I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Wednesday 30 November 2011

AT LEAST IT’S SUNNY (30/11/11)

I was going to have a real old rant today………I have actually drafted one. Seeing it’s a grand sunny morning  I've decided the smug, fat, greedy, useless, cretins who assure me they are running Little Britain can wait a day for my attentions.

I should have headed for Chirk Castle, perfect light this morning. If you wish to see it then follow these links.




We wandered down through the woods to the canal. It was a bit nippy but dry.

_B309563_4_5_6_7_tonemapped_edited-1Chirk Aqueduct………….Does this work? I stood about freezing my fingers off for twenty minutes waiting for the sun to be just perfect. We all make mistakes. I blame the mess the previous photographer left the vista in. Either he or the Greeks, possibly the Italians………It couldn’t be my fault. Could it?     

_B309583_4_5_6_7_tonemapped_edited-1I’m struggling. So I’ll turn around and forget shooting into the light.

_B309603_4_5_6_7_tonemapped_edited-1 Chirk Tunnel……….this is a bit better. It was time to wander into town and get some food.

_B309618_19_20_21_22_fused_edited-1Saint Mary’s Church Chirk. The bit to the right is an extension I think the tower is out of all proportion to it.

Untitled_Panorama1     Looking from the rear and ignoring the left side it is still a big tower. It was shut so I couldn’t get inside.

I carried on up the street calling at the bakers, butchers and the Spar shop. I dropped some snail mail off at the Post Office and it was time to head back home.

_B309633_4_5_6_7_fused_edited-1  This large factory attracts me………it could be considered an eyesore…….I like it but will have to try and get closer. The obvious thing to do is to go to the main gate and ask for a look round. I’ll give it a try tomorrow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA        This is another aspect of it taken a few days ago. It makes Fibre Board. Basically they mash trees up and stick them back together again. I know it sounds daft but it keeps the populace out of mischief.  Whilst looking back for this picture I realize you have only seen the Aqueduct from the aqueduct.

_B289553_4_5_6_7_fused_edited-1      Here it is with the larger railway viaduct behind it.

That’s all for today. I hope the sun is shining on you.

Monica aqueduct     This is reworked at Monica's suggestion. It is one of many images that is almost there but not quite. I really do need feedback and not sycophancy. I do want to get better.  Thanks Monica. Now I’ve nipped too much from the right hand side. No worry, I still have the five originals.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

I KNOW HOW HE FELT (29/11/11)

Yesterday after the Tom Foolery with an unrobed Farther Christmas I carried on to Chirk Castle. It was shut. I didn’t bother with too many pictures as the light was awful. If you would like to have a good look then SCRIPTOR SENEX FROM RAMBLES FROM MY CHAIR was here earlier in the year and took lots of photographs of it. Inside and out there are more HERE. 



This fine edifice was completed in 1295. It looks as if it was extended and mucked about with up to Victorian times. It is impressive and commands wonderful views. I wouldn’t mind a good look round.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The topiary is some of the best I’ve ever seen…….these are all Yew. There is a lot of maintenance here even taking into consideration that Yew is slow growing.

I must confess it really isn’t my favourite sort of place. I can appreciate it but it leaves me wishing it had grown old with a bit more dignity.

I set off down the hill towards the Castle Mill. I noticed it on the map and thought it may prove interesting. It didn’t and isn’t.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     It appears the path is closed but it mattered not as I’d already wandered it when I found this sign.

tree of deadThis is The Great Oak of the Gate of the Dead. It stands at the point where Offa's Dyke crosses the river Ceiriog.

In 1165 Henry II decided he had had it up to his eyes with the Welsh. They were being real pests, nipping over the border stealing cows and pigs and hens and other folks wives and daughters. Generally making a nuisance of themselves.

He gathered together a great army and set off from just down the road at Oswestry. His intention was to give them a good seeing to. Unfortunately the Ceiriog valley was full of impenetrable forest. He commandeered two thousand lumberjacks to clear a way for his Pikemen, Cavalry and everything else that goes along with great armies.

The Welsh were having none of it and led by Owain Gwynedd, harassed the vanguard of Henry’s army from the cover of the forest. It all came to a head just here and the battle of Crogen was fought on this very spot. Henry and his army took a real pasting and though he suffered heavy losses he did manage to breach Offa’s Dyke and continue into Wales.

It then started raining. What with the weather raining on him and the Welsh archers taking pot shots from behind every other tree he became a little disenchanted. He called it a day and went home to France.  

I know just how he felt. It’s cold, windy and wet.

The Welsh remained independent for another one hundred and twenty years.

As I’ve yet to be shot at by archers and can tolerate the weather, assuming they will have me I’m stopping a few more days.

Have fun.


