Tuesday 16 August 2011

Fun in the Forest

Well yesterday the weather was actually quite nice, so would you believe it, I ventured outdoors!  Been sitting in front of the computer far too much lately, captioning and keywording images, so it was nice to get out and get a bit of fresh air, and the odd ray of sunshine.  Not sure that I got more than 1/100th of a daily dose of vitamin D, but oh well it was good anyway.  Dad had headed to Mum's Uncle and Aunt's earlier in the day, and then Mum and I headed there mid-morning.  We got a little waylaid, with me deciding some photos of the 'Cathedral of the Forest' (yep apparently that's what it is called!), the nice little church at Newland, might be good, especially with the weather the way it was.

We got down to Uncle Wilf and Aunty Janet's place just in time for a lovely cooked Sunday lunch, and then I mad a nuisance of myself there with my camera as well.  First off Uncle Wilf had some honey from his hives to deal with, so we spun that out, and got a few jars at least.  Then it was time to check out some of the medal winning pigeons.  Now Uncle Wilf is a bit of a legend in pigeon circles, having over the years amassed an impressive trophy room (and then there are the sheep dog medals and trophies as well) and been a pigeon nut for many years.  You don't need to search far on the internet to find info - like here.  So we did a bit of a photo shoot with both his two latest 'Barcelona hens', so named for having competed in and placed in these massive long distance races from Barcelona (and other locations down that way) back to little old Monmouthshire!  Barcelona back to Wilf's loft is 754.59 miles (1,214 kms) as the pigeon flies, pretty impressive stuff!  These two hens are the latest in a run of birds that have placed in these long distance races, and currently “Barcelona Lady" and “Barcelona Beau” are clearly loft favourites.  "Barcelona Lady" placed first into Wales in 2011 and "Barcelona Beau" 3rd.  We then had a look around the main racing loft, and I got some photos from inside, the results of which I think are quite special.  Uncle Wilf is so passionate about pigeons, and its hard not to get a little excited when talking to him about them, and seeing some of the birds that have done these incredible races.

I spotted four fallow hinds and their half grown fawns down in the field below, and so headed down there to see if I could get any photos.  The wind was not in my favour, and I'm sure I rushed things too much, so the end result was watching them leap back into the woods.  Never mind.  I was more successful with photos of 'Buster' a new recruit at the farm, and one whom I'm sure will bring many years of joy.  A real cute little dog.  So all in all a pretty nice day!

Woodland and fields near Newland, on the way to the farm

'The Cathedral of the Forest'

Not a bad looking wee church, built in the early 1200s...yes for those of you in New Zealand that is not a typo...1200s!

Uncle Wilf taking the caps of the comb

Yum yum!

Going through the strainer

Stunning views down the valley from their place

The 'Barcelona Hens' (I mean the pigeons), Uncle Wilf holding 'Barcelona Beau' and Aunty Jan holding 'Barcelona Lady'

They swapped birds in this photo - 'Lady' with Wilf and 'Beau' with Janet

There's still a few miles in 'Lady'!

A 'cat' amongst the pigeons

One of the current racers being given instructions


Master of the valley

Looking on with the flock exercising

A racer comes in to land

The birds exercising

'Buster' busting a move

What big ears I have

Tongue wagging



  1. nice weather,beautiful forest,and many touching sights.and very nice
    your uncle aunt and father mother.
    and how lovely dog !
    I was affected very much.
    Thank you Brent.
    Tokiko said

  2. Nice pics!

    The only time I have seen racing pigeons is in Brooklyn, where one would see them flying around in a formation and think, "that's the not the way your usual city pigeon behaves."

  3. Thanks Tokiko and thunder. Pretty pleased with the results. Man that little dog is cute!