Deliberate Movement

This morning, it was time to get out early before the rain set in. Or so I was told by a wide awake hound at 6.30am, 7am, 7.15am, 7.16am, 7.19am and then, after a short period of snoring, at 7.45am. The wind was howling but despite thick grey skies, there was no sign of the rain that had been promised. So after a brief breakfast interlude, we were off to Fairwood Common.

I had an idea to take some long exposure photos of the trees moving in the wind, so along with me and Rufus and the camera, I took a tripod and an ND 1000 filter. I was picturing images of sharp, solid tree trunks and blurred upper branches but when I got to the woods I was surprised to see how strong the wind actually was. Most of the solid tree trunks were also moving. Woods are not the safest of places in high wind but after checking the trees, I was reasonably happy that nothing was about to fall on us.

While Rufus explored in the leaves and mud, I set up the first of several exposures of between 20 and 30 seconds. The filter is so dense that I have to compose and focus before hand as there is nothing visible through the viewfinder. It slows the picture taking process down, which is fine and is something I need to do. I was pleased with the results in the viewfinder and the previews afterwards. These kinds of photos are hard to plan perfectly as the movement of the trees is random, so for each set up I took several exposures to get some choice over the final results.

By the time I’d take three of four different set ups, Rufus was getting a bit bored. I could tell by the way he sat next to the tripod and stared at me with his much practised puppy dog eyes look. It worked; we moved on and he got a small biscuit treat for his trouble.

Finally happy with the pictures I’d taken, I put the camera and tripod back in the car, and we went off for a proper walk which included barking, running, chasing sticks and following mysterious scents borne on the ever increasing wind. By the time we’d explored the whole area, it was staring to rain and it was time to head off back home.

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Gone with the wind

A half day. A swift visit to the bank to pay some money into the holiday fund. Then off to get Rufus and straight up to Cefn Bryn.

It was supposed to be raining today but I decided to go anyway. Mind over matter. I have a thing about starting off in the rain so what better way to toughen up mentally? It’s the mind equivalent of press-ups! But by the time we got to the car park on top of the ridge, the rain was gone.

But the wind was blowing strongly enough to make up for the lack of rain. I had to fight the doors as I opened them. My coat flapped as we crossed the road. It was freezing cold.  And as we walked eastwards, the wind was blowing directly in our faces. It made the going quite hard. On top of that, the track was muddy, slippery and frequently blocked by large puddles. So it was hard work and a slow pace. Which was great for the exercise value.

We passed a mare and her foal, which could only have been a few days old judging by the size. She was very wary, the foal wasn’t so sure, but Rufus was on the lead while we passed so no harm was done.

Of course, on the way back, the wind was pushing me along, Before I knew it, I was jogging, dodging between puddles, and mud and slippery grass. I don’t run or jog. Too many bits of me move independently and without control. But no one was looking except Rufus, and he and I have an understanding. So on I jogged. Rufus was wondering what was going on and decided to run along side me, keeping pace easily and reminding me how much fitter he was than me.

I’m paying for it now, though. Aching feet, aching knees, generally tired. All the signs of a good workout.

This afternoon we did 4.7 miles in 90 minutes.

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