Monday 28 November 2011

ODD FOLK! (28/11/11)


We’ve enjoyed another circular wander this morning. This will not be a two post day. It easily could be but the forecast for tomorrow is awful. I’ll keep you in suspenders for my take on Chirk Castle.

I left with the dogs in tow or with me in tow of the dogs would be a more accurate depiction of our strolls.

I’ve taken to setting off around seven thirty as it is just about light enough to see what I’m treading in and walking on. We were around an hour out from the van when I noticed these lights in the forest.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       I followed them………..had to……….couldn’t resist! I must have been a moth in a previous incarnation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA        This notice answered the questions rattling around in my head…………the lights are to save birders getting lost.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          An excellent service………..considering The National Trust, who own this woodland, I accused only forty eight hours ago of being a bit careful over their expenditure on gates.

Look what I found at the end of the lights…………………………………………………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          This is Santa without his clothes off!………….

Disgusting it is!…… He did not want his picture taken but I can’t understand Lapp or whatever language he attempted to communicate in. After I threatened to tread on an Elf he relented and posed.

He is expecting lots of school children so had to dash and get dressed. He suggested I pop back in an hour to see him in his finery. I was tempted………….Where there are school children there are, in my experience, several ‘Pleeese Misses’ and these days ‘Assistant Pleeese Misses’.  It's much cheaper to catch them at work rather than in the pub. I can give them the benefit of my wit and repartee without there being any danger of my having to buy them a drink.

That’s the censored bit over………..almost.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   This is a dead sheep but the first I’ve seen that has survived this intact. It looks like those things that they dig up in Irish peat bogs. The skin is as hard as nails. No smell, it’s almost mummified.  It could be a young deer but it tasted of mutton………just jesting! These are usually picked clean within a week or so by foxes, crows and buzzards. So, for me, another odd thing to find.

Odd folk find odd things.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday 27 November 2011

A DAY OF REST (27/11/11)

Not for me and the wicked it isn’t.

We were out as soon as it was light enough, it was still very windy, well it wasn’t still so ignore the first still. It also kept raining. Not to worry the weather guessers were promising a sunny day so we plodded down to the Llangollen Canal and headed north.

_B279329_30_31_32_33_tonemapped_edited-1It’s a bit damp and murky but at least I saw a rainbow.

_B279324_5_6_7_8_tonemapped_edited-1 A barge. A canal would not be a canal without a narrow boat.

_B279334_5_6_7_8_tonemapped_edited-1 A bridge or two………..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Yet another tunnel to navigate. That reminds me the head torch needs new batteries. It gets dark in tunnels.

_B279339_40_41_42_43_tonemapped_edited-1  I only include this because if British Waterways had done a little scrub clearance then this view of the railway viaduct over the river Dee could have been wonderful. Idle buggers, I thought, as I sat on a bench composing the shot.

_B279404_5_6_7_8_tonemapped_edited-1      This is Pontcysylite Aqueduct.

_B279374_5_6_7_8_tonemapped_edited-1    The dogs were very impressed. I told them it was designed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1805. It’s 1007’ long and 126’ high. They think it’s just water.

_B279384_5_6_7_8_tonemapped_edited-1    It was blowing half a gale so I only went a few hundred yards onto it…….it casts a fine shadow though.

_B279399_400_401_402_403_tonemapped_edited-1     The trough is made of cast iron and supported on nineteen hollow masonry piers. It still looks as good as new.

_B279369_70_71_72_73_tonemapped_edited-1It was well worth the wander.

That’s all for today. I have lots more images and will save them for a rainy day.

Enjoy the coming week.

Saturday 26 November 2011

UNDER AND OVER (26/11/11)


image This morning we have had a wander down to the Llangollen canal. A very windy but dry day. As I mentioned yesterday I am only a hop skip and a jump from the border. I’ve popped a little circle round it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    It’s a bit dark and murky for photographs so I’ve done most of the rest in HDR. It brightens things up a touch.

_B269289_90_91_92_93_tonemapped_edited-1    There, that’s better. The first image is looking from Wales into England and this is looking from England into Wales.

_B269279_80_81_82_83_tonemapped_edited-1Chirk Aqueduct. It is seven hundred and ten feet long and seventy feet high. It is the work of Thomas Telford and was finished in 1801. The railway viaduct is by Henry Robertson and that was finished in 1846. It is all happening here………………..

_B269274_5_6_7_8_tonemapped_edited-1  On the Welsh side is Chirk Tunnel which is four hundred and sixty yards long and coincidently carries the canal under my van. Almost anyway! Three miles from here through the tunnel is the highest and longest aqueduct in the UK at Pontcysylite. That is going to be tomorrows destination.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    In the tunnel looking out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    Chirk………..I could be here a day or two as there is plenty to see and do. It’s a grand place and well worth a good look round.

Enjoy what’s left of the weekend.


