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!