Posts Tagged weather

Looking up again..you should try it

Hello All,

Just popping on as I found an interesting series of photos in between the subject I finished on last time and that I was going start on next time…my trip to Germany a while back. Now, I’ll say in the very early stages, this may or may not interest you so I won’t take offence if I don’t get any feedback! However, I find this kind of thing very interesting and, in a way, beautiful when it comes to the shapes in the clouds. If it is one thing I’d encourage you all to do, it is to look up once in a while, clouds aren’t all flat and grey.

One afternoon, just wandering around the house minding my own business I expect, the day got a little heavy cloud-wise and the first clue that something was swirling around appeared…

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Now, without being able to point in directions and add annotations (I haven’t worked that out yet) you can see that a shelf of cloud is developing and is moving in from the upper part of the sky from right to left. In the distance, you can see the yellow colour displayed when there is rain in the air too and even a bit of virga. The thing is, when you looked to the left, the same was happening….

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In this image, you can see in the upper part and the lower part there is some compact and elongated mammatus and some distinct curves in the cloud where more is developing. A sure sign that rain is coming! However, seeing one big lump is coming one way and one the other, this is where is got interesting as they met in the middle and created this kind of melee of tumbling clouds at low-level…

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This continued on for quite a while and things got very dark and distinct lines of where the air is pulled in and pushed out became apparent in the form of asperatus-like curves and shapes…

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Sadly, all things come to an end and the lovely show came to messy finish where everything was jumbled up all over. I was hoping for a rain shower, a clap of thunder or maybe I read things entirely wrong!

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Mind you, not being one to give up easily when it comes to clouds (I often wonder what the residents of the houses backing on to the fields where I take my sunset pictures think of me) I saw that following this was a very distinctly shaped cloud which I have looked around for on the webby net. It seems that it ticks all the boxes for part of a flanking line for a storm cloud, so I think I was right! It was a storm close by but not over us..

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In the words or Mr Wikipedia “a flanking line is an area of small clouds that mark an area of widespread updrafts in front of strong thunderstorms. These flanking lines generally occur in the vicinity of supercells or large multicell thunderstorms. The bases of the clouds making the flanking line are merged (like in the picture). The forefront area usually has no rain” (this accounts for the fact there was no rain the whole time.

“These feeder clouds will merge with the main cumulonimbus and will regenerate the storm.” That I can’t vouch for but “the feeder clouds are located at the west or southwest of the main cloud” I can vouch for as the large town that pretty much always has these big rain storms is located in that direction.

Just call me John Kettley.

Well, this concludes an overly scientific and speculative diagnosis of weather in my area of Wales. Next time, we embark upon a road trip to Germany! Thanks for dropping by and sticking with me in this post.

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A few photographic effects for your perusal..and Storm Angus

Well, hello from Storm Angus ravaged Wales!

Kind of storm ravaged. Okay…not at all, just the tail end. We didn’t get this all half as bad as the south of England, if you wish to, you can read about the main bits in the Daily Telegraph.

Cue the normal film (courtesy of YouTube on this occasion) on the evening news of people who should know an awful lot better canoeing in the street, standing perilously close to waves crashing onto beaches, generally being a teeny bit dull or driving into water that is far too deep.

Honestly, if I knew that Newhaven and Brighton and similar areas were going to get this much coverage in the years after I moved to Wales, I wouldn’t have bothered coming! Only kidding. Still, at least I stayed relatively dry. The wind was perishing cold though, that was what bothered me the most as I don’t have an awful lot of meat on me. This is due to get less after Christmas too as I will be embarking on a proper 12 week training regime to do a further sportive bike ride of 100 km (60 miles) in aid of charity. I was looking at the handy downloadable training timetable and I am struggling to think of routes that fulfil the length of time or distance needed and also go in a loop to assist me in not transporting the bike around the county in a car that is too small for it. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

However, let us not be bothered by my good deeds. You read this for my wit and pictures don’t you? I like to think so, but I could be having a one-way conversation with the vast internet. So let us begin.

Iridescence. Difficult to spell, even more difficult to spot. More difficult to photograph than both of those things. I think I have posted images on here with some “mother of pearl” effects in some winter clouds but these are not to be confused with the proper nacreous or polar stratospheric clouds.

In this instance, you have to look very carefully at the tips of the dead clematis flowerhead I took a picture of a while back…

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I never noticed the fact there was some iridescence in this image when I took it to be honest but looking at Mr Wikipedia…thanks be to Wikipedia…it says that the effect is generally created by microstructures that interfere with light, which figures as these flowers are very intricate and the flash fired in this image.

