Friday, December 30, 2011

Autumn and Winter Highlights

We returned to Enlli after our Kenya trip refreshed and ready for the busy visitor season - although the rest of the summer merged into autumn seemingly extra early, with the unsettled theme of this year continuing.  Harvest was a bit sporadic, a few days having to be grasped here and there to get the silage baled ready for the cattle's winter supply.

One advantage of the dry weather this year has been the opportunity to access Pwll Cain with the digger and do some long overdue silt clearance.  This pond, located in the wetland fields underneath Carreg Fawr, was originally constructed in 1979 with the purpose of attracting passage birds and enhancing the feeding potential for wetland birds and other animals.  In 1982 a Pectoral Sandpiper, a major rarity, visited the pond.  This bird’s name in Welsh is Pibydd Cain, hence the name given from then on to the pond – Pwll Cain.
The pond has only been cleared out once since its construction  and over the last few years it has been reduced to a puddle.  

Pwlll Cain after being attacked by the digger!

Welcome rain in the autumn started to fill up Pwll Cain again, and gradually the springs recovered too.

Once again areas of Barley and Oats were left to provide extra cover and forage for Autumn visiting birds.  Three areas were also sown with Sunflowers for this purpose, although the dry conditions affected their growth this year.

Relentless winds have been a constant companion throughout the year, but especially since the end of August.  The very occasional calm day has seemed eerily quiet!  The sea-scapes have been pretty spectacular as a result, and have provided Steve and Ben with plenty of photo opportunities.

Bonfire night was a good opportunity to burn some waste wood......and for a community get together!

One of Steve's first "Star trails"

The stormy seas are great to look at, but can be dangerous to be out in - sadly there was a tragic accident that occurred about 20 miles out to the Northwest one saturday night in november when a cargo ship sank.  Only 2 of the crew survived.  The search and rescue operation made for an unusually busy sunday, with lots of helicopter activity and life boats around.

Steve bought a fisheye lens at Christmas and this has opened up some new ways of looking at the scenery !

No, it's not snow!  The wild weather churns up the sea so much that a thick foam, looking like the consistency of angel delight, fills the coves and covers the beach!

The night skies have been rather cloudy since October and so Steve has not been able to do any astrophotography . However , he has grabbed the few brief clear interludes to have a go at some star-trail photos. These are images constructed from 99 x 30 second shots with the camera on a tripod...the foreground was illuminated using a headtorch.The first shot is the 12th century Augustinian Abbey.
                                                        The Newborough Cross...
A single 30 second shot outside the back door of Ty Pellaf...the Milky Way heading straight up with the dark dust lanes threading through it. The bright 'star' top left is actually Jupiter. You can also just make out the small fuzzy shape of the Andromeda Galaxy in the upper left fringe of the Milky Way. The orange glow on the horizon is from Dublin...60 miles across the Irish Sea !

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos, we'll be bringing a telescope she we return in May- we're staying for 2 weeks so hoping there will be some clear skies during that time!