I know it’s nothing short of laziness, but despite my best intentions I still find myself walking Tilly without a camera in my pocket… so I have determined to make better use of my mobile ‘phone. These images may not meet my own standards for image quality, but I think they are acceptable as remembrances of outings.
Rose hips come in various shapes and sizes, but there is something about the hips from the common Dog Rose that always appeals to me.
Oak Tree Growth
I really have no idea what it is that is growing on a couple of our local Oak trees or whether these growths are harmful… they are fleshy outcrops on the ends of leafy twigs… spongy to the touch. Odd looking, huh? Click the image to enlarge it for a closer view.
These are Teasel plants… this year’s growth… during and after flowering.
Teasel – Before
Teasel – After
You can click the images for a larger view. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll remember to actually put a camera in my pocket, but if not at least I’ll be able to grab some kind image should the need arise.
I took Tilly for a nice long walk in the woods yesterday; Tilly had a lovely time exploring a footpath that was new to us. We found ourselves on a trail that eventually took us out of the south eastern tip of Slade Woods and onto a footpath that runs past the old windmill on its way down to Rogiet.
I’ve photographed the ruined windmill on several occasions, but never tire of capturing a fresh image…
It’d cost a small fortune to restore the old mill, but you’d have a great view over the Caldicot Levels and the Severn Estuary if you did.
Don’t forget to click the images for a larger view.
Popped into Tesco this morning for a couple of essentials and was grateful for the under-cover parking considering the torrential rain… then realised it was almost as wet inside as was out!
Tesco have sprung a leak!
I suspect it has something to do with the amount of rain being dumped by ex-Hurricane Bertha.
No wonder this section of the car park was empty!
Devil’s Pulpit is a natural rock stack on the Gloucestershire side of the River Wye above the village of Tintern and adjacent to the ancient earthwork known as King Offa’s Dyke. The stack isn’t exactly huge being only about 3 metres tall, but it does stand on the edge of the river valley atop a cliff some 280 metres above the river.
Whether the Devil himself ever stood on that stack to hector the monks in Tintern Abbey in the valley below is of course debatable, but any aspiring photographer who clambers up will find himself in a great position to photograph the remains beside the river in the valley below.
The view of Tintern Abbey from the top of Devil’s Pulpit
That said I would urge people not to climb on the stack; the rock is frequently damp and slippery even in the driest of weather and a slip would result in serious injury if not death. Yes I know, practice what you preach Usky, but in my defence I am a sprightly 62 year old and well aware of the dangers having been up there on many occasions in the past.
You can climb to Offa’s Dyke and Devil’s Pulpit from Tintern by crossing over the river and walking uphill on the way-marked wooded paths. Alternatively you can take the easy option by parking at Tidenham Chase and following the 1.8km footpath to Devil’s Pulpit. If you fancy more of a walk you could follow Offa’s Dyke from the Chepstow end walking towards St Brivels (or of course the reverse), which will offer some stunning views of the Wye Valley below.
If you do visit the area and walk the Dyke I urge you to detour down to the village of Tintern. Tintern is famous of course for its Cistercian abbey, but being a local history buff let me tell you that some 500 years before the abbey was built Tintern was the home of King Tewdrig of Gwent who lived there as a hermit. Tewdrig was persuaded to return from his hermitage in the 6th century to fight the invading Saxons, who he defeated in a battle that probably took place at a site known today as Pont y Saison (Bridge of the Saxons) in the Angiddy Valley.
From an industrial aspect Tintern was an important site for the production of both brass and iron. There are the remains of numerous works and forges along the Angiddy Valley, which provided the necessary water power and dominated the village and surrounding communities for some 300 years. It has been suggested the monks at Tintern were the first in Britain to produce the alloy brass.
You’ll also find Tintern is a good place to stop for refreshment… there are several pubs and cafés offering a wide variety of eats and drinks.
Had a lovely walk along Offa’s Dyke yesterday and stopped above Tintern at Devil’s Pulpit to take a few photographs. While I was busy peering down at the Wye valley below Tilly decided to do a little exploring on her own; she’s always keen to seek out squirrels and other rodents in wooded areas. I don’t know whether she’d spotted something hiding in the yew tree that was growing on a rocky outcrop, but Tilly was definitely interested and decided to do a little rock climbing to get a closer look.
Life is just one long struggle
Some people may regard being of diminutive stature a bit of a drawback, but obviously nobody has told Tilly she’s at a disadvantage. Getting to the top of a 2 metre chunk of vertical rock was a challenge to be overcome; never let it be said Tilly gives up without a struggle.
Sometimes life can be just a little cruel and knocks you back… getting to the top of the rock was all very well, but dogs don’t do well when it comes to climbing trees!
Spied Mr & Mrs Swan and their brood out for a morning swim while walking Tilly yesterday… just had to share them with you.
Apologies for the image quality, it’s the best the mobile ‘phone could do… really must remind myself to carry a camera with me all the time… having not enough hands is not a good enough excuse!
What do you see when you look at a range of coastal sand dunes? To some of us they represent an essential barrier between land and sea, to others they represent a special environment of biodiversity. Most of us simply see somewhere to walk and enjoy a little leisure time.
Merthyr Mawr Warren
I won’t deny that I enjoy rambling over sand dunes, especially now that Tilly is on the scene. Tilly just loves running free, bounding over the sandy soil, but I find the environment fascinating; there is always something different for me to look at. The very nature of dune structure means our dune ranges are constantly changing thanks mostly to the weather, although human intervention certainly has a notable impact.
As the wind blows and the sands shift things are either revealed or hidden, not just man-made objects like fence posts but items of flora too… like this tree for instance.
Just look at the way the tree’s root structure has been slowly revealed as the sand has shifted over a period of time. This particular part of the dune is actually changing rapidly; the tree’s roots were hidden just a year ago.
Open Root Structure
Taking a closer look at the roots reveals some interesting shapes and patterns… it is easy to see this tree has adapted and is a natural survivor… but if the dune keeps moving it is hard to imagine how the tree can possibly survive. The sands of time are running out for this tree it seems.
Why do you whisper, green grass?
Why tell the world what ain’t so?
Whispering grass, the trees don’t need to know…
So wrote Fred & Doris Fisher (father and daughter) back in 1940. The song was made famous by the Ink Spots that same year and infamous by Windsor Davies and Don Estelle in the British sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mum in 1975… their version of Whispering Grass was top of the UK charts for 3 weeks in June 1975… Lovely Boys!
I love the susurration tall grasses make when blowing in the wind… but there’s a whole different song there