On to a more familiar subject, the sky, but a more unusual effect in the clouds than usual. You may remember a while back that I pointed out some oh-so-catchy Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in clouds at sunset that caused what look like cresting waves? In a nutshell, it’s the interaction of two fluids of varying density such as the wind creating a wave on water (yes, air can indeed be construed as a fluid in science). It seems that the effect can go full circle (pun intended) and create what essentially looks like a corkscrew.

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Pretty cool, huh? I have only seen this the once and I can only find a few images on the internet that are similar, so you never know, I may have stumbled on a new cloud type! I will name it “the screw-mulus”. Or I could be over-thinking things….yes, the latter.

Now, moving away from science but to return to it in a little while, some sunset pictures I took just because and in the order of this post heading towards the end of the day in subject matter. Not that many sunset images at all this year, seems we have way too much low cloud now, so there will be fewer and fewer of these images of feathery loveliness…

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This next one is an unusual one as there are quite a few “straight” lines in the cloud. I say straight with a little bit of a nudge as they aren’t ruler straight, but in nature, you very rarely find anything too straight, so when you see it, it’s usually due to interaction with something unexpected…in this instance, I suspect the contrail on the right at a similar angle has something to do with it.

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Back to science! Rays. In particular, crepuscular rays. I have posted many images on here of these rays but now I present to you a rarer image of….anti-crepuscular rays. It is pretty much the same thing but you see these opposite the sun, not around it, behind a cloud or such like. The rays are caused by the interaction of the light with an object out of your line of sight due to the curvature of the Earth, so as the sun dipped just below the horizon here, a little cloud got in the way, casting this shadow…

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Apologies for the dark image, I had to fiddle the contrast to enhance the rays somewhat. However, talking of dark brings me nicely to my last image for this post, a nightscape. I don’t often do these, as it’s not an area I have a great deal of skill in, but I try. I took this of the refinery and fuel storage areas around Pembroke (on the left) and Milford Haven (on the right) from Pembroke Dock.

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I even managed to catch a little starlight in the image which was not my intention, but it adds a little depth to the inky black bits. I might try this further in the future, but I find them a little boring being so dark and having a not so well suited camera for this kind of stuff. We shall see.

Well, there you have it for another post. Before I go, just a couple of things…I need one more follower to reach 50 so if you have a friend or relative who can stand my infrequent babble, tell them to pop to my site on a PC and click the “Follow Me” link at the bottom right. Thanks!

Also, I have changed a few bits on the site such as the background banner and post text. Hard to read, too small, too large? Constructive criticism is very much welcomed!

Cheers in advance and see you soon.

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Forgotten you again!

Hello All,

Thanks for dropping by on the email you get sent to a spend a couple of minutes hearing me drone on.

Well, it’s been a busy and interesting couple of months for me. To be honest, the less said the better, but in the middle of it all was a three week holiday, so I will use that as my very valid excuse for not posting. I went to the south-western tip of Ireland again…some of you may remember I posted a video of the time I went whale watching in the same area. No? Shame on you! If you wish to have a look, either search my name on YouTube or go to Humpback Whale Awesomeness in my previous posts.

For those who wish to go to the area, I can highly recommend it and will be posting pictures of that area in the near future, as I now have time on my hands to do more regular posts. The first time was gorgeous weather, this time it was less so, but still very enjoyable and there are some lovely vistas to post.

However, I stray from the post I am doing. Now that Autumn is upon us, I though I would keep a few of the Summer pictures coming for a short time to keep us all from seeing too much brown and wet images by looking out the window! In the first instance, just along the way, it pays to look out of the window for those photogenic weather shots as along popped a little back-lit shower…

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I’m quite proud of this. I would put it in the folder marked “might consider getting printed when I have a place to nail it to in the future”. Catchy, huh? Alas, the folder is quite full, so I will need to purchase a stately home! I thought I’d add a slightly after picture too, to point out the lovely glaciation (virga) effect as the little cell collapsed…

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You remember me talking about glaciation? The jellyfish clouds are the most common form of this but in this case, I think what happened is that the top of the cloud suddenly outgrew what could be supported and became a little icy, then just fell down slowly, creating the shower you see above.

Next, a lovely sunny picture to inject a little landscape love! This is one of my favourite views on the Preseli Hills. I know most people climb the road or hike the hills and look south, but I much prefer the view to the north…well, the north-east. Essentially, in the distance from this view-point, you can see all the way to the end of the National Park and you are looking along the line of hills towards Crymch. This side is noticeably more rugged than the south, which is why I like it.

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Also, don’t forget, there is a lot of history here and that adds to the attraction. Pollen analysis suggests that the hills were once forested but the forests had been cleared by the late Bronze age; the hills are dotted with super-aged remains, including evidence of very early settlement…you know, grunting and flint type stuff. It has been mooted that bluestone from the hills is similar or the same as that used to build the inner circle of Stonehenge. Lots of people with beards and letters after their names have argued but seem to have settled on the fact that the stones have come from multiple sources on the northern parts of the hills…the exact way the photo looks.

