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Archive for the ‘Landscapes/Nature’ Category

For various reasons I haven’t been out much lately so to keep things ticking over here are a few photo’s that I haven’t used on previous posts. There is no theme and they don’t appear in any particular order. I hope you enjoy.

Aber falls from down the valley. 29 May 2008

Rhaeadr bach from a distance. 28 August 2008.

Wild ponies in the hills. 28 August 2008.

Autumn colour near Capel Curig. 24 October 2008.



Patches of autumn sunlight at Llyn Ogwen. 24 october 2008.

Bala steam railway. 20 July 2009.

Trees on the shore of Llyn Tegid. 20 July 2009.

Afon Lledr at Dolwyddelan. 13 May 2008.

The frozen Afon Lledr. 7 January 2009

View across Conwy Bay from Great Orme. 14 october 2008.

Llandudno and the sweeping curve of the bay from Great Orme. 22 Sept 2009.

Monument to commemotate the bard Taliesin at Llyn Geirionydd. 19 July 2009.

Tu hwnt i'r bont (Beyond the bridge), Llanrwst. 20 July 2008.

Reflections on Llyn Crafnant. 10 December 2009.

Llyn Dinas. 16 March 2009.

Llyn Crafnant. 4 June 2008.

Llyn Nantlle Uchaf. 16 March 2009.

Flooded car park and fields beyond, Llanrwst. 19 November 2009.

Flooded fields at Capel Curig. 19 November 2009.

Flooded fields near Llanrwst. 19 November 2009.

Flooded fields near Trefriw. 19 November 2009.

Wind and rain at Llynau Mymbyr. 19 November 2009.

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I have done two previous posts about Bodnant garden this year, in spring and summer. This post is mainly about the autumn colours so the pictures will do most of the talking.

There are still some colourful borders and some of the roses are still in bloom, but although today was a bright autumn day we’d had torrential rain (almost 2 inches) yesterday and the flowers had taken a battering.

An autumn border, 7 October 2009

An autumn border, 7 October 2009

Autumn roses, 7 October 2009

Autumn roses, 7 October 2009

There is still a lot of greenery, but this serves to show up the beautiful yellows, oranges and reds.

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves and berries, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves and berries, 7 October 2009

Berries (Cornus kousa), 7 October2009

Berries (Cornus kousa), 7 October2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Autumn colours around the lily pond, 7 October 2009

Autumn colours around the lily pond, 7 October 2009

Autumn around the lily pond, 7 October 2009

Autumn around the lily pond, 7 October 2009

Autumn sun glinting through an old Cedar, 7 October 2009

Autumn sun glinting through an old Cedar, 7 October 2009

There are still a few water lilies, 7 October 2009

There are still a few water lilies, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

What are these strange things? 7 October 2009

What are these strange things? 7 October 2009

Splashes of autumn colour, 7 October 2009

Splashes of autumn colour, 7 October 2009

A splash of autumn colour, 7 October 2009

A splash of autumn colour, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

To round off this colourful walk around Bodnant garden here are some photos of the wonderful Sequoiadendron giganteun. These great trees are in the Dell and have grown to over 145 feet high.

A Sequoiandrendron giganteun, 7 October 2009

A Sequoiandrendron giganteun, 7 October 2009

Sequoiadendron giganteun, 7 Oct 2009

Sequoiadendron giganteun over 146 feet high. 7 October 2009

Sequoiadendron giganteun over 146 feet high. 7 October 2009

Bodnant garden is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year, constantly changing but always a great day out.

More details about Bodnant garden can be found here: http://www.bodnantgarden.co.uk/


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Saturday 25th. August dawned bright, with mist hanging over Afon Conwy. The sun quickly burned off the mist and I set off a few miles up the valley to Llanrwst where my days walk was to start.

Y Pont Fawr and Tu Hwnt i'r Bont at Llanrwst, 22 Aug 09.

Y Pont Fawr and Tu Hwnt i'r Bont at Llanrwst, 22 Aug 09.

