Wales, Montgomery castle ruins and unpredictable weather

We’ve just come back from Wales, having spent a few days near Montgomery, staying at Beloved’s brother’s place. Marvellous time was had by all. Our first outing was to Montgomery, a cute little town with twee tea rooms and antique shops. The weather was not very promising, in fact rain was forecast for the duration of our stay. For the moment, the rain held off and we walked about the ruins of Montgomery castle, a fortification dating back to Norman times. Glorious views in all directions:

Wales montgomery castle view

 

East across Vale of Montgomery and the Welsh hills in the distance

Wales montgomery castle view tow shropshire

 

And north east, with Montgomery at the bottom right of the photo.

The castle ruins weren’t terribly exciting but quite good for climbing, here you can really see the ominous clouds coming in.

Wales Montgomery castle ruins

 

From the castle ruins car park we took a woodland footpath up to Town Hill with a memorial to first world war victims which Beloved’s brother hadn’t been to yet and wanted to see. The views were fabulous but I’d forgotten to charge the camera battery so don’t have any photos. Idiot. Since Offa’s Dyke is nearby, we thought about walking a bit of its path but the rain had set in by then and not everyone in our group was equipped or interested in a longer walk and we returned to the base for lunch. All in all, we may have only walked a couple of miles, so more of a ‘morning constitutional’ as opposed to a proper walk.

Very cross with self for forgetting to charge the camera battery earlier, I did so immediately on return to base and was glad to have done it as the sun came back out late in the afternoon and offered me a perfect opportunity to wander about the garden taking lots of photos. I do this every year.

Wales Holmwood view

View from the garden, glorious, no?

Wales Holmwood garden poppies

 

Wales Holmwood garden

Wales Holmwood garden thistle

Wales Holmwood garden leek in flower

 

The last photo is of a leek flower, did not realise leeks have such fantastic flowers! This is a very restrained selection from the rather large bunch of photos I took. I’ve a lot of photos from Wales…

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Kew, and the weather was pretty decent

I wander if anyone in the UK is not ranting about the weather and the fact that there hasn’t been much summer. On Sunday, the weather was actually pretty decent, good thing as we were in Kew Gardens. Lots of marvellous picture opportunities in Alpine/ rock gardens and a chance to try out some new pixlromatic filters and effects. Not that these filters or effects are new but I actually paid for them when I normally only use free apps for photography, mainly instagram. 

These photos would make lovely print patterns: 

Pink highlights:

And a couple more I liked:

Magic and mystery continues

Total brain coma this afternoon after too much work so am giving myself a mental break to post pictures from what I think could well be week 7 of orchid watch. Still no bloom but the expectancy of it makes me so happy, tonic for brain coma too:

The size of those buds! Getting very very fat

And not forgetting the baby orchid:

Orchid watch 4.5

More than a month of orchid watch and still no flowering from either the Old Columbia Road or the Baby IKEA orchids. Trying to contain myself and remain patient. Taking pictures as I go:

Old Columbia Road this morning, looking good.

I rather liked the light/dark contrast here and red-ish tint to both photos.

The Baby IKEA orchid inspires different feeling as it’s in a white setting, I kinda like taking pictures with blurred, overemphasised colours. The stem’s certainly grown since last week.

Better visible here. More pics here

Going to be out and about today so hoping to take and post more photos as have been pretty rubbish this week.

 

Orchid watch

Weekly ‘orchid watch’ update – I love how this blog always has an update on some ‘watch’. Am rather enjoying watching something regularly and photographing its changes/ progress/ status quo – the summer I spent watching neighbours’ terrace and then they moved away. The new neighbours I still haven’t met but have sort of kept having a look at the terrace every now and then. Now there are the orchids – there are two in the flat, one, which I’ve had for years, has never flowered and the other, which was bought last year, flowered past summer. Both are about to flower and I’ve been watching the older orchid for weeks:

Every time I come to take a photo, the stalk has grown somewhat, which is lovely and just a bit exciting. It’s almost happening! Love the contrast between light and dark and how I’ve lost definition because I exaggerated the contrast.

Same photo, much greener. Think I could happily spend a whole day playing with my little photo apps and filters.

And a slightly different angle and still greener.

Anyway, moving onto the baby orchid. It’s doing very well too:

Love this photo, it looks very unnatural, considering it’s of a plant.

Guess it might be another week or two and then I’ll have to worry about how best to capture little blooms. If memory serves correctly (it has been some years), the old orchid is a deep pink, the baby one is white.