June 5, 2014 by welshcyclist
It’s really been one of those days today. Those days when nothing seems to sit right, and when you just can’t be bothered to get anything right anyway!
To be honest, the day didn’t start that way, it started almost brilliantly, I woke up early, thanks to Tipsy the cat, ripping the stair carpet, why he can’t miaow like other pet felines, I don’t know. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, son number two, Conor, set him free, out the back door, and I went back to sleep……ugh!!! When I awoke again it was 06.15, now I like to get up early and get out there on my bike. By the time I was out on the road it was close on 07.00, the sun was shining, no breeze, with the real promise of a beautiful day. In my book I’d wasted valuable time, but off I pedalled, anyway, annoyed with myself for such a tardy start to the day.
My ride down to Aberdulais and back, some 18-19 miles was refreshing, invigorating and wonderful in great measure, but I was subjected, or better, I subjected myself to some frustrating moments, with my inability to capture what I wanted on film. I saw quite a few sights that I wanted to share with my faithful reader, but each time I was too slow, cumbersome, and downright all askew!
I took a picture of the field of flowers below, one can barely see any flowers, but they are there in abundance.
I noted some swallows had built nests on the gable end of a house at Ynysarwed, and tried to capture their comings and goings, to and from the nests, all I got was the gable end!
There were some successes, like pictures of how cycle paths should be.
Well that last one was more like a Dr. Who time warp?
And what was I thinking? Here’s a shot of some animal poo! I saw this as I was riding past Rheola pond, I thought it quite unusual in colour, where it had been deposited, and had it earmarked for Dr. Chris Packham of Springwatch to give me a definitive answer of what actually produced it. It can’t just be dog poo, can it?
Then there were the slow changes of landscape being made around Rheola pond itself, for the planned holiday village, apparently the firm that was/is creating it, has gone bust, for the moment. Really sad for the herons, now evicted from their long established heronry, well it’s been there the 30 years, that I’ve lived in this beautiful valley. I am very pleased to note that some herons, despite the upheaval, are still to be found in some lesser trees at the same top end of the pond. But, yes you’ve guessed, I got the trees, not the herons, unless you can zoom in, a lot. They are there, dear reader! Three in fact, can you see them?
This one of the horses in the field, next to the Cwmoedd forestry entrance, I am quite proud of, mainly because the subjects were lazily sunbathing.
Not a bit like the house martins who’d taken up residence on another gable end nearer home, at least I got the nests this time!
Fishing must be in season again, because I saw these two casting a line on the river Neath alongside Ynysarwed canal aqueduct. Yes those two, stood in the hedge!
My frustration came to a head though when I saw something I’ve never seen before. Swallows attacking a magpie, a magpie who, it seemed, was at first, I thought at least, minding his own business. But as I watched, his intent was clearly to get up to the guttering of the house, but I couldn’t see any nests under that guttering. What was going on? The swallows were dive bombing and, I believe pecking the magpie, when he got into the guttering. Could there be a nest in there? The swallows attacks got more and more fierce as other swallows joined in. In the end it was too much for the magpie, and he made off, all the while being harried by half a dozen swallows, and then everything quietened down. I still don’t know what the magpie was after, if anything. Perhaps the swallows just recognised the magpie as a predator, and chose to get him out of the area?
Another question for Dr. Chris Packham?
Here’s a shot of a small waterfall, I’ve never photographed before, always gone over the little bridge taking no notice of what flowed under it. Glad I stopped this time and took a look.
Sorry about the photography, good intentions and all that. Great cycle, but the day just went flat after that.
Probably, because I had a dental appointment mid day, which meant I just hung around the rest of the morning. Then post dental treatment, which comprised of 35 minutes sat with my mouth wide open, with drills, mirror and suction device crammed in there. How do dentists work in such a confined space? Or is my mouth really not as small as I believe? I didn’t feel a thing, my dentist is an expert at what he does, thank goodness. However, after that I felt as if I’d done a 12 hour shift, and didn’t get going again. Save for this post, oh and discovering I’ve got a large nail in the back tyre of my car, oh great joy. No air is escaping, but it’s only a question of time, as rolling along the nail gets pushed further and further in.
So, tomorrow I will go for an early morning cycle, then put the bike (probably my Jamis single speed ), on the back of my car for a trip to the garage, leave the car there, and cycle home. Fortunately, it’s only in the village. I’m hoping the weather stays this way, as I type, the sun is still shining brightly outside.