The bridge across Afon Conwy (Y Bont Fawr) was built in 1636, reputedly by Inigi Jones. The building at the western end of the bridge is Tu Hwnt i’r Bont (beyond the bridge). This cottage was built in 1480 and for a time served as a courthouse for the town. It is now a tea room owned by the National trust.

My walk started just across the road from Tu Hwnt i’r Bont and the first half mile or so took me along the banks of Afon Conwy.

Looking back to Y Bont Fawr and Llanrwst, 22 Aug 09.

Looking back to Y Bont Fawr and Llanrwst, 22 Aug 09.

Afon Conwy looking towards Betws y Coed, 22 Aug 09.

Afon Conwy looking towards Betws y Coed, 22 Aug 09.

After a short walk alongside the river I cut across the fields towards the forest.

Gwydyr forest is on the eastern flank of the Snowdonia National Park. It covers an area of about 17, 915 acres (28 square miles) and has lots of paths, mountain bike trails and horse ridind tracks.

The first mile or so into the forest was pretty steep as the path climbed up away from the valley, but there is a viewpoint part way up where you can sit at a picnic table and have a rest and a drink (and very welcome it was too).

Looking down the Conwy valley from the viewpoint, 22 Aug 09.

Looking down the Conwy valley from the viewpoint, 22 Aug 09.

After a short rest it was back to the climb. More gradual now as I took the main forest track which is much used by mountain bikers.

This wasn’t the path I’d intended to take, but just before I reached the top of the hill I came across Caerdroia. This is a community project carried out by people who live in and around the forest. As it happens they were holding an open day and I was able to get a welcome cup of coffee and a sit down, all for the princely sum of 50p.

A sculpture at Caerdroia, 22 Aug 09.

One of the sculptures in the labrynth, 22 Aug 09.

A giants table and chair in the labrynth, 22 Aug 09.

A giants table and chair in the labrynth, 22 Aug 09.

As you walk around the labrynth you are met by sculptures and strange objects. Today there were story-tellers and lots of other things going on. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I still had a long walk ahead of me. More information about the project can be found here; http://www.golygfagwydyr.org/achievements.php?page=2〈=e

Now though I had to carry on, up the last short part of the climb. I was now heading for Llyn Parc and soon got my first glimpse of the lake hidden deep in the forest valley.

Llyn Parc hidden in a deep forest valley, 22 Aug 09.

Llyn Parc hidden in a deep forest valley, 22 Aug 09.

Llyn Parc is a natural lake, but the southern end was dammed to raise the level for use of a nearby lead mine. The lake lies 664 feet above sea level and covers an area of 22 acres. It’s a long, narrow lake, lying in a “V” shaped valley.

Llyn Parc, 22 Aug 09

Llyn Parc, 22 Aug 09

After a walk along the shore of the lake I followed the stream at the southern end for a short way. This is the outflow which was used by the lead mine, and there are still relics of the mines around the area.

Relics of mines can be seen all over the area, 22 Aug 09.

Relics of mines can be seen all over the area, 22 Aug 09.

Remains of lead mine beside the waterfall, 22 Aug 09.

Remains of lead mine beside the waterfall, 22 Aug 09.

Now I walked along the shore of Llyn Parc, then it was back to climbing up away from the northern end and heading for another small lake and some more ruined mines. Walking along the forest tracks there were signs that autumn is not far away.

Lots of bright red Rowan berries, 22 Aug 09.

Lots of bright red Rowan berries, 22 Aug 09.

Leaves are already starting to change colour, 22 Aug 09.

Leaves are already starting to change colour, 22 Aug 09.

As well as the signs of autumn though, there were also some colourful edges to the forest.

Colour at the forest edge, 22 Aug 09.

Colour at the forest edge, 22 Aug 09.

After a climb and walking around the hillside I then got some great views.

The view of Moel Siabod and the Snowdon range, 22 Aug 09.

The view of Moel Siabod and the Snowdon range, 22 Aug 09.

The view across the forest towards Llyn Crafnant, 22 Aug 09.

The view across the forest towards Llyn Crafnant, 22 Aug 09.

Cloud over the Snowdon horseshoe, 22 Aug 09.

