Late autumn scenery and memories in the Beacons.

24th November 2014
It's pretty quiet on the bird front at the moment, so we were out walking today in the mild autumn weather. We still managed, however, to locate a Northern Grey Shrike that looks to be wintering around the Lower Neaudd reservoir area and we also had some good views of a Green Woodpecker that was flying around. There was also a large flock of Chaffinch that contained a single Brambling and a few Redwings were in the same area. A reasonable mixture of birds for this time of year.
Later as we approached Pentwyn reservoir I could see the potential for a half decent landscape shot because the reservoir was like a mill pond and the subsequent reflection was quite clear. These relections don't happen that often because it is quite an exposed area and the wind creates 'rippling' on the water. I stopped the car, jumped out and got my lanscape kit from the boot, I then ran to the best vantage point and took a few shots, you have to be quick because the image can be gone literally in a gust of wind.
I remember many years ago I sold a similar shot to this to a hotel in Merthyr Tydfil, it was blown up to 36" x 24" and hung above their main fire place. Sometime after I learned that someone had stolen it when the owners back was turned, they must have been quick considering the size of it. I suppose it was a compliment of sorts that someone thought it was worth stealing.
This was an area I used to fish as a boy with my mates and standing there on the bridge I was remembering back around forty five years ago, I was just a kid on a push bike trying to catch the odd trout, with one eye kept open for the water bailif who used to patrol these reservoirs in those days. Many times he chased us from there for fishing without a license, great times when I look back. We used to see, what we considered an old man, riding on a small motorbike, he lived with his brother in an old rundown house on the mountainside. He used to go to the local shop in Pantyscallog for provisions on this little bike and he used to wave to us as he passed. They were both really big, about twenty stones, both batchelors who carried on living there after their parents died. This house was above the original Dolygaer outdoor pursuits centre, the first of its kind in the area, now they are everywhere. It was such a remote place to live, with no neighbours for miles, no running water or electricity. Unthinkable in these times, but it was all they knew I suppose.
Their time living there ended in a bad way because someone broke in there and tied them up and robbed them of what little they had, probably in the mistaken belief that they had some valuables. These people don't realise, or care probably, what they are doing. It wasn't just a robbery, those poor old blokes, so inoffensive, no longer felt safe in the house they had lived in all their lives. I often wonder what became of them after that episode, so sad. The house is just a pile of stones now, hardly anybody remembers the people who lived there.

Image below of Pentwyn / Dolygaer reservoir with the Beacons reflected.