Archive for the ‘ Nature ’ Category

Usk Show: Horses Galore

First of a few photo blogs to work through from recent weeks. The Usk agricultural show really stood out this year, not just for the excellent weather and impressive attendance, but largely for the organisers getting the show going at all this year. Severe rainfall in the build up to the show had put it at risk, but such is the value of this cultural contribution to the local economy, that 24 hour a day efforts were undertaken to make certain that the show went ahead.

A regular staple of the show, and always a crowd favorite, are the wealth of prize equines on display, and here are just a small sample of those to compete this year.

Hounds and Horses

Certainly a subject for debate, as it was on the show ground.

Lining up for competition.

The large one to the left of shot was the star of the show.

The jumping went ahead despite concerns on conditions.

Several quick, clear rounds went in.

Clear efforts all round this time.

And something very different.

The heavyweight workers.

Probably the highlights of the day – such giant creatures working in perfect harmony.

Autumn Dew.

Early morning cobwebs caught in the Autumn dew. The end of the Welsh summer is on its way.

Take a last look.

This image was one of a series of images used by Visit Wales to promote Wales to the United States as part of a major international folk festival in 2009. Take a long look, because with planning permission relaxations about to be unleashed on the landscape, it could all look very different so very easily. Bigger houses in already crowded areas and new mansions for the wealthy in the middle of landscapes such as those above, can both be looked forward to, all in the name of the economy. Well, if it works, perhaps we’ll be able afford some land reclamation projects from the sea and build some new countryside, but it’s unlikely. What is likely is that those who can already afford to will be allowed to systematically wreck what is left of our landscapes, while making already cramped urban areas unbearable mazes of backyard extensions. It might help the economy, but it will serve to create an island in which few want to live.

Phase 3 of the ConDem ‘bollocks up Britain’ plan is well and truly in motion. Look forward to compulsory military service for juniors next.

 

 

Brecon

The Brecon Beacons offer some of the most impressive views in Wales. These images, taken on a changeable day, hopefully begin to illustrate the majestic nature of what Wales can offer. There would have been a lot more of the landscape on offer, though sadly the rain and hail closed in before the day was through, so this is really only a scratching of the surface.

Into Brecon itself from this point on.

and my favourite to finish on…

Blowing Up Buzzards: Nature Conservation.

There is not a lot to be said for DEFRA (newly branded today as the Department for the Eradication of Feral Rural Animals). Rarely a season goes by when they fail to infuriate great sections of the British public, while pissing off a fair few Europeans at the same time. Now, having spectacularly failed to impress anyone on the issue of badger culls, the new public enemy of the British rural landscape is the buzzard.

For those unaware, badgers were considered for widespread executions for chemical warfare activities. It appears that secret badger cells had been operating in secure locations, under trees and in prehistoric burial mounds, orchestrating the distribution of the toxin known only as TB, to cattle throughout the country. While there was never any firm evidence of the existence of these weapons of mass inconvenience, badgers were still fingered for on the spot execution.

Now buzzards are on the hit list as well. Their crime, the occasional consumption of baby pheasants. I’m sure we are all in agreement that those terrible buzzards should indeed be lined up against a wall, shot three times to the head, before being disposed of for distribution in canine treat tins for their most heinous crime of eating to stay alive. But wait, there’s more to this story than meets the eye. Why is DEFRA looking to protect these baby pheasants? Well so that they can grow up into slightly bigger pheasants for people to shoot of course.

For the buzzard, I would suggest rehabilitation, rather than incarceration or execution. If buzzards can be trained to emit a horse like laugh, inherit a country estate, master the art of being dressed in tweed by a butler, before equipping themselves with a shotgun, then their rights to blow ten bags of crap out of the same pheasant is perfectly acceptable. If they continue to kill pheasants in a way that is in their nature, then they themselves should, naturally, be exterminated in turn.

As solutions go, it’s about as rational as the initial argument.

Aurora Borealis.

We’ve long had a special relationship with Greenland here, and on a damp, cloudy and frankly dull morning in Wales, what better than to look on such skies, while longing to return to a land where such views greet you in the morning when waking, and hover above you while drifting into sleep.

 

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Nature Tombs: Photo Blog

Following on from images of Coity Castle, in a churchyard hidden behind that same castle, were some amazing nature reclamations of many burial monuments. Here are just a selection of some of the nature tombs to be found.

Some examples saw nature taking the shape of certain monuments.

In other instances, form is lost as nature expands above and beyond the original construction.

While it is always a shame to see such monuments forgotten and left to decay, there remains something quite impressive about these images, as nature takes back body and monument together.