Cloud over the Snowdon horseshoe, 22 Aug 09.

Now I was almost at Llyn Sarnau. This is a small shallow lake with reeds growing along a lot of it. It’s one of the smaller lakes in the area, covering only 3 acres. As I approached it there were dozens of buuterflies flitting around the edge of the forest. Unfortunately they don’y like to stop and pose for photos, so I only managed to catch a quick shot of one. I regret to say that I’m not really up on butterflies so I won’t even try to name this one.

Llyn Sarnau, 22 Aug 09.

Llyn Sarnau, 22 Aug 09.

Butterfly, 22 Aug 09.

Butterfly, 22 Aug 09.


Now it was just a short walk to another derelict mine, the Cyffty.

The derelict Cyffty mine, 22 Aug 09.

The derelict Cyffty mine, 22 Aug 09.

I’m not sure how long a walk it is from Betws y Coed, but the miners who worked here would walk each day from Betws and Llanrwst before a hard days work in this mine. They must have been tired out before they started!

It wasn’t reliable work either. Often it relied on the weather; wet weather could flood the mine and dry spells could mean there was no water to drive the machinery. When they couldn’t work they didn’t get paid, so many of the miners would have small holdings or work on farms too, to help eke out a living.

Downhill now, I set off again. Not too far away is another old lead mine, the Hafna.

The remains of the Hafna mine, 22 Aug 09.

The remains of the Hafna mine, 22 Aug 09.

Part of Hafna mine, 22 Aug 09.

Part of Hafna mine, 22 Aug 09.

After having a look round the remains of the mine I set off again, downhill towards Llanrwst. Before I got back down into the valley though, I took a slight detour to see a lovely little waterfall.

The Grey Mare's Tail, 22 Aug 09.

The Grey Mare's Tail, 22 Aug 09.

This is The Grey Mare’s Tail. It is known in Welsh as Rhaeadr y Parc Mawr, but this name is rarely used. The falls are in a lovely wooded glade at Coed Felin Blwm (Lead Mill Wood). It’s well worth making the 200 yard detour to see it, and it lies in a nature reserve so there are other paths to take too.

The Grey Mare's Tail, 22 Aug 09.

The Grey Mare's Tail, 22 Aug 09.

The Grey Mare's Tail, 22 Aug 09.

The Grey Mare's Tail, 22 Aug 09.

It’s a steep climb back up to the lane after visiting the falls, but from the top I got a good view of the Conwy valley.

Looking down the lush Conwy valley, 22 Aug 09.

Looking down the lush Conwy valley, 22 Aug 09.

And then it was back to Llanrwst and the sort drive home. It had been a long day and I was glad it would only take a few minutes to get home.

Gwydyr forest is just one more place where there is a lot to explore, I’d only seen a small part today. More information about the activities, trails etc. can be found here: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gwydyrforestpark

It’s one more place for you to visit; great scenery, history and a labyrinth, what more could you ask for?

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I last visited the gardens (and did a blog post) in May when they were full of spring colour. Yesterday (11th. Aug) I returned to see how they look in summer.

Bodnant gardens cover an area of about 80 acres, some formal gardens and lawns, and the dell which is a wild area. The gardens were given to The National Trust by Lord Aberconwy in 1949, but are still managed by the family, who continue to live in the hall.

The entrance and reception are fairly new, and make entering the gardens safer. You now walk under the road instead having to cross it. Through reception, and you are met with a colourful border.

The path under the road.

The path under the road.

The colourful border with reception in background, 11 Aug 09

The colourful border with reception in background, 11 Aug 09

The colourful border leading to the hall. 11 Aug 09

The colourful border leading to the hall. 11 Aug 09

The hall was built in 1792, and was bought in 1874 by Henry Davis Pochin, whose son-in-law was the 1st Lord Aberconwy. At that time the gardens were victorian shrubberies and lawns.