Further south now, a few colourful pictures from the southern extent of the Park, thankfully not showing the overrated beaches and towns, but the much ignored Blackpool Mill. Again, I have mentioned this before but I like this picture showing the old mill tucked away in the forest…

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Moving in a little closer here, a tiny member of the thistle family in full flower, covered in pollen and waiting for a bee come along and do a swap and continue the line. No proper thistles here and I’m afraid I can’t put my finger on the exact name of this one.

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From bees to wasps. Now, no hatred for the poor wasp. I know they buzz your food and beer on the 3 or 4 days you are able to eat “al fresco” in the UK and that is a pain, but they’re only trying to eat. Anyway, I’m going to big these little blighters up. I mean, check this bad boy out, that’s quite an undertaking for a tiny insect….

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But wasps have a useful purpose. Wasps are predators who hunt and eat almost every pest that harms crops including grasshoppers, aphids and flies. Also, don’t forget, the nest is made of what is basically a wasp super wallpaper…they chew bark or wood up, mix it with saliva and spit it out in a thin rough paper to a high degree of accuracy which is brilliantly efficient at both retaining heat at night or to grow larvae and to cool residents on a hot day. So, even if you hate them, give a little respectful fist bump to a wasp, rather than smacking it with a copy of the Daily Mail….additionally if you do that, it just attracts more as a dead wasp releases pheromones attracting the masses!

In this case, I returned a few days later to see the nest destroyed…I hope the person who did this got a most uncomfortable sting.

To finish, as is usually my favourite thing, a dusk scene. Again, not very far away but hopefully attractive in the way there are lights, darks and silhouettes in the same image…

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Well, thanks again for popping by. No promises on the date of the next blog which will be moving on to a trip to Germany, but I am hoping for sooner rather than later and I may even consider a slight revamp of the set up if I have the option. Groundbreaking stuff! However, I might need to speak with the PC first as it’s beginning to creak a little. Should be fine though. Famous last words…..

Ta-ra for now!!

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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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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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More competition wins? Why, thank you!

As the above title would allude to, this post is veering somewhat off the recent topic as I had some recent news via email from those kind people at Weathernet.

As some of you who have followed this blog for a little while may know, I submit a number of weather related pictures ever year to this company to see if I can win ¬£20 for them using an image on their calendar that they send to customers around the country (and maybe even THE WORLD…mwuhahaha). Anyway, I received an email the other day and I have again managed to make it into the calendar not once, but twice. As per usual, I wouldn’t have chosen the images they did but, hey, who am I to complain, ¬£40 and a free copy of the calendar is pretty good for two pictures!

As I say, this post is off topic for those of late, but please find below the two images that they chose. Before anyone asks, I’m unsure if I am Mr October/November/December or whatever on the calendar, I shall have to wait until it arrives in the post. Firstly, a little spiders tent, covered in dew….

Luckily, to keep up appearances, the grass had been cut just days before!

Luckily, to keep up appearances, the grass had been cut just days before!

And lastly, a close up of some hailstones I took after a quick shower in the Autumn. I suspect it was the cousins of these little blighters that did for the bumper on my car last year too….

Nowhere near the size of the hail in the US, but still hard and noisy

Nowhere near the size of the hail in the US, but still hard and noisy

There we are, a competition winner again. I still don’t think I could win anything too much more technical than this though, if only for the fact that the “proper” landscape photographer needs a wide-angle lens and the cheapest I have seen is around ¬£500! Second-hand. I know where to aim my talents and this is just fine by me.

Thanks for dropping in, see you soon.

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The breaking of the 2013 Summer drought (Part 2)

Hello again,

Due to be a busy weekend here for a number of reasons, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to finish off this post. It’s also raining too…well, a mix of mist and rain, so there seemed little point in venturing out at the moment. I even cleaned the fish tank this morning too. I think they were grateful but there were many panicked splashes from fish trying to escape the nets and such!

Anyway, on to the second part of this asperatus I promised you. By the time I had taken these images, things¬†were well¬†and truly cleared ( no evil eye shapes in the clouds as one comment I received said) but there were a few showers flying, which you can see here….

I will admit to a little change in the contract here to bring out some lines in the cloud....

I will admit to a little change in the contract here to bring out some lines in the cloud….

As I said last week, these pictures were all taken on the one day and I had plenty of time to wander around to different spots I use (although judging by the distance covered, I suspect I used my bike). On the way up to one, I was quite surprised to be engaged by a horse in a field on the way; it seemed a touch shy and wouldn’t let me stroke its nose, maybe because it still hurt from bashing out the bits of wood in the gate! Horses like to see what’s going on!

