Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Leaves on the lane

This time last year it was snow, today 29th November it was high winds and heavy rain. Not a question of leaves on the line (the trains weren’t running) but more about leaves on the lane. It’s a bit disconcerting driving over huge piles of leaves not knowing if there’s a big rock beneath.

On my way back from Bangor the rain eased off as I got to Llyn Ogwen where water was pouring off the mountains. Not many cars in the car parks – I wonder if anyone was up the mountain. I can’t imagine what it must have been like.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Badgers on the black hillside

I see badgers just a few times a year, maybe running away as I drive home in the dark. I placed a night vision camera with motion detector on some flattened grass outside their sett – from the footage below you can see that this is definitely their playground. I particularly like the final scene of the extremely itchy badger who reminds me of Baloo the Bear in The Jungle Book. Watch out for cameo appearances by Mr Fox and the wood mouse.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Fruity fox

In September the fox ate the windfall Victoria plums. It also stood on the compost heap to reach low hanging damsons and for a few weeks there were purple scats everywhere.

Then we noticed the fox was taking Molly’s orange ball and moving it every night. We placed a juicy orange beside it but still it went for the ball. Then the ball disappeared altogether - if you find a fluorescent orange ball in the Maentwrog nature reserve, please return it.

For the past few nights I’ve left an apple and an orange in the same area and last night the apple was taken by the nervy fox.

Why not the orange? Maybe it’s saving that for duck a l’orange.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Strimming the piste

Snow came thick and stayed long last winter and surely it will do the same this year? In anticipation we’ve ordered 2 sets of ‘back country skis’, like ‘cross country’  but more rugged. The toes are fixed to the ski and the heel is loose to allow that ‘economic’ sliding motion. That’s the theory – we’ve never done it before so time will tell.  

What is back country? Our take is that it’s the geography outside the back door i.e. Moelwyn Bach. Some of the foothills have lots of sharp rocks so we’ve been busy preparing the piste. Judicious strimming will mark out the better runs – if there’s no bracken sticking out through the snow it must be one of the planned runs.

Our resort offers something for everyone with black, red, green and blue runs. Winter Olympics one of these days.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Photo charter

Photo by John Hardy

It’s that time of year when the summer timetable has finished, the wrong kind of leaves are on the track and so too are the steam photographers. Last Monday and Tuesday the enthusiasts chartered special trains to run them up and down the line. They arrive at a suitable point, hop off and ask the driver to drive past. Inevitably the light changes at the wrong moment and he has to drive by again. So if you look out in the various steam railway magazines in the next couple of months I’m sure you’ll see some stunning images. Here’s a picture of the photographers as they alight on Campbell’s Platform.