Bodnant Hall and the front lawn. 11 Aug 09

Bodnant Hall and the front lawn. 11 Aug 09

Looking down the front lawn from the hall. 11 Aug 09

Looking down the front lawn from the hall. 11 Aug 09

As you walk across the front of the building you come to the statue of priapus and a wonderful view across the Conwy valley, before turning to the side of the building and the Upper Rose terrace.

Priapus with hills across the Conwy valley. 11 Aug 09

Priapus with hills across the Conwy valley. 11 Aug 09

The Upper Rose terrace, 11 Aug 09

The Upper Rose terrace, 11 Aug 09

In May when I was last here there were no roses in bloom of course. now the terrace is full of colour and the perfume was intoxicating.

The Upper Rose terrace. 11 Aug 09

The Upper Rose terrace. 11 Aug 09

The Upper Rose Terrace. 11 Aug 09

The Upper Rose Terrace. 11 Aug 09

One of the many roses, 11 Aug 09

One of the many roses, 11 Aug 09

From the Rose terrace there is also a view across the Lily pond below and across the conwy valley.

The view over the Lily pond and across the Conwy valley. 11 Aug 09

The view across the lily pond and the Conwy valley, 11 Aug 09

The roses look and smell beautiful. 11 Aug 09

The roses look and smell beautiful. 11 Aug 09

Now I walked down to the Lily Terrace, and the wonderful display of Hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas on the Lily Terrace, 11 Aug 09

Hydrangeas on the Lily Terrace, 11 Aug 09

The Terrace was designed around the two Cedars which still stand at either end of the Lily Pond.

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The Lily Pond with one of the original Cedars. 11 Aug 09

A water-lily, 11 Aug 09

A water-lily, 11 Aug 09

The hall from across the Lily Terrace, 11 Aug 09

The hall from across the Lily Terrace, 11 Aug 09

After the Lily Terrace I made my way down to The Canal Terrace and Pin Mill, passing more colourful borders along the way.

Colourful borders abound, 11 Aug 09

Colourful borders abound, 11 Aug 09

A border leading to the Canal Terrace, 11 Aug 09

A border leading to the Canal Terrace, 11 Aug 09

The long narrow stretch of water on the Canal Terrace has water-lilies at either end. At the north of the terrace is an open-air stage with a background of clipped Yews. At the southern end of the Terrace is the Pin Mill, originally constructed as a garden house in about 1730 in Gloucestershire. In 1938 it was in a decayed state. Lord Aberconwy bought it and incorporated some of it into the Pin Mill.

Looking south to the open-air stage, 11 Aug 09

Looking south to the open-air stage, 11 Aug 09

The Spinxes on either side of the steps leading to the Lower Rose Terrace, 11 Aug 09

The Spinxes on either side of the steps leading to the Lower Rose Terrace, 11 Aug 09

The Pin Mill, 11 Aug 09

The Pin Mill, 11 Aug 09

Water-lilies on "The canal", 11 Aug 09

Water-lilies on "The canal", 11 Aug 09

A water-lily. 11 Aug 09

A water-lily. 11 Aug 09

Inside the central arch of the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Inside the central arch of the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Leaving the Canal Terrace I made my way down the path leading to the Old Mill. The mill-race is of Tudor origin and was originallu used to power a blast furnace on the banks of Afon Conwy. Later it was used to turn the wheels of the flour mill, and later still to work the estate saw mill.

The mill race. 11 Aug 09

The mill race. 11 Aug 09

The old mill and stone bridge over the mill-race. 11 Aug 09

The old mill and stone bridge over the mill-race. 11 Aug 09

The Dell is the wilder part of the gardens, planted with many different conifers as well as Cypress, Wild cherry, Larch etc. The first conifers were planter in 1876 and many are now well over 100 feet high. The most notable are the Wellingtonia, Redwood, Western hemlock and Douglas fir.

Paths run up both sides of the Dell and which ever path you take you will see great tress and a variety of other plants.

Hydrangeas in the Dell. 11 Aug 09

Hydrangeas in the Dell. 11 Aug 09

Colour amongst the conifers. 11 Aug 09

Colour amongst the conifers. 11 Aug 09

The waterfall under the bridge at the head of the dell. 11 Aug 09

The waterfall under the bridge at the head of the dell. 11 Aug 09

The bridge over the waterfall. 11 Aug 09

The bridge over the waterfall. 11 Aug 09

Once over the bridge the path climbs alongside a stream, with the colourful Hydrangeas again in evidence.

