About Me

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Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, United Kingdom
Bit of a long tooth IT Manager - been and had a few hobbies, as for the title, I make glass beads, its Called Lampwork, I brew my own Beer, its called fun and I take photos, thats the oldest hobby, since I was 16 or so. My first camera was a Zenith E - then a Pentax KR to go digital after a long stint with a Pentax Super A. Now a Nikon D5200 and a D7100 with a Sigma 150 f2.8 macro lens to play with amongst others. Please note all photos used are my own and I retain full copyright to all of them. Thank you for respecting digital ownership

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Took a day out for me - then off to the allotment

Had a ‘me’ day last week, it was on Tuesday after Easter, we did some good stuff over Easter but I felt the need to have a day for me and I took Tuesday off to do what I wanted and not have to worry about boring anyone. 

After a lot of thought I decided to combine two of my favourite pastimes, walking and photography. A quick search for info and the 4 Waterfalls walk near Ystrafellte was chosen.

To get 4 distinct and different waterfalls in a 5 mile walk has to be something of a no brainer if you like walking and photography so route planned and while the weather was forecast grey, overcast and showers - don’t care !

There are loads of sites to tell you about this area, it is very popular as you can imagine and not only with walkers but also cavers as the river takes a wander through a cave set underground for a while before coming back up and carrying on to be waterfalls further downstream. 

Personally you won’t catch me down there but I can understand why people do it. One site that has reasonable info is this one - http://www.walkscene.co.uk/description_52/Brecon_Beacons_4_waterfalls_walk_near_Ystadfellte.html

The walk is very picturesque – while it is not very long it is a bit challenging in places if wet underfoot and you do climb a few steps – as you may imagine the path may be at the top of a gorge but the waterfall ends up at the bottom – so steps down and steps back up for each waterfall. Got a new plant tick here as well, Toothwort, Lathraea squamaria a member of the Figwort family but it is a parasite like Broomrape, its host tends to be Hazel, as was the case with this one. Not a brilliant picture it was part of a group of stems but they were all going over. 

This is Field Mouse-Ear, Cerastium arvense, even though it was in the woodland as well

  I used a tripod to slow the flow as it were on the waterfalls – it is always subjective as to how much you slow the flow – but these are reasonable and I feel show the water in the manner that you perceive it. If you use a fast shutter speed its frozen and I don’t see fast falling water that way, for me it’s a continuous flow that is smooth and almost abstract but not quite

Anyway, I hope you like them. The first fall is not easy to shoot as on the side of the bank I was on you could not get down to it and the river curved so moving along the path blocked the view rather than let you get any closer. The path was right at the edge of the drop after the fall looking back so I could not use the tripod on this one.

After this you walked on then down and then back on your self due to a path closure, nice as you approached the 2nd fall from downstream and not upstream so saw a few 'steps' after the main fall working your way up to the main fall

 then back down the path you just came up to the next fall

finally all this time you have been walking along the river in the direction of the flow you step sideways a bit to get to this one, its the one people can walk behind. If you want to get wet !  it feels strange as you are suddenly walking upstream, it takes a moment to work out its a different river !

There were alot of birds around and these rivers have a healthy population of Dippers, not too keen on you being close but you can get reasonable shots with only a 200mm lense

After a few shots of this very obliging bird I spotted a pair of Goosanders, not too common but it is an area they do favour - I managed to get a 'fly by' of the male as he tried to leave the area when he spotted me, quite please with this shot

Then onto this weekend, we spent time on the allotment again, 2nd bed dug – couch grass and creeping buttercup along with dandelions removed,  gave the area a triple dig again and it will need another few more ongoing to remove all the root shards that regrow but we are getting there. Note the part next to us is not ours and we are yet to see anyone tend it. A bit annoying as it is between us and the other part plot we work at the moment 


  1. Some beautiful pictures there! The waterfalls are especially lovely and the movement had been captured wonderfully..;) The goosander shot is fab! Nice one on finding a new plant, I used to love going out walking and coming back to search through books for the things I'd found.

    1. yep I love the anticipation as to what it is when I dont recognise it straight away. I so love the digital camera, it makes ID'ing the plant when you get home so much easier than memory and any hasty notes

  2. Those waterfalls are amazing. I love the Field Mouse Ear flower, we have loads of those around here and I have always wondered what they are called, the love the petals, like hearts. You have also just made my veggie plot look very weedy!

    1. its a quarter allotment plot - our garden is a typical pocket hankercheif and on three levels from gate to door so not good for veggies - hence the plot, going to be hard work but worth it over the year - if nothing else it will give me exercise - badly needed!