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Brecons and back again.

Posted in The Chief’s Ramblings on Wednesday 20th August 2014 at 3:58 pm by Steve

Heather below Vixen Tor

I managed to grab a couple of days off last week so I decided to visit the Brecon Beacons. In all my years of walking this was the first time I had walked in this National Park. Had a good day over on the Black Mountains and hardly passed another walker. The following day Pen Y Fan had to be climbed. It was real bun fight in the car park to find a space, and even early in the morning there was a long snake of people winding their way up the hill. Still the sun shone despite a cold wind, but on both days I had stunning views.

This week I have been out with a family climbing followed by two days in the office. Tomorrow I am again climbing with another family. I managed to get down near Vixen Tor today to take some pictures for some training handouts. Pity it is now out of bounds to climbers. Think I have some pictures of me climbing it years ago somewhere at home. I will see if I can find them and post them onto another blog at a later date. 

Creature comforts

Posted in The Chief’s Ramblings on Thursday 31st July 2014 at 1:33 pm by Steve

Adder slithering for cover

Snake skins

Elephant Hawk Moth larvae

Whilst out walking with our Hill and Moorland Leader course this week I have seen an Adder on the moor each day. One was even spotted close to our office but managed to evade capture. I spotted quite a large one at the head of the Deancombe Valley below Eylseybarrow. Got quite a good picture as it slid off into the underdrowth. Another was spotted along the ridge of Longaford and Littaford Tors. We must of scared this one as it jumped out of its skin!!!!! The third and final adder of this week was spotted very close to here and was a very small and fiesty one that was hissing really loud. I have seen more Adders this year than ever before. Over the last three or so years they do seem more common up here on the high more. The long warm spell we have had is certainly ideal for them. 

Even at home I have spotted an amazing creature. I found an Elephant Hawk Moth larvae in the garden and it has since turned into a cocoon. They are quite sizeable with large  false eye markings near its head to ward off predators. Apparently they are called Elephant Hawk Moths as when the larvae is moving around its small head does look like an elephants trunk.

John, Matt and Sam are busy working on the Dewerstone Cottage today and I am trying to catch up on some office time. Martin is away for the week so I have been entrusted with holding the fort!!

Sunshine on the water

Posted in The Chief’s Ramblings on Tuesday 22nd July 2014 at 12:02 pm by Steve

Tetris with Kayaks!!

Splash Down!!!!

Under the bridges at Saltash

Seascape on the lynher

Heading back after a stunning day

Last Wednesday and Thursday I had two paddling days with Courtfields School near Wellington. The first day was spent paddling the Tiverton canal, it was the second time in as many weeks, albeit a different section. The second day was spent on the River Exe. The Exe trip was made especially fun as we had to shoot two weirs. Despite the low water they were still great fun for all ages concerned. Getting splashed at the bottom of each weir was a welcome break from the heat. What a cracking day!! We did have some fun getting all the boats into the back of our van. Bit like playing a cross between, Tetris and Jenga!! Great opportunity for an arty photo though!!!.

Yesterday, I was again on the water, this time with the Womens Challenge Club paddling the River Lynher. We all met at around 10:00 beneath the two big bridges over the Tamar. It was the first time I had paddled this part of the Tamar Estuaury and what a great paddle it was. After leaving the busy Saltash stretch of river it was not too long before we were exlporing little shallow inlets full of grey mullet braeking the surface and herons all around in the trees and on the foreshore. It has been a long time since I have paddled in such excellent conditions on the Tamar. Who needs to go abroad when the weather can be this good? After a full day on the river everyone agreed how it was such a great trip. More days like these please!!!

Next week I have a Hill and Moorland Leader training coures to run, so that will be another busy few days. Still spaces available.

Hope you are all enjoying this great summer. Long may it continue. (or have I just gone and said the wrong thing!!!)

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