Hydrangeas alongside the path. 11 Aug 09

Hydrangeas alongside the path. 11 Aug 09

As I continued up the path I got a view of the mausoleum. This was built by Mr Pochin as a last resting place for himself and his family.

The mausaleum from the path from the Dell. 11 Aug 09

The mausoleum from the path from the Dell. 11 Aug 09

The mausaleum from the forecourt. 11 Aug 09

The mausoleum from the forecourt. 11 Aug 09

I now followed paths leading back towards the hall, on the way passing more glorious coloured flowers and wonderful trees.

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The memorial to Anne McLaren, 11 Aug 09

The memorial to Anne McLaren, 11 Aug 09

The memorial tablet. 11 Aug 09

The memorial tablet. 11 Aug 09

The Yew garden. 11 Aug 09

The Yew garden. 11 Aug 09

The round garden. 11 Aug 09

The round garden. 11 Aug 09

Now I’d arrived back close to the hall. I had another slow walk around the terraces and sat in the sun for a while.

Looking across the croquet terrace & lilly pond to the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Looking across the croquet terrace & lily pond to the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Part of the rose terrace and Hall. 11 Aug 09

Part of the rose terrace and Hall. 11 Aug 09

Another view of the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Another view of the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Now it’s time to leave and I make my way back to the car park, and a welcome cup of coffee in the refreshment pavilion. Now a last look back, above the roof of Bodnant Hall across the Conwy valley.

The view over the roof of the Hall. 11 Aug 09

The view over the roof of the Hall. 11 Aug 09

If you’re in North Wales it’s worth visiting Bodnant Gardens, it really is a splendid day out. More details, opening times etc can be found here:  http://www.bodnantgarden.co.uk/

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Just for a change Wednesday 5th. August dawned clear and sunny, so I decided to set off across the othe side of the Conwy valley and up into the northern Carneddau. The way up to the hills from the valley is by a narrow lane which was looking great in the sunshine, the hedgerows colourful with Rowan berries, Meadowsweet, Foxgloves etc. The Meadowsweet reminded me of childhood walks in the Yorkshire dales.

The lane up from the valley. Aug 2009

The lane up from the valley. Aug 2009

Rowan berries, Aug 2009

Rowan berries, Aug 2009

Meadowsweet in the hedgerow, 5 Aug 2009

Meadowsweet in the hedgerow, 5 Aug 2009

A hedgerow, 5 Aug 2009

A hedgerow, 5 Aug 2009

Soon the hedgerows are left behind and the scenery becomes wilder. As I made my way along the rough track my only company were sheep, a Kestrel overhead and a few Meadow pipits. Somewhere along the crags I could hear Ravens quarreling loudly.

A kestrel hovering overhead, 5 Aug 2009

A kestrel hovering overhead, 5 Aug 2009

Meadow pipit, 5 Aug 2009

Meadow pipit, 5 Aug 2009

This is what I, as a Yorkshireman would call a wild moor, but the Welsh call the Fridd (mountain pasture). This is typical of the Carneddau; sphagnum moss, cotton grass and reeds grow in the marshy areas, with bilberry, heather and gorse covering the drier areas.

Bwlch y ddeufaen, July 2008.

Bwlch y ddeufaen, July 2008.

The standing stones stand on either side of the rough track and are at about 1200/1400 feet above sea level. Only a short walk from here there are stone circles, burial mounds and lots of other ancient sites.

One of the standing stones, 5 Aug 2009

One of the standing stones, 5 Aug 2009

The other standing stone, 5 Aug 2009

The other standing stone, 5 Aug 2009

Now I left the track and headed up the steep slope of  Fridd Cwm-Ithel, stopping frequently to take in the wonderful views to either side.

The only things that spoil the views are the electricity pylons, but even they can’t detract from the scenery completely.

