black and white filter I'm afraid...

Went a bit bonkers with the black and white filter I’m afraid…

Discretion being the better part of valour on hearing the engine of a quad bike, I started to wander back up the hill think what excuse would be plausible for a rustic Welsh farmer…or whether I would even be able to understand them. Look back down you can see that the areas is on the edge of a little fir copse and the area is pretty wet and boggy, hence the small patches of reeds.

Lucky I was wearing boots here, it looked quite dry until I stepped on this area!

Lucky I was wearing boots here, it looked quite dry until I stepped on this area!

Walking next to the trees I was quite taken by how straight they are, even though this is one of the few places that always seems to be windy in the county. I crouched down a little to get a bit more perspective to get this picture…

The trees really were this green, I said it was very wet!

The trees really were this green, I said it was very wet!

Overall though, I do like it here. there is a reservoir nearby too that I have also featured on my blog but it looks blooming awful at the moment as all of the tree have been cut down both sides of it. In fact, I say cut, I really mean shaved. It looks horrible. Mind you, trees are a crop like any other I suppose, so I can’t blame them for cashing in.

Later that week, I was looking at taking some sunset pictures and I managed to actually catch a picture of something I usually only see a fleeting glimpse of….iridescence. Nothing spectacular and quite faint (along the inside of the “C” shape), but unusual nevertheless.

Sometimes you don't have to have a sunset to have pretty colours

Sometimes you don’t have to have a sunset to have pretty colours

The science bit…..

Iridescent clouds are a phenomenon caused by small water drops or small ice crystals individually scattering light. Larger ice crystals produce halos.

If parts of clouds have small droplets or crystals of similar size, their cumulative effect is seen as colors. The cloud must be optically thin, so that most rays encounter only a single droplet. Iridescence is therefore mostly seen at cloud edges or in semi-transparent clouds..

There’s another thing you have learnt from me. But please, don’t go staring at the sun looking for this…it’s dangerous!

Until next time, take care and thanks as ever for dropping by.

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Once more unto the archives!

Hello Everyone,

What a disappointing week. Not only has work been so busy it’s silly but when I took the day off to collect my new super dooper pocket rocket, it was broken so I couldn’t drive it. Well, the windscreen is broken and for those of you (if there are any) who aren’t familiar with the law in the UK, this means it is illegal to drive the car as it obscures my view…or something. Officer.

“Why not get a new screen?” I hear you ask. This is fine in theory but for one point…..Ford haven’t started making spare windscreens for this car yet!!! Quite what I would have done if I was driving and damaged the windscreen myself I’m not sure. Abandoned the car at the side of the road by all accounts it appears. However, I can’t complain about the dealer who is very apologetic and giving me a free replacement car until the problem is fixed (not of the sort I wanted though), money off and vouchers. So, you have been spared pictures of cars this week, you’ll just have to put up with my old stuff, seeing there are 35 mph blustery winds and rain today and I can’t even get outside! Should this continue, I may just download my card early.

Anyway, to the subject matter this week, even though it’s a few years old. Some of you may gathered that I live in a fairly rural place judging by previous rants about buses and snow, but I haven’t shown you many of the local animals, apart from the cat (who is currently asleep on my fish-tank, very wise). Our local council provides us with recycling for food waste, but with this guy around, it isn’t necessary…

Cat stares out fox. Well, they always seemed to get on pretty well actually

Cat stares out fox. Well, they always seemed to get on pretty well actually

We haven’t actually seen the fox in the flesh for some time and we can’t ask Mischief who appeared to have quite a close relationship, but we know we do have badgers now, so I dare say that if he is still about, he is keeping his distance as those badgers can be a nasty sort. However, they do the same job and food recycling is still not required.

All done! Back same time in a few days when the plate has filled up again I dare say

All done! Back same time in a few days when the plate has filled up again I dare say

There’s a name for this kind of thing…isn’t it symbiosis? Not sure, but they may as well benefit from our waste rather than it being shoved in a hole somewhere. However, Dad is heard to swear when the badger digs up the lawn looking for more!

On to my usual subject matter now, a good local walk, this time to Wolfscastle, on the way to Fishguard. You may be able to imagine the stories to lead to the name of this place, but there are no wolves anymore and it a tall outcrop of rocks, not a castle. One of my friends was disappointed on seeing the rocks from the road but we have plenty of castles, so I thought a climb up some rocks would have been refreshing. Seems I was wrong in that instance.

View up towards one of the Wolfscastle outcrops (there are a fair few) from the Fishguard Road

View up towards one of the Wolfscastle outcrops (there are a fair few) from the Fishguard Road

It’s not great distance up to the rocks, but a lovely walk (although a little steep in places) along the path with plenty of things to look at, as you can see. I had to crop this following image a bit, so apologies if it’s a bit blocky.

A flutterby amongst the bluebells! Seeing fewer and fewr of these this year due to the cold and rain

A flutterby amongst the bluebells! Seeing fewer and fewer of these this year due to the cold and rain

Once at the top, it’s quite a view I think you will agree. In the distance you can see the Preseli Hills (fat chance of seeing them today with all this rain) and it almost feels as though you could fly in a straight line to them. I must admit that I have no idea how similar the heights are, but it gives a feeling of satisfaction thinking you have climbed the equivalent distance.

The view from the top. In the far distance are the Preseli Hills, off to the left is Fishguard and the local gateway to Ireland

The view from the top. In the far distance are the Preseli Hills, off to the left is Fishguard and the local gateway to Ireland

Well, that’s this weeks instalment of pictures, but before I go I must share with you a short I was sent on YouTube. No, don’t worry, it’s not one of my boring ones. Come back!

Those who know me well will know I love zombie films, The Walking Dead and such so I had to have a look and hope you do too. It’s not overly gory or full of shock value but very touching and I challenge any of you who watch it not to have a lump in your throat at the end.

Please have a look, it was made by a small team who reached the finals of the film competition they were in (Tropfest Australia) and they would surely welcome encouragement in the form of oodles of views to churn out more fantastic stuff like this; here’s the link to “Cargo” http://youtu.be/gryenlQKTbE

Thanks

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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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