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Friday, June 30, 2006

Limeslade apparition

Today started off a little strangely, and proceeded to get even stranger. I was due to meet my mum in town this morning. However, not only did my alarm not go off, but my furry alarm clock, a.k.a my cat, Liberty, failed to wake me. So I ended up meeting my mum an hour later than planned. We had a pleasant afternoon dining at the Morrison's cafe, before doing a spot of shopping. I acquired two fine-looking cacti, which proceeded to jab me in the legs all the way home.

After dumping off my shopping at home, I headed off to the local vet's, to pick up my cat's prescription diet, before returning to town. I decided to hop on the new "beach bus" service, the number 1, which leaves the Quadrant from bay 1, every half an hour, at five to and twenty five past the hour - but only until 16.25, for some peculiar reason. Half an hour later, I arrived at Limeslade, and decided to get off, even though I realised I'd got the last bus of the day for that particular service. As far as I could tell from the timetable at Limeslade, the only options I had of a bus back to town, were the 18.05 number 37, which takes about ninety minutes to get back to town via Derwenfawr and Sketty Park, or a 3A at around 18.45. But the timetables looked ancient, so I feared having to walk to Oystermouth for a bus home.

Anyway, I set off towards the coastal path, intending to walk a little way towards Langland. Not seeing a soul in sight, and feeling a little hemmed in by the high hedges, I decided to turn back and walk the other way. A huge clump of brightly coloured red, pink and white valerian grew along the railings opposite Forte's, and I set to photographing it and using it to frame a few of my shots of the bay.

I did consider scrambling up this hill to gain a better vantage point, but it was just too hot, plus I didn't feel like negotiating the busy car park.

I spotted some people poking around in the rock pools below, one of whom had a fishing net. They looked like a group of adults to me, and I wondered whether they were marine biologists or something similar, or just a group of folk recapturing their childhoods.

I took the next two photographs consecutively, and noticed nothing strange at the time. There's nothing out of the ordinary about the first of the pair.

But what the heck is that, about a quarter of the way down the image, on the right-hand side, apparently skimming over the sea?

I was rather startled by it when I uploaded the images to my PC, especially as I captured a similar apparition, with my old camera, a while ago, whilst taking shots in the lane approaching Rhossili church. I posted them on this blog, but need to hunt them down, for comparison. Intrigued, I tried to blow the image up as best I could.

What on earth is it? It's not a helicopter, as there wasn't one to be seen. It can't be a bird. It looks for all the world like something prehistoric, maybe a type of pterosaur. The only logical explanation I can think of is that an insect or wind-borne seed of some kind flitted past the lens. Yet the thing looks like quite a large object, some distance away. Anyone have any ideas what it could be?

These next photographs seem rather bland and boring by comparison.

I was starting to feel very hot and bothered by now, and dreading the walk around to Mumbles. It seemed there was almost an hour to the next bus, and as I had no reading material with me, felt reluctant to just sit and wait it out. Several joggers ran past me, towards the cliff path, and I was torn between marvelling at their fitness and despairing at their madness. I felt hot enough just ambling around.

Lo and behold! Just as I switched the camera off to save my batteries, after taking these last few shots, a number 37 bus emerged from the road alongside Forte's - Plunch Lane? I've no idea what it's called, or who or what a plunch might be. I quickly decided to hop on it and switch buses in Oystermouth, to avoid the scenic tour via Derwenfawr, Sketty Park and St. Helen's. As the bus pulled away, I realised it had the kind of windows you can stick your camera out through - so I did. I set it on the sports setting, just to see if it would take blur-free pics. The bus literally sped down the hill towards Oystermouth, and although the angles of some of these shots aren't wonderful, the camera itself did a tidy job of taking some fairly clear images from the window of a fast-moving vehicle.

After returning to town, I took a brief foray into Tesco, grabbing a frozen chicken and a couple of bottles of Robinson's Fruit and Barley, currently on a BOGOF. I used to think Foray was a place in Scotland, until someone informed me the place is called Moray. Anyway, that's all for now. I'm utterly skint until next Thursday, having spent a small fortune paying bills this week, so I don't foresee any Gower trips or new pics for at least another week.


Jeremy said...

Some nice photos - thanks.
Viewed distantly, that mysterious object in one of your pics looks like either a Shag or a Cormorant, both large, dark seabirds that skim low over the water, and definitely have a somewhat prehistoric look to them. On the blown-up picture, I`m not so sure, though... There are sometimes a few quite approachable Cormorants, fishing, and hanging out their wings to dry, in Brynmill Park.
I love that no. 37 bus, as it takes me directly from my house to the seafront and the Mumbles.
B.T.W - I`ve heard there is a royal visit to Swansea next week. I don`t suppose you know who`s coming?
Cheers, J.

The Pig's Lip said...

My money would definitely be on an instect. If your camera was on an automatic setting the very bright light of the day would ensure quite a dramatic depth of field making the insect sharp (except of course for its very fast movemnet).