September 2014

06th October 2014
[Cymraeg - cliciwch yma]
Great news for me; we had a very dry September, allowing me to take a few extra snaps without yet getting soaked to the skin. It also meant an extended blackberry season. My favourite fruit, the taste of which zooms me back to the happiest times of my childhood in an instant.

This is the time of year for the Harvest Festival, and indeed I had a fruitful time photographing all manner of foodstuffs for a cookery book, which should see the light of day before Christmas.

I didn't grow any of the ingredients myself, but foraged amongst the shelves of the local supermarkets, a number of local shops, and the Farmer's Market.

If you're into the zodiac, most of the month came under the banner of Virgo. I photographed some art and craft pieces for friends. Here are a couple of examples, by the late Mary Hughes, including a panel from a fantastic piece comprising all the signs of the zodiac, and also a black cat which she made while an art student near the turn of the last century.

One advantage of the ever shortening day is that one doesn't have to get up too early to catch the dawn and dusk light. Also there's the beautiful harvest moon, if we're lucky.

This picture struck a chord with many, and a handful of prints have been sold almost immediately. Please get in touch if you fancy a print - they'd make a lovely Christmas present. My prices vary according to size, type of paper and so forth, but they're always very reasonable.

Sunset over Cardigan Bay, viewed from Clarach.

The prints I made have all been on beautiful German fibre paper, output on my new all singing Canon Pixma Pro1 printer.

I had a lovely day closing the file on a job for another author, and with a little patience managed to get what was needed at Abbeycwmhir in Powys. Probably the largest and most remote of the Welsh Cistercian abbeys.

While on the way make a cover picture of an author I screeched to a halt at the sight of this very unnerving, spooky lady! It was part of a village scarecrow competition, right on the side of the main road, where it was more likely to scare drivers than crows.

It wasn't scarecrows on the A487 coming into Aberystwyth, but pickets outside the National Library that were the subject of another 'shoot'. I put-off a day's work and spent a few hours photographing the first strike by staff aimed against the Library. It involved all the Library unions, and was all about pay, or lack of. I felt that it was important to record the strike, and the march down to the town centre as it was somehow a pivotal event in the history of the institution.

As I was fired-up wanting to make the most of the unseasonal weather to complete part of a book I'm preparing, rather than go on holiday to Italy as hoped, we decided to press on with the book, and ended up having a three day busman's break in Newcastle Emlyn.

There was plenty to see and do as we "followed our noses" along the back-roads.

Too late, much too late!

A couple of places we had intended to visit and photograph were closed when we arrived (private parties), but Ceredigion is a lovely place to explore, and so it was that we discovered other places of interest of which we knew little or nothing, until we chanced upon them.

Rock Mill, near Capel Dewi, the last working woolen mill in Wales to be powered by a waterwheel.

The Jên Jones antique quilt centre near Llandysul. She also has a quilt centre / gallery in Lampeter, which is probably easier for most people to reach.

There were no coracles on the river at Cenarth, but the old mill (though it could do with a lot of loving attention), looked quite picturesque.

By the time we had meandered our way to Cardigan, we chanced upon this ginger cat in a back lane.

But this ginge wasn't napping at Nant-y-moch on the lower slopes of Pumlumon.

I'd promised myself that we'd walk some of the forest paths at Hafod Uchtryd, an old estate between Cwmystwyth a Pont-rhyd-y-groes, and I especially wanted to see the 'underground' waterfall.

The newly restored Arch, on the road from Devil's Bridge to Cwmystwyth.

Marian took the afternoon off and we had a lovely time getting lost and then finding our way on a very warm day in the woods. Eventually we reached the 'cave'… Worth it?!

As you might imagine, with all the travelling I do trying to make pictures for various volumes, my car was getting to a point where it needed a bit of TLC. I thought it wise to have a look for another car and went around the local garages. It was on the forecourt of Cawdor Cars that I chanced upon this little creature (Ennomos fuscantaria). Unfortunately this is the only thing I brought home from my automobile foray, as I decided to lavish a little care upon my VW, rather than make a big and expensive change.

Despite the fine weather, I didn't bother with the "Aber sunsets" - as I think I have enough of them, and now everyboby's out on the prom, encouraged by the University, trying to get a posed silhouette against the sun / pier shot. This year I've much preferred the quiet, lonely, Clarach sunsets to their Aberystwyth counterparts!

I did get to Tanybwlch one afternoon, and took a quick snap of this lobster fishing boat returning to harbour. It must have struck a chord, as it's had a good response on some social media.

I suppose that I'd better sign off with a dusk shot, as it has, after all, been a month of fantastic sunsets.

Here are two Clarach sunsets taken from the same spot, within about a minute or two of each other. What a difference a tiny amount of time can make in a Cardigan Bay sunset.

And my favourite (taken before the one above), looking towards the south of Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire!

Thanks for reading this far.


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