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Looking to my right as I climb I can see down the slope to the village of Llanfairfechan and the Menai straits across to Puffin island and Anglesey.

Looking across the Menai strait to Puffin island, 5 Aug 2009

Looking across the Menai strait to Puffin island, 5 Aug 2009

Looking down on Llanfairfechan & across to Anglesey and Puffin island, 5 Aug 2009

Looking down on Llanfairfechan & across to Anglesey and Puffin island, 5 Aug 2009

Behind me Foel Lwyd looked bleak and barren, rising to 603 metres (1,978 feet) above sea level. Dry stone walls snake up and across these hills, some of them hundreds of years old.

Foel Lwyd, 5 Aug 2009

Foel Lwyd, 5 Aug 2009

To my left the fridd stretches away towards the pointed peak of Penygadair with Pen y Gair and it’s tumulus a little lower and more distant.

The view across the fridd to Penygadair, 5 Aug 2009

The view across the fridd to Penygadair, 5 Aug 2009

As I climbed higher I looked up to see summer clouds drifting across the lovely blue sky.

Summer clouds, 5 Aug 2009

Summer clouds, 5 Aug 2009

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Now at about 2,000 feet above sea level I could look to my left and see right  across the Conwy valley and to the Clwydian hills in the distance.

Looking across the Conwy valley to the distant Clwydian hills, 5 Aug 2009

Looking across the Conwy valley to the distant Clwydian hills, 5 Aug 2009

In the opposite direction Llandudno and the Great Orme had come into view.

Looking towards the Great Orme and Llandudno, 5 Aug 2009

Looking towards the Great Orme and Llandudno, 5 Aug 2009

As I made my way back I again caught some summer clouds above the crags.

Summer clouds over the northern Carneddau, 5 Aug 2009

Summer clouds over the northern Carneddau, 5 Aug 2009

It’s wild country up here, but everywhere you  look there are  fantastic views.

I wish I could have stayed longer, but as I had a ticket for the theatre I had to get back.

As a matter of interest I went to see a performance of “Chicago” at Venue Cymru in Llandudno. It was a fantastic production, well worth leaving the hills for. Venue Cymru get some great productions, so if you’re in the area have a look to see whats on. You can also look them up here: http://www.venuecymru.co.uk/home.php?/home


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I have said previously that north Wales has wonderful scenery. It’s not all about the mountains of Snowdonia, in fact Snowdonia is not all mountains anyway. I thought I’d put together a few images to show just how varied the scenery is in this part of the world.

To start, here is the Conwy valley, looking down from the hills above Trefriw towards Conwy, Llandudno and the sea.

The Conwy valley looking towards the coast. June 2008

The Conwy valley looking towards the coast. June 2008

The first bridge over Afon Conwy, just below it's source. Aug 2008

The first bridge over Afon Conwy, just below it's source. Aug 2008

May 14 2008, Canada geese nr the source of Afon Conwy

Canada geese near the source of Afon Conwy. May 2008.

North Wales has a great coastline, and the small island of Anglesey has great beaches along with wild, rocky cliffs.

The cliffs around Porth Dafarch. June 2008.

The cliffs around Porth Dafarch. June 2008.

The beach and dunes at Lligwy bay. May 2008.

The beach and dunes at Lligwy bay. May 2008.

The little sheltered beach at Porth Dafarch. June 2008.

The little sheltered beach at Porth Dafarch. June 2008.

The sweeping Celmyn bay. June 2009.

The sweeping Celmyn bay. June 2009.

And so back to the mainland.

The crags at the head of Cwm Eigiau rise to over 600m. June 2008

The crags at the head of Cwm Eigiau rise to over 600m. June 2008

Afon Lledr at Dolwyddelan.  May 2008.

Afon Lledr at Dolwyddelan. May 2008.

