Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rain n Shine

Mmmm yesterdays walk was a ramble amongst two totally different weather systems on the same hill. As my four legged slime ball and I approached Moel Famau from the east in the fun cruiser we were bathed in early morning sunlight and the temperature could almost be tangibly felt rising. Ah thought I, there’ll be no need for the heavy gear today just the light stuff and maybe the chance to add some colour to my waxen, winter caused paler.  I really do wish that I wouldn’t pre-empt my walks, remember “A calming little walk….” and how that turned out? You really would have thought that I’d have learned my lessons about expectation wouldn’t you? Well I guess I’m either stupid or just have the memory of a goldfish.

So there we are heading up the lane to the lower car park, Lucy beginning to whimper excitedly in the back yearning to stretch her legs and find something dire to wade through. It was at this point that I noticed the mist and drizzle just rolling down the narrow valley that the road follows and now became certain of the inevitability of a bleedin nerve jangling jaunt on the trails just staring me in the face. You know by now that I’m just too stupid to turn back and head for sunnier climes with my eternal optimism that this time Lucy will be just dandy. And anyway how could anybody resist that delicate whimpering of expectation as we ground to a halt in the car park? The omens were not good, in fact they were bloody awful as I gazed around me, the visibility was lessoning with every step from the car park, the raucous call of one of Odin’s eyes fell on my ears bidding me to return to the sanctuary of the fun cruiser before doom befell me, and the drizzle was turning into rain, bugger.

Lucy just bounded on ahead, her devious mind just waiting for us to be a couple of miles up the trails before her mind games began. With heavy heart I trudged up the hill in her wake contemplating the woes ahead which were to befall me, but then it happened, a beam an ultra bright sunlight burst down from the heavens and illuminated the way ahead. No seriously the sun really did break thru, firstly in a solitary beam but as me pace quickened and I breasted the hill this mist and rain was pulled away from me like a giant cloak being snatched from over our heads. All the while we were on the eastern slopes of the Famau we bathed in warm refreshing sun, but a glance to western ridgeline revealed that the doom of mist and cloud had not deserted us but hung like a heavy velvet curtain, neither retreating nor advancing from the ridge. Unfortunately the route that I’d decided upon would eventually take over this ridge and onto the western slopes. Yes I know that I could have retraced my footsteps but hey stubborn is one of my many second names (skinflint being another) and anyway I hate linear routes and always try to make them circular. We headed down into one of the valleys before facing the inevitable, and it was here Lucy put up a glorious cock pheasant (yep no picture, camera in pocket in expectation of the soaking to come – sorry) and for once she actually looked to be a sort of hunting hound (camera now out of pocket!). This brought a wry smile to my face ‘cause even if she’d brought it to ground I’m damn sure that she’d have no idea what to do with it, and anyway they’re out of season at the moment.

From the valley we climbed to the western ridge and walked into another world, one of mist, rain and the bleedin spook game. Oh yes she’d been waiting for this and she wasn’t to be denied, as soon as we’d scampered down the far side of the ridge her antics started and by the time we’d reached the fun cruiser (some two hours of neck turning later) my nerves were once more shot at, you’d really think that by now I’d be grown up and adult about this, oh yeah? Well call me primitive if you must but that dog just knows which buttons to press, god love her…..

Seriously though, I cannot remember walking in and about such a compact location where the weather patterns were so well defined, it wasn’t as though there was no breeze, it was slight but it was there giving an angle to the falling rain. I could literally step from sun to gloom and watch one from the other. I tried to capture it with my camera but the pictures just didn’t give the definition needed. I guess it was just one of those strange but true moments… What I did manage to capture though was the water run off, it bears testament to the amount of rainfall that has occurred (mainly at night) lately, even some of the bog monsters favourite haunts were more water than detritus!

Your friend


Le Loup said...

Great post, reminds me of when I was a kid in West Sussex and one day on the way home it rained, but not on me. There was an old lady on the other side of the road in pouring rain yet I was in sunshine. I never forgot that, it was like looking into another world.
And the day my dog went for a swim in a croc infested river! There was me calling her and slapping my knees doing all I could to make her swim back faster and there was this croc right behind her! She made it just in time!

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said... and the bog monster sure have some interesting adventures and I love coming along! Well, vicariously, that is!
I've seen a weather pattern like that before. I used to live in Florida, where they have daily rain storms a certain time of the year. Almost the exact same time of day, you can see a wall of rain coming and then passing over. Lasts about 20 minutes, and then the sun comes out and dries everything up. It's weird.

Leigh said...

Beautiful photos, John! Your walk reminded me of my optimism for the weather today as well...It was an overcast cold day here but I remained hopeful that the weather would warm but instead we were hiking in shorts and we freezing our tail feathers off!;)

Wolfy said...

Very nice John. I'm not sure it IS possible to capture those clear delineations of sun-to-gloom. Well, I'm sure a real photographer could, just not me.

I DO like the gloomy feel of the bird in the trees, though.

Thanks for the musing.


Murphyfish said...

Hey Le Loup,
Well crocs are one thing that the bog monster does not have to contend with, thankfully! Glad that I bring some good memories back, sometimes it’s good to look over your shoulder from time to time, if only to see where it is you’ve been.

I’ve seen patterns like those you speak of, usually during an approaching thunder storm, but this day was just weird with the wall of mist n rain just holding position for the time I was out there. Your always welcome to tag along on our journeys, I’m just glad (and very surprised!) that I can find the words to bring them alive for you and for others.

Hey Leigh,
There’s an old saying that I know; “never cast a clout till the month o May is out” so I guess we both need to take a little bit more notice ;-). I glad you enjoyed the post and as always thank you for your comments.

Hey Wolfy,
Don’t think that I’ll ever be a real photographer but I am starting to have me moments. Surprised my self with the photo of the crow, it really did convey the atmosphere of the walk. Cheers for the comments, always welcome from you my good man.

All the best,