Pembrokeshires answer to "Mr Ed"

Pembrokeshires answer to “Mr Ed”

Along from there, there was a field that time had forgotten it seemed. As you can see, the little trees were all gnarled and stunted and surrounded in places by abandoned farm machinery. Looked quite nice though and I will bear this place in mind for more detailed pictures come the Summer. I can only presume these bits of machinery are useless now….

No idea what to do with farm machinery? Abandon it in a field!

No idea what to do with farm machinery? Abandon it in a field!

However, from the gate, there was a nice view of the shower I spotted earlier over Haverfordwest that still appeared to be there. There were some really nice oranges in the clouds now but as you can see, things were starting to clear after the solid cloud of the past few hours. I believe the saying my Nan used was that “there is just enough blue to make a pair of sailors trousers”….

Bye bye asperatus, hello cumulus and cirrus...still some rain over west though

Bye bye asperatus, hello cumulus and cirrus…still some rain over west though

Wandering (or riding…I now think this is most likely as the next set of pictures were taken a fair distance away) my way back to one of my usual haunts, there had a been a teeny bit of drizzle and this had woken up a small snail who was running (!) for cover along a bramble leaf in the hedge in front of me…..

Run, snail, run! Rain's a-coming!

Run, snail, run! Rain’s a-coming!

To finish the day, a nice sunset. I’m sure most people who see sunsets like this don’t describe them as nice but I though the orange and pink glow on the clouds was lovely and I got a nice glow from the crops in the field too, which I find incredibly difficult to do most times I try, so it was a victory for me!

And as a finale to the day, a nice sunset....

And as a finale to the day, a nice sunset….

Well that’s the lot from this day…the 4.00 pm until 9.30 pm all day weather shoot. Okay, so it’s nothing on storm chasing in the US or Australia, but it’s fairly unusual to see such vivid clouds in Wales. I wonder how many people even noticed that this was happening? Such a shame if it passed them by.

Thanks for dropping in and I’m very much appreciating those likes from people…please keep them coming. There are a load of sunsets coming up at a quick glance into the new folder so, if you like colourful evening light, keep tuned in!

See you soon, I hope.

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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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..and now, the weather

Hello all,

A great British obsession, the weather. I think, personally, that the forecast is infinitely more interesting than the news programmes that come before it most days seeing our news is mainly pestilence, famine and war or a mixture of, most of which we are involved in.

It’s been quite a wet winter here in Wales, but apparently, we shouldn’t worry as it’s going to be drier over the next few days. But it’s going to get colder. Yay! I keep wanting to wash the car but not much point if it’s going to be sprayed with salt again as soon as I venture out!

Anyway, enough of my gibbering about cars, I should get these pictures up. These are just a few random ones from recent walks and I will confess that I have smoothed them all for your viewing pleasure as there is quite a lot of cloud that doesn’t focus very well when you take a snap! The first image was an interesting “stepped” cloud formation over the nearby refinery in Milford Haven that’s visible from a hill a short walk from where I live. Yes, it’s not pretty but it creates a bit of context.

I think a friend who visited this area referred to the stacks as "industrial beauty" especially at night, but I'm sure some would disagree

I think a friend who visited this area referred to the stacks as “industrial beauty” especially at night, but I’m sure some would disagree

Moving further down, I went on a few trips to Newgale and I think the next two images were only a day or so apart, just shows how different the sky can look in a short amount of time. In the first instance, you can see a towering storm cloud (I think I know the name but won’t embarrass myself by getting it wrong) that has been lit by the sun going down; a bit hazy and not as pretty as some I have seen but nice none the less, particularly in black and white as I have posted it here.

This towering cloud was too far away to give any rain but still looked imposing

This towering cloud was too far away to give any rain but still looked imposing

Moving on, same beach a few days later but a different set of sky and a different set of colours. Over to the left, you can see a few ships in the queue for the Haven deep water channel, probably dropping off some materials for the refining process. On stormy days I do feel sorry for them, bobbing around out there!

I do like a good set of sunrays, me

I do like a good set of sunrays, me

Finally, one of those famous squalls over the hills I quite often see just from the house. This one didn’t really amount to much, you can see some light rain on the left in the distance but the mix of colours from dark to light once again caught my eye, as it always does.

Been seeing quite a few of these this winter...makes the season seem very long!

Been seeing quite a few of these this winter…makes the season seem very long!

Looks to be a little brighter here today so I may try to just go down to Port Lion and explore the woods. This is if I get the tide right as if it’s high I have to take a long diversion instead of the direct approach along the beach. Here’s hoping for a little sun to make any pictures a bit brighter!

Stay tuned for the results in a few weeks following uploads…and don’t forget my YouTube channel, just search “Luke Johnson” and choose¬†the¬†channel search from the filters; the more views, the more videos I will post. Thanks!

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