Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Friday, 14 March 2014

The Story So Far

I arrived in Wales February 11th, on the tail end of some of the worst flooding the UK had seen in years. Thankfully where I'm staying, it is up a mountain, so no flooding here; just very wet, and soggy fields.

The next day one of the biggest storms the UK has seen in years hit.
The kind of winds the shipping forecast call 'hurricane force'
The kind of winds that literally blow you off your feet.
The kind of winds that blow down trees.

Ten in the garden; and thankfully they all missed the cottage.
More in the fields around the place.
The chicken house had a close shave when a large conifer tree just missed it by a few feet.

I have never experienced wind so strong.

We looked out the window during the storm, and watched two of the trees slowly topple. The sound of the wind was deafening, and the rain cut through the air horizontally. Roof tiles flew through the air like confetti.

90% of the time it is windy here anyway, but nothing like this.

And then the electric went off, followed by the phone and of course the internet.

For the next week, the winds still howled, and the rain still poured, but I did manage to get out eventually when the sun  decided to shine, and take a few pictures.



 Purple Sandpiper

After a few days the electric was restored, but still no phone, and the internet would come and go like the wind.
(that is about usual for here, along with a cripplingly slow connection speed)

BT were contacted numerous times, and every time the promise of 'tomorrow it will be fixed.'
Lying bastards. Their customer service was truly appalling.

After about a week, and I thought things couldn't get worse, my computer decided to shut down.
The blue screen of death; and sometimes a black one too.
As it approached an hour of working, it would decide enough was enough, and freeze, just hanging there refusing to do anything, forcing me to shut it down via the on/off button, or other times flash a blue screen with words on.
The joys of computing.

I'm thinking a hardware problem.

It's had a spring clean inside ............... I've never seen so much dust before, (apart from in my house), but it still dies before the hour is up.
Luckily enough a friend who built it for me has offered to have a look at it when I get back home, so till then, my computing and surfing has been somewhat curtailed.

BT has finally fixed the phone and internet, after nearly a month without, and the weather has started to resemble sunny spring days.

My computer is still being a pain in the arse, but you can't have everything.

So here's a few pictures for now




Lesser Redpoll



I hope everyone out there is doing fine, and I'll try to catch up over time.
I've loads of pictures to share eventually, and when a half decent internet connection happens, maybe some video too.

Right now, the mist has cleared, the air is calm, and the sun is shining. I'm off out with the dogs and camera.

Enjoy your days.


  1. Good to see you are okay even if the computer isn't.
    There have been some terrifying winds. It looks as if we are in for a good blow this afternoon and evening.
    There will be plenty of firewood to saw and split.
    Beautiful birds but the Flint landscape really grabbed my attention.

  2. Thanks Adrian, caught me just before I left for the fields.
    Hopefully the wind won't be as bad as it was; they certainly are scary.
    I was pleased with the Flint shot. Taken using a little Canon G12.

  3. Yup agree with Adrian that landscape is an amazing shot, was wondering if you had sacked the blogging, good to see you back

  4. The sisikin shot is fantastic, seriously well done on that one it looks like it was one heck of a domestic dispute, however I like the regal looking pheasant, the yellowhammer,the stonechat, the lesser redpoll, the purple sandpiper and the image of Flint are equally great too and you managed it all despite some of the worse weather we've had in decades.
    I would like to recommend taking a big heavy stick to those at BT customer services but you'll only be put on hold :o) Did you try and use Twitter (via your phone if it's a smart phone) I found if I went on Twitter and complained I'd get an immediate response, It took 10 minutes after a complaining tweet to get a response and an hour to sort the problem, via the phone...nothing.
    The Blue screen sounds worrying, it sounds like a "data dump" to me.

  5. Good to see you're 'connected' again Keith! Lovely set of images especially the Flint landscape and the Redpoll.
    Last year it was snow, this year wind and rain, I wonder what next year will bring?..lol
    Looking forward to seeing the rest of the pics when you get back, stay safe...[;o)

  6. Glad you are still on the ground and upright Keith.{:))
    You have certainly taken some classic shots of birds and what a collection.
    Not something you could get at Milton Keynes on a good day even.

