Friday, 6 April 2012

Four Mornings in Wales

We've been in Mid-Wales this week.  The one dependable thing about the weather in Wales at this time of year is that it will change.

On Monday, around 7:00 am, I awoke to a theatrical sunrise spectacular, that had me leaning out of the bedroom window with a camera. It was the sort of surreal combination of sun, thick mist, and clear skies that makes you question whether you are truly awake.  It burned off to reveal a day of blazing sunshine.

On Wednesday, around 6:30 am, I awoke to the whistling and banging of high winds, and opened the window onto horizontally-driven snow that continued all day.  We had to drive to Hereford that day, but luckily the wind seemed to blow the snow straight through the valleys and up onto the hills.

On Thursday morning, around 7:00 am, the blizzards had gone, leaving a light covering of snow on the fields, and a bright white cap on the hilltops.  The sun stayed behind a covering of cloud all day, but the snow had practically all melted away by the evening, except on the highest hills.

On Friday, around 6:30, there had been a heavy frost, and a smoking mist hung over the valley.  As on Monday, it had burned off by mid-morning, and we drove home in sunshine that grew increasing hot as we descended in altitude and latitude towards southern England.

Yes, that is the same oak-tree in each picture.  It stands in the field below the hillside barn conversion we have started to use in recent years.  It's a pleasant view to wake up to each morning, and it's one of the few places I know where you can wake up in a spacious timber-framed, oak-floored room, and get a regular photo-opp even before going downstairs to make a first cup of tea.


Photoessayist said...

That first photo is really something. Never seen formations like that before. Is that common in Wales?

Note: Those two word tests for robots can be a real pain for us old grumpy types. Sometimes I never get it right even after several tries and just give up.

Martin said...

Regulars will know what a good eye you have, Mike. But with these photographs, you have excelled yourself.

Mike C. said...

Thanks, guys -- I obviously do my best work in pajamas.

I have seen similar things before, Photoessayist, usually in mountainous areas (e.g. Pyrenees) -- it's a question of being above the morning mist layer, with a strong rising sun behind you. The clouds are particularly bizarre in this case -- it looks like a cheat, but I'm too lazy for that sort of nonsense.


Graham Dew said...

What a wonderful set of images Mike. The cloud, mist & light in the first image are fantastic. Were you ask to hurry up and close the window?


Mike C. said...


It sounds ungrateful, I know, but I find images like that first one a problem...

First, no-one is going to believe it's not Photoshop trickery -- a "sandwich" or some such blend of two images. I don't think I'd believe it!

Second, it raises the bar in an unhelpful way -- I'm never going to start waiting around at dawn in the landscape in "interesting" weather conditions to match or top it.

Third, it puts "subject matter" in first place, and I don't think that is what my photography is about.

That said, it's not bad, is it?