Posts Tagged rainbow

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 🙂

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 🙂

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Birth of a sunset..again

Hello!

Yes, I know I have done this before and apologies if you know the science, but this summer there were an unusually large amount of pretty decent sunsets to snap around here so I have a pretty full card of them and this was one of the best of the bunch.

True, many people like sunsets, but I have heard many of those look at a nice clear day and remark “going to be a nice sunset today”…no, it’s not, where’s the colour? Where’s the reflection from the clouds? If you don’t have that, it’s hardly even worth looking at to be honest. What follows below is the my definition of a nice sunset!

Firstly, you have to have a few bits and bobs of clouds waaaaay up there. They catch the colors of the sun as it gets very low and turns into the pinky reddy hues, but more about that later…

Ooooh, a good candidate for a nice sunset...

Ooooh, a good candidate for a nice sunset…

Moving on, this stuff up there in the sky needs to stick around, if there’s a wind and it’s blowing away your cirrus (very high cloud), this is bad news as there will be nothing way up for the colours to reflect from. However, if there is a mix of high and low as per my example, that’s even better, as there are lots for the colour to reflect from…

Sun just touching the horizon and the colours starting to scatter....

Sun just touching the horizon and the colours starting to scatter….

Time rattles by and those pink and reds come into play, this is where one of the few pieces of atmospheric science I know that I can quote (I have actually passed this on to a couple of fellow photographers when taking pictures, as most people pack up as soon as the sun dips below the horizon; I encourage them to stay and I hope they are glad they did).

Because the sun is low on the horizon, sunlight passes through more air at sunset (and sunrise, but I’m in bed). More atmosphere means more molecules to scatter the violet and blue light away from your eyes. If the path is long enough, all of the blue and violet light scatters out of your line of sight. The other colours continue on their way to your eyes. Because reds and such have the longest wavelength of any visible light, the sun is red when it’s on the horizon, where its extremely long path through the atmosphere blocks all other colours…and as it travels below the line of the horizon it can get redder and project this onto those lovely high(er) clouds to produce an effect such as those following. From this……

And the pink arrives!

And the pink arrives!

…to this, in 9 minutes.

Now that's a sunset, nice curvy bases to the reflecting clouds too, very nice

Now that’s a sunset, nice curvy bases to the reflecting clouds too, very nice

They are my favourite type of sunsets. Don’t get me wrong, I like them all, but I do love the red ones…have a picture of one on my phone at the minute too!

Now I can’t make this post all about one sunset sitting can I? So, for all of those who have stuck with me, here’s a double rainbow just for you…

next time you see a rainbow, look for the inverted colours and Alexanders Band

next time you see a rainbow, look for the inverted colours and Alexanders Band

For those who loooove de science, please refer to the extract for Mr Wikipedia;

Secondary rainbows are caused by a double reflection of sunlight inside the raindrops. As a result of the second reflection, the colours of a secondary rainbow are inverted compared to the primary bow, with blue on the outside and red on the inside. The secondary rainbow is fainter than the primary because more light escapes from two reflections compared to one and because the rainbow itself is spread over a greater area of the sky. The dark area of unlit sky lying between the primary and secondary bows is called Alexanders Band, after Alexander of Aphrodisias who first described it.

Now, I never knew any of that, so I hope you learnt something! It made me look at my picture harder and it does indeed have the colour inversion which I had never noticed before. Fascinating!

Right, that’s the lot for today. Next time NO SUNSETS, honest..I promise, I have few other subjects up in the hills I took pictures of that I will share. Thanks for stopping by and see you soon.

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From “Mares Tail” to Storm

Hello all,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for dropping in again, catch you soon.

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Llys-Y Fran, Pembrokeshire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brighter sun, brighter rainbow :)

Brighter sun, brighter rainbow 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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