Missed opportunity

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce who was out walking his dogs this morning.

bruce's morning mist

Bruce took his photograph at half past eleven this morning when, as you can see, it was misty on the Castleholm.

I had looked out of the window after breakfast and only seen sunshine and frost but when I went outside, I could see mist on the hills so I thought that this would be a good moment to rush up the hill (in a car) and see if I could look down from above to get some “sea of mist” shots.

It was before ten when I left and it was quite misty as I drove over the bridge on my to the White Yett so my hopes were high.  Sadly, my optimism went down in inverse ratio to the height I gained as I went up the hill and when I got to the car park, it was apparent that I had left things too late.

I left the car and walked up the track to the monument, looking down as I went.  There was only a trickle of mist running along the very bottom of the Ewes valley…

light mist ewes valley

…and not much more running along the length of the Esk.light mist over town

There were places where the mist was a bit thicker…

mist up esk valley

It was beautiful day though and the views were lovely so I wasn’t as unhappy about the lack of mist as I might have been.

mist over whole town

I should have got out earlier because the mist had risen up and was now sitting in an impressive line along the top of the hills along the Ewes valley.

clouds on ewes hill tops

As I walked, the clouds lifted a bit more and across the town, I could see the wind turbines, which had been in the clouds in previous pictures, quite clearly now.

craig windmills with diggerThe sharp eyed reader may notice something beside the left hand turbine tower in the shot above.  A closer examination shows that it is one of those machines with a lifting platform reaching up to a blade.

When I got to the summit, I walked a few yards past the monument and looked over the wall into a misty England.

view over misty england

Turning round, and looking the other way, all was clear as crystal.

monument december

I was happy to see a very decorative patch of lichen enjoying life at 1000 ft above sea level.

lichen at monument

Although I hadn’t seen as much mist as I would have liked, it was a delightful short walk and the sun took the edge off a sub zero temperature as I walked back down to the car…

sun and shadow at monument

…and made everything look very cheerful.

lichen at white yett

The mist really was very local, lying close to the rivers and very low, as you can see from this picture which I took when I was almost back down the hill and into the town…

mist over rugby club

…and it was still there when Bruce was walking his dogs an hour later (assuming the clock on his camera is set correctly.)

I made a pot of coffee and had a cup with Mrs Tootlepedal when I got home and I was pleased to warm my hands up after exposing my shutter finger to the chilly breeze on the hill.

Fortified by the coffee, I had a look at the birds.  There were a lot about today, the most this winter so far.

Goldfinches arrived with and without the use of wings…

goldfinches wings

…and jackdaws looked on disapprovingly as usual.

quizzocal jackdaw

The robin took a more quizzical view…

quizzical robin on stalk

…and a green finch showed that it too could manage without any wing flapping.

no wings greenfinch

I waited in for a delivery of hand made soap after lunch and then went for a short walk.  After the brilliantly sunny morning, the afternoon was a disappointment, being very grey and gloomy, so taking pictures was hard work.

A pheasant at the lodge was bright enough to show off its exotic colours…

pheasant at lodge

…and I saw two lots of fungus, the first a crop looking so like a heap of fallen leaves that I almost passed it by without noticing it…

fungus lodge walks

…and the second gleaming brightly on a tree branch.

fungus duchess bridge

It wasn’t as cold as when the sun had been out in the morning but it wasn’t really a great time for a photographic walk so I pressed on home, taking a final picture suitable to the conditions.

moss and fern tree

Darkness fell soon after I got home.  Following a recommendation from Sandy, we have started to watch the BBC adaptation of His Dark Materials on the i-player and this was a perfect opportunity to take in three episodes before we had our evening meal.  It is very gripping.

Checking on the train company showed that they had managed to run more of their trains today than yesterday, so we are hoping that this improvement will continue tomorrow and we will be able to find a train to go to Edinburgh to see Matilda.

The flying bird of the day is a gull which flew over my head as I walked along th Kilngreen this afternoon.

flying gull

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Missed opportunity

  1. Loved all those misty pictures, you do live in a beautiful part of the country. Glad you are enjoying His Dark Materials, I have been a fan of the author for many years.

  2. You’re lucky you can get to hilltop viewing sights by car. I can’t think of a single place where I could do that.
    I think the shots of the mist are excellent. It flows like a river.
    Nice to see a pheasant again. I don’t recognize the fungi but they’re interesting.

    1. I couldn’t quite drive to the very top of the hill. I had a three quarter of a mile walk to get to the summit. Still, the car took me most of the way up.
      The fungi were a slightly strange colour so I think that they must have been going over.

  3. Such a great idea to get a shot of the mist filled valleys below. Mist has really been the watchword here in the Neath valley these past few days. I must try to get a walk up Rheola hill behind our house and see if I can capture the scene below across Glynneath and Pontneathvaughan. I have seen more pheasants in the last few months than ever before, usually strutting alongside the road before slipping through the hedgerow into a field. Whether it’s a case of me being more observant I do not know, but a pheasant is a hard bird to miss. Back in the day I remember seeing them while riding on trains through Shropshire en route to signalling school in Manchester. I love to look out from the train as it travels across country, save for the fact they travel too fast for me, because at such speed it’s very hard to take it all in. I notice now in some areas that they have cycle paths following the current train routes alongside the track, not just the closed ones. Great use of space. Anything is better than cycling on the roads around here these days, it is far too dangerous, I am very sad to say. However I do see some brave souls out there, or maybe, I should say foolhardy. As you know it gets dark very early these days, especially with this incessant rain. Yesterday, whilst travelling by car along the A48 between Bonvilston and Bridgend, I saw a chap struggling up hill on his bicycle, OK he had good lights at front and rear, but the road is one lane in each direction with traffic flying past at up to 70 mph. Madness, I feel. Obviously, I don’t know his circumstances, it could be his only viable means of transport to and from work? Bus services in rural areas are not geared to getting to and from work, I’m sad to say. I have transport, yet, I also have a free bus pass, all OAPs here in Wales do. Young people need them to go to and from work,. Sorry, I’ve started banging on, don’t let the pheasants hear me saying that lol. Cheers.

    1. The question of bus passes is a good one. Young people should make sure that they vote a lot and that would concentrate politicians’ minds.
      I am told informally that the people who go to pheasants shoots these days are often not very good shots so maybe that is why you are seeing more pheasants.
      As far as cycling on main roads goes, some cyclists may feel that they are entitled to be on the roads and motorists should just drive more slowly and more carefully. It is something of the same argument that is sometimes used to say that women should not go out at night as they may be attacked. It is not that women should no go out, it is that men should stop attacking them. It is not cyclists on the whole who are a danger on the roads.

      1. I agree drivers should respect the presence of cyclists on the road and drive more slowly, but the sad fact is they do not. The cyclist I saw the other evening was putting himself at undue risk, I felt. I know you cycle the roads where you live, how much traffic do you have, and do they respect your space on the road?

      2. I occasionally get cut up by an idiot but in general the roads are pretty cyclist friendly. There are still roads that I wouldn’t cycle on though.

  4. The mists in the low areas are always welcome. We live in a geologic bowl at 800 feet up in the Cascade foothills, and see quite a bit of mist here. I never tire of seeing them, especially when the sun shines down through, turning them to gold.

    The feeder photos and commentary were an enjoyable start to the day. Your local pheasants are a good bit more silver than ours. We don’t see many, but they wander through the farm from time to time and some will actually stop for conversation before moving on.

  5. Just caught those mists in time! Beautiful. His Dark Materials has been well done indeed…can’t believe we read Northern Lights in Year 6 when it came out 1995. The adaption makes it even better!

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