I had an enjoyable day with my solo exhibition at the Cynon Valley Museum last week. This former Ironworks in Aberdare is a wonderful museum and is about to be taken over by the local community after staving off a threat of closure. It will be opening to the public in September - details here....
Last Spring I noticed a vibrant yellow-leaved tree just across the River Usk from the Nantyffin Cider Mill Inn. I tried to capture it but there were too many intervening trees spoiling the shot. The tree is in the grounds of the Glanusk Estate and this year, with kind permission from Harry Legge-Bourke, I have my chance! The leaves have just started to sprout and here are the first few shots taken on an overcast day.
This is one tree that will look magnificent when the sun shines through its full leaf canopy... It's a species of smooth(ish) barked Oak - Quercus Rubra Aurea.
I had a wonderful walk a few days ago during the cold weather.... around the foothills of the Black Mountains taking in Park Wood, Talgarth enveloped in freezing fog and up and over Rhos Fach and Rhos Fawr commons in bright sunshine with the valleys below shrouded in fog - known as the "Dragon's Breath"!
I regularly walk up on the hills above my studio near Talgarth and have seen this young ash tree establish itself over the last few years. Let us hope it will avoid the ash dieback disease and the emerald ash boring beetle - both of which are forecast to wipe out most ash trees in Britain over the next 20 years!
Sunday 1st November 2015 - Above the fog on Rhos Fawr Common, Black Mountains, Wales.
A beautiful birch tree in its autumn colours and a "Fog Bow"....
A "Fog Bow" is formed the same way as a rainbow - by diffraction of the sun's rays through water droplets - but because the droplets are much smaller in fog the overall effect is mostly white.
Here are some autumn images from the Olchon Valley on the border between Herefordshire and the Black Mountains in Wales.
This valley was used as the setting for Owen Sheers' debut novel, Resistance (Faber and Faber, 2007), where, in an imagined 1944 in which Russia fell and the D-day landings were unsuccessful half of Britain is occupied. In the isolated Olchon Valley, a group of farm women, abandoned by their husbands and sons, are forced to endure winter alongside the occupying force.
This image, taken from the foot of Black Hill, won the Photographer of the Year award at the Spring Greens Fair where I called it....
A field, some trees and a mountain
"The large oak on the village green was planted in 1863 to commemorate the marriage of the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, to Princess Alexandra of Denmark. According to village legend, it made little progress in its early years until one day a circus was held on the green and an elephant bit the top off the tree. After that it flourished. Over the years it has grown into a majestic oak, with a branch occasionally dropping from the exposed western side. In July 2005 a major branch fell off, followed shortly by second from a spot almost immediately above the first (see photo), almost completely destroying the bench sited beneath it." (More here..)
In the middle of the North Western ridge of the Black Mountains stands "Y Das" - directly below is Rhos Fach common with numerous Thorn trees gradually thinning out with height on the slopes - and right near the top is a limestone outcrop with a prominent Thorn clinging on to it.
I had spotted this tree on my many walks up, over and around this mountain and I finally took a closer look last week.
Here are the first few images from that walk...... (click to enlarge)
I'm pleased to say that three artworks showing at my Cardiff Exhibition have already found new homes.
The exhibition runs until January next year - if you would like to see it please email me here
Here are a few photos from the preview....