Monday, 11 December 2017

So has Bavaria moved then?

Went shopping in Cardiff today... and I hate shopping in Cardiff... but it was almost worth it when I spotted a bunch of Bavarian's selling interesting things to us Welsh Christmas shoppers!

I couldn't resist a Krakauer from the sausage seller
I was driving so I did resist getting a beer from the Bierkeller
I also resisted the Hot Mulled Wine
The cakes and doughnuts looked good though and the hot chocolate was creamy
And the pancakes smelled wonderful, even if they were French!
Just for a few moments I was transported to a much nicer place.... ­čśä

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Frosty mornings and icy patterns

The early morning was truly beautiful here today, clear, crisp, truly Autumnal. A tad cold, but then it is November after all.

Frosty Car
As you can see we had a nice frost... well I say nice, some of the neighbours weren't too happy at having to scrape the ice off their cars! I like the frost though, it's so beautiful and creates some wonderful patterns for us to enjoy. Can you see the ice-tree on my bonnet?

I've rotated the image and enhanced it a little to make the ice-tree easier to see... beautiful isn't it? Nature is often hugely spectacular, but sometimes it's the small things that please me most.

Monday, 6 November 2017

More woodland dog walks

Took Tilly to one of the UK's ancient woodlands today, Wentwood Forest. It's not a new experience for us, but we don't walk there that often. Wentwood is an excellent place for dogs to go ramble though.

There are footpaths, bridleways and off-road trails to wander along and of course lots of things to sniff! Didn't see any deer today, but Tilly did chase off after a fox so the walk certainly wasn't wasted!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Woodland Walks

Autumn is a wonderful time for woodland walks if, like me, you enjoy the browns, golds and reds of this time of year.

I never tire of walking between the trees on carpets of leaves...

Especially when there are so many wonderful colours to enjoy.

Of course Tilly is always happy to visit our local wood because there is always something new to explore.

Left to her own devices she'll lead you this way and that sniffing for signs of rodents and foxes.

Just occasionally a bird call will stop her in her tracks...

Autumn is also the peak time for collecting fungi. Always be sure you know what you're picking though.

These wood blewits are safe to eat even if they have gone a little past their best.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Damn American influence

So it's Halloween and my neighbours are busy preparing for the evening's onslaught by laying in baskets full of goodies and decorating their houses in an effort to placate the night's callers.

Happy Halloween - Ba! Humbug!
 It all looks so innocent doesn't it?

Pumpkins - Bloody Americans, what ever happened to Turnips?
Time was a time when Halloween actually meant something here in Britain, especially to those from the non-mainstream religions. Over the last 25 to 30 years the whole thing has become so American influenced a once quiet night of innocent fun has turned into a nightmare event for the old, the lonely or the nervous thanks to gangs of marauding kids roaming the streets screaming and shouting, banging on people's doors (I use the term 'kids' lightly).

I'm particularly pissed off by the wilful damage wreaked upon the householder when the Trick or Treaters don't get what they want and that's increasing money, not sweets. No I'm not talking about the odd egg or a handful of flour thrown as a trick, I'm talking about smashed windows, broken wing mirrors and scratched paintwork, uprooted plants and shrubs, broken bottles and tortured pets. If it was up to me the whole Halloween nonsense would be banned! Of course that's just wishful thinking on my part.

I refuse to get involved. Bang on my door at your peril!

This is the only pumpkin I'd put outside my front door

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Making use of that extra hour

So here in the UK we've departed from British Summer Time and returned Greenwich Mean Time, this means the clocks went back one hour at 02:00 today. For most people this is a godsend because they get an extra hour in bed, for me it's an additional nightmare since it means I have an extra hour of insomnia... oh well, more time to stooge the Internet then.

As it turns out it was a lovely morning here so after an early breakfast we hopped in the car and headed for the coast to give Tilly a bit of beach time.

Ogmore to Porthcawl panorama
We parked beside the River Ewenny at Ogmore-by-Sea and walked down to the beach. Bizarrely, for a dog that hates water, Tilly loves the beach. I think it's because the sand has so many different textures and there are always so many things to sniff and explore.

Me and My Shadow hit the beach
As usual Tilly's first reaction on the beach is to stand and stare, after all a dog's got to check out the opposition and see if there's any available talent in the offing.

Checking for other Doggy scent
Then the sniffing starts. First thing to check are other dog prints.

Can I go play now?
Then I get the big brown eyes and the unspoken question, it's obvious to me she wants to go and play and is just asking permission.

While Tilly is off doing her things I do a little exploring of my own, there is always something of interest to find on a beach. In shallow water beside some rocks I spot my first victim... he's a Rag Worm that has been uprooted, probably by some marauding seagull. He's damaged, but is still alive.

At around 15 inches he's quite a big fella with a pale belly and greenish upper side.

Having photographed him I returned him to a section of quiet, shallow water with a sandy bottom. A few minutes later he was busy burrowing into the sand. I doubt he'll survive, but at least I gave him a fighting chance.

I took a few other images while Tilly was playing and may or may not share them at some stage. Here's one of the River Ewenny flowing down to the sea at Ogmore, which I hope you'll enjoy.

River Ewenny at Ogmore

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Autumn Leaves & Dying Eyes

So it seems I may have Glaucoma... that's a bit of a shit really. My optician seems fairly certain I have damage to the optic nerve in both eyes and has referred me to a specialist. I'll know more in the fulness of time no doubt.

The good news is, I'm told the condition is treatable.

The bad news is, I'm told I may end up going blind.

Life is full of little surprises it seems. Perhaps best to enjoy the colours of Autumn while I still can just in case...