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Monday, August 28, 2006

Brecon Beacons craftiness

As we hit the Beacons road, the rain disappeared. It's a shame it didn't take my cousin's foul mood with it, although he did mellow a little as he started enjoying the scenery. Despite this telltale landmark in front of us, when he asked where we were, I said I though we were on the Black Mountains somewhere near Ystalyfera.

As we travelled along, my grumpy cousin decided he wanted to stop and stretch his legs, so he steered the car into a layby. Looking across the road, he spotted this clump of trees, which stood out against the stark mountainside. I prayed he wouldn't glance further to his right, or I'd have some explaining to do.

Unfortunately, glance to his right he did. "What's that over there?" he demanded, in his usual charming manner.

"Er, oops, ooh dear", I said. "We seem to have taken another wrong turn. That looks like the Cray Reservoir. That means we have somehow, inadvertently ended up on the Brecon Beacons. Just the arse end of the Brecon Beacons, mind, just before Pontardawe".

I was intrigued to notice this old drystone wall, plus the remains of a structure, immediately below the roadway, where the mountain sloped down towards the reservoir and valley.

I then turned my lens to the local flora and fauna, with varying results. This heather was utterly breathtaking and the photos do it no justice whatsoever. They also cannot capture its gorgeously sweet, fresh smell.

This stunted little tree may not look like much, but I reckon, time allowing, a little tinkering with Photoshop could turn it into something very atmospheric and special. I was thinking in terms of something in greyscale.

I have no idea what this white, frothy, flowering plant is, but it's quite pretty.

The next pic, as most of you will know, is of a red clover bloom.

I then spent some time with this little creature, which proved infinitely more jolly company than my grouchy old cousin.

The sun was dipping quite low as we left the Brecon Beacons and hit the upper reaches of the Swansea Valley. I tried to take some shots through the car windscreen, with the camera on sport setting, with varying degrees of success. This one was taken as we approached Glyntawe.

The next two were taken somewhere along the bypass between Pontardawe and Plasmarl, but I've no idea where.

However, the best pics of the day for me were of the spectacular sunset, which I captured from my living room windowsill, whilst the grumpy old fart tutted away, as I was disturbing his TV viewing, and delaying the cooking of supper by all of five or six minutes.

Coming up: New Quay, Llangrannog and Penbryn bays, in the old county of Cardiganshire.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Lovely pictures of The Beacons (and Llandeilo).
Pretty sure the white flower you photographed is Yarrow, Achillea millefolium.