Sunshine (!) on The Gower and at Kenfig!

The forecast was for rain again - but then that`s what I expect when visiting Adam and Emma in South Wales...
Mind you, I do have old colour slides proving that the sun used to shine for days on end in Wales once upon a time! O well!

It was Saturday 10th May - and the rain was falling - but we headed over to Stourton Car Park to see if a walk was possible. On getting out of the car the strength of the wing became evident (!) but at least a blue patch of sky was heading our way! The decision to chance a walk along the cliffs to Pwll Du Bay proved to be a good one.

As some sun finally shone through a gap in the clouds Three Cliffs Bay to the North became visible as a bright patch of golden sand. 

Many flowers bloomed on the cliff-tops but the wind prevented any real attempts to photograph them. However the Early Purple Orchids stood stiffly in the wind for a shot.

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Early Purple Orchid; Stourton.
Distant viiews of Pwll Du Bay beckoned ahead so we pressed on into the wind.

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Pwll Du Bay.
The shingle at the top of the bay is just visible above. Its origin has caused some debate but is probably the product of historic storm activity.
We soon arrived at the bay by the old Public House that once served the local mining community but which is now a private house set in a peaceful valley.

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The shingle is home to some interesting flowering plants.

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The shingle bank at the top of Pwll Du Bay.
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Red Valerian.
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Herb Robert.

Lunch was enjoyed in the sanctuary of the cliffs where warm SUN once again shone although only briefly. Soon rain returned although I still had time to capture an interesting pattern in the sand of river water flowing down the beach to the sea -and we headed up Bishopston Valley along the river.

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It rained during our walk up the valley, but this did not diminish our enjoyment of this peaceful flower-filled valley.

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The path was muddy (destroyed in places by cattle allowed to wander the path) but clearly marked.
All that remained was to clean boots and climb back into the car and head back for a cuppa....

The next day -
Kenfig Nature Reserve never disappoints and on Sunday another windy walk provided plenty of camera-fodder! Flowers are plentiful among the old sand dunes and birds are everywhere. Although the wind made photography tricky some nice shots were possibe (more on Flickr) -

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Canada Geese with chicks braving the waves on the pool.
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Weevil on Wild Strawberry.

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The wind blew sand into our faces many times - as dunes re-formed to fill gaps broken during the Winter storms.

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Just off-shore the waves were still battering the soft peat layers; the future is not good for this vulnerable piece of coastline.

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Lunch was taken in the lee of the dunes while skylarks and swifts flew overhead.

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The walk back with the wind behind us was certainly easier and the sun provided a good view of the Steel Works nearby. It is surprising that so much wildlife can flourish so near to such a polluting industry.

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