  7. Tempestuous times Keith - glad that things are improving. Love the dipper shot - one of my favourite birds. Isn't it amazing how you can hear them singing in spring above the sound of rushing water?!

  8. Happy to see you back at the blogging, Keith, and with such a nice post, too. Looking forward to more.

  9. Wow, a hurricane hits the west of UK. Beautiful birds, and my favourite is the Purple Sandpiper, unique.

  10. oh, your photos are just a delight! sounds like one helluva storm! so sorry about the outages. i agree - the flint shot is AWESOME!

  11. Thanks Debs. Not quite ditched blogging yet; it's just been a little difficult to do anything. :-)

    Doug, thanks. Praise from the master of flight shots .... appreciated.
    Yea, BT really are crap in my opinion. So many promises but nothing to show. Maybe I'll have a rant on Twitter.

    Cheers Trevor. I do seem to get extremes of weather when I come here.

    Thanks Roy. Yea, the birdlife is certainly different from what I get back at MK.

    I've never known winds like it Phil.
    The Dipper was quite vocal when I saw it. A pair were busy building a nest inside an old water outlet.

    Thanks Wilma. I'll eventually get round to some more posts and visits :-)

    Thank you Bob. Those Purple Sandpipers are beautiful birds.

    Thank you Theresa. It certainly was quite a storm. Lots of seabirds have since been washed up on the shores. Very damaging for both the environment and wildlife.

  12. Wind is a scary thing! Sorry about the tree damage, some looked to be quite old! You got some awesome sun and light on your bird shots really beautiful! And the landscape is top notch!!

  13. Really good to get an update from you Keith. Rough times, for sure! Folks in other rural areas, who I tweet with occasionally, have all had the same poor experience with BT. Daily promises by various means on social media, phone, email… but nothing gets sorted for AT LEAST a month! Really bad.

    If/when I move to a rural place I'm def not going to go with BT if I have a choice.

    I've enjoyed all your photos over the last couple of weeks - that one of Flint is really special though. I love the Yellowhammer - a bird I've never seen.

  14. HI Keith Sorryto hear about your computer problems so I hope you get that sorted soon. Yes I remember last year when you ha no electricity for a week from the big snow fall and now all that wind and rain! What could it possibly be next year??? Anyway, you have managed to come up with wonderful shots. I love the Pheasant shot and the Siskins shot is real class. Looking forward to see more from Wales. Have a great weekend.

  15. Thanks Sondra. Yea, very sad to see some of these magnificent old trees broken by the wind. Nature really is the boss.

    Thank you Stuart. I must say the service from BT here is crap at the best of times. You wouldn't believe the state of the phone line that comes from the road, up the track, to the cottage. No wonder there are problems.
    I'll post some pictures one day.
    Yellowhammers are very common here. About a dozen every day. I'm spoilt! lol

    Maybe a heatwave next year Margaret lol
    It's a great place to take pictures here. Glad you enjoyed this selection.

  16. Love the Lesser redpoll, and the yellowhammer and Stonechat - well all of them actually - and you make Flint (only down the road from me) look rather attractive there which is a feat in itself!! Sorry about your computer problems - what a pain in the **** and yes I can imagine how strong those winds were up high - it was bad enough here and we're low down and still had a lot of damage around with fallen trees etc - lots of wheelie bins flying around too!!!

  17. just caught up with your post Keith, what a time you have had, but some great photos to share, well done.


  18. Oh my goodness, glad you (and the house you're staying in) survived the storms! It's always scary when the trees are ripped up by the roots. After tornados, I've seen that here, and it's heart breaking. (Beautiful photos you've been able to capture as the sun cooperates!)

  19. can Wales blame you for the storms :)

  20. Sounds like an adventure -- much like our hurricane season. Love the pics and am glad you're okay.

  21. Thanks Sharon. The sun really helped out in that picture ;-)
    Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Hopefully we've seen the last of the strong winds.

    Thanks Peter. This place always has some amazing picture opportunities.

    Thank you Kelly. It was some of the worst weather I've experienced; and yes, very sad to see such great trees toppled like this.

    Pete, extreme weather seems to follow me when I arrive here lol

    Thanks Laura. Certainly an experience. Today is calmer ....... just the usual wind and rain. :-)