Snowdon range from below Moel Lechwedd-gwyn. May 2008

Snowdon range from below Moel Lechwedd-gwyn. May 2008

Bala steam railway runs alongside Llyn Tegid. July 2009

Bala steam railway runs alongside Llyn Tegid. July 2009

Llyn Tegid with Bala in the background. 2 Aug 09

Llyn Tegid with Bala in the background. 2 Aug 09

Speaking of Bala…….the national eisteddfod is being held there this week. I went to have a look round on Sunday and spent over 6 hours there. What a great day out it is. Here are a few images.

The pavilion (pafiliwn). Also known as the big pink tent. 2 Aug 09.

The pavilion (pafiliwn). Also known as the big pink tent. 2 Aug 09.

The big pink tent can be seen from all over the site. 2 Aug 09

The big pink tent can be seen from all over the site. 2 Aug 09

A bland playing on stage 1. 2 Aug 09

A band playing on stage 1. 2 Aug 09

A harp workshop getting under way on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

A harp workshop getting under way on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

Maes C is the centre of attraction for younger people. 2 Aug 09

Maes C is the centre of attraction for younger people. 2 Aug 09

The Bards circle (Cylch yr Orsedd) is used for some performances. 2 Aug 09.

The Bards circle (Cylch yr Orsedd) is used for some performances. 2 Aug 09.

The choir of Ysgol y Gader on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

The choir of Ysgol y Gader on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

The bar and food areas get pretty busy. 2 Aug 09

The bar and food areas get pretty busy. 2 Aug 09

A budding harpist attends a workshop. 2 Aug 09

A budding harpist attends a workshop. 2 Aug 09

Pupils of Ysgol y Gader on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

Pupils of Ysgol y Gader on stage 2. 2 Aug 09

A choir on stage in the pavilion. 2 Aug 09

A choir on stage in the pavilion. 2 Aug 09

This was just one of many choirs. They gave a great rendition of Wimoweh (The lion sleeps tonight), in Welsh of course.

Even if you don’t speak Welsh it’s worth visiting, it’s a great day out, particularly if you get good weather. More details can be found at:  http://www.eisteddfod.org.uk/english/

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Close to the lovely Rhaeadr du, in the late 18th century an unknown person cut into a rock lines from Thomas Gray’s Alcaic Ode.

The original carving is barely visible now, but next to the rock is a slate tablet with the original Latin verse and an English translation carved into it.

The stone containing original Latin carving.

The stone containing original Latin carving.

The slate tablet containing both Latin and English translation.

The slate tablet containing both Latin and English translation.

The lines from the Ode are so wonderful that I thought that by way of a change I’d reproduce them here, accompanied by some photos taken at and around the falls.

Alcaic Ode  by Thomas Gray.

O thou! the spirit mid these scenes abiding,

Whate’er the name by which thy power be known

Truly no mean divinity presiding

These native streams, these ancient forests own

And here on pathless rock or mountain height,

Rhaeadr du.

Rhaeadr du.

Amid the torrents ever-echoing road

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Afon Gamlan, below the falls.



Afon gamlan rushes through the broad-leaved woodland.

Afon Gamlan rushes through the broad-leaved woodland.

The headlong cliff, the woods eternal light

We feel the godhead’s awful presence more

Than if resplendent neath the cedar beam,

By Phidins wrought his golden image rose

If meet the homage of thy votry seem

Grant to my youth – my wearied youth – repose.


For any Latin scholars out there here is the original Latin version, and please don’t blame me for the translation. I am most definitely not a scholar of the classics.

O tui, severi religio loci,

Quocunque gaudes nomine non leve

Nativa nam certe fluenta

Numen habet veteresque silums,

Presentiorum et conspicimus Deum

Rhaeadr du.

Rhaeadr du.

Per invias rupes fera per juga,

Clivosque praeruptos sonantes

Inter aquas, memorumque noctem

Quam si repostus sub trabe citrea

Afon Gamlan

Afon Gamlan

Fulgeret auro el Phidiaca manu

Salve convanti rite fesso et

Da placidam juveni quitem.

Afon Gamlan

Afon Gamlan

This is a lovely wooded valley which is maintained by the National Trust. Not only did it inspire the unknown person to engrave the melancholic ode, but it also inspired artists such as Turner and Gainsborough.

Visit it yourself and be inspired.



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