Friday 25 November 2011

CROESO I CYMRU (25/11/11)

Today we have moved to Wales. We have gone foreign for the first time in a year or more. The title means Welcome to Wales…………Should the ‘C’ in Cymru be a ‘G’? I just took it from the road sign a couple of minutes down the road, I am only just dipping my toe into a foreign land. I exclude the dogs because they are happy wherever they are. A bark or a yip is much the same in any country.

We were out at dawn at yesterdays stop. Andrew treated me proud to a grand meal last evening. I’m still full of cold so wasn’t the best of company but it is good to meet bloggers. Blogging is a sociable occupation for unsociable and gentle folk. I’ve met a quartet and have never been disappointed. Thank you Andrew……….If you want to know who he is, he’s the magic artist at video editing……….The link is on yesterdays post.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Blakemere Moss at dawn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The dawn was rubbish but I spent thirty minutes watching these Whatdo youcall it’s. Three separate lots of them flapping about, splitting and combining again, wonderful they are, they are Peewits……….I’m not totally ignorant. I’m also not a very good snapper because this is the only image in focus of a dozen I took.

We are now just outside Chirk. I’ll do a map tomorrow when I’ve seen the castle and the viaduct. The town looked fine as I passed through so will give the immediate few square miles a good doing in the next few days.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is an MDF plant it produces medium density fibreboard. (Dwysedd canolig ffibrfwrdd) For Welsh speakers I’ve translated it. (Mae yn y cromfachau). How is Google translator doing? It’s your fault if it gets it wrong! A great language loads of double consonants but if you speak a bit falsetto it is not too hard to imitate. I’m not speaking to you Welsh I’m helping the other nine hundred and ninety nine percent out. I lived with a Welsh speaker donkeys years ago. It is a reasonable and poetic language, the wrdd is wood and said pretty much the same as normal……….sorry, as in English, my English not the queens.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA These are the gates to Chirk castle. Wonderful wrought iron gates. They look a bit mediocre but that’s because the National Trust have painted them white. Also this is the longest edit I’ve had in a long while …..A nightmare to stitch the four images together. The caps on which the Griffons stand aren’t wrought but cast I didn’t go to look but suspect like the griffons or wee dogs, whatever they are, are cast using the cire purdue process which goes back to Roman times they called it Cire Pudta  Romans were fond of consonants ….lost wax, in English.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A wonderful gate that made me forget I’m poorly. I just took these on a lie of the land walk.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Proper wrought iron gates have to be constructed like this. A mirror image of one face reconstructed on the other. The French look after theirs, Go here DEEBEE is for ever wandering Paris and taking pictures of gates. I’m yet to be convinced that some of the Froggy gates aren’t cast iron but they are still wonderful……… I’m refering to Paris France………for you Texans. The French paint theirs black and guild them with gold leaf. Makes a world of difference. I love this stuff. So much work by artisans and they could reproduce a mirror image of it. The definition of a craftsman.

Now  I am going back to fungi. These are big ones………….I am going to catalogue this autumns fungi and bang them up to I Spot…….It’s a British Open University web site that has lots of folk that know, not only what I’ve found but what it is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    I have a problem, the problem is I’m a bit thick. I would go for a funnel cap or to use the Latin Clitocybe. Sounds posh but what sort?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I think this one is a club footed Algerac. It looks a bit on the funnel cap stamp but there again it looks different. I wish I were a misogamist.  There is so much variation I doubt I’ll ever become a naturalist.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday 24 November 2011

BACK TO NORMAL (24/11/11)


image We are only here for one night. The site is full over the weekend. It looks as if it could be a little thronged at the weekend so I’ll pop back midweek. This is the stamping ground of ANDREW AT RAMBLES WITH A CAMERA. He inspired the visit and I'm glad he did. I’ve only had a quick lap of Blakemere Moss. It was created in 1997 a wonderful place. I’ll try for some dawn images tomorrow. It has a primeval atmosphere almost Jurassic. Wonderful!

_B249226_-copy_tonemapped_edited-1Blakemere Moss.

_B249212_3_4_5_6_tonemapped_edited-1 I can imagine this place with red or golden light and long shadows. It would work well with a full moon. A very photogenic location.

_B249217_18_19_20_21_tonemapped_edited-1There are several of these ditches……….it’s difficult to ascertain whether they are letting water in or letting water out. Enough going on to provide interest all year round.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I am without a long lens at the moment so these little black specks are a large flock of black and white birds. They are not Penguins, nor Magpies………..They are Lapwing, I’m not daft or not completely daft!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is where my ignorance shows it’s true magnitude. I’m going for Buttercap with this one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I have no idea but they are doing very well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This could be one of the Flame caps.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  These little beauties are almost luminous. Beautiful a light fluorescent green.

That’s all for today, tomorrow we are moving to Wales, only just into Wales but Wales it is for us.