Frozen Cwm Dulais

Wednesday, February 02, 2011 Adam Tilt 7 Comments

Last weekends freezing conditions had a rather impressive impact on the Cwm Dulais valley behind my house. Huge rafts of icicles were to be found dangling from overhanging ledges, whilst rocks in the river were covered in a layer of ice formed where splashing water had instantly frozen. The structures and shapes that had formed were unlike anything I have seen before, even during the cold weeks of last December. Also of interest was very clear evidence of freeze thaw erosion taking place along several exposed slopes. Overnight water droplets in the ground had frozen and expanded, pushing the edges of the banks outwards (frost heave). After a couple of hours of morning sun a thaw was well underway, allowing the ground to slump back into its original form. However, the outer particles of soil were now finding themselves unsupported and so were falling away at quite an alarming rate. We only watched for a couple of minutes but during that time witnessed these mini landslides occurring in numerous places alongside one of the farm tracks that traverse the valley sides. Although on a limited scale here it was fascinating to see the process at work. Bird-wise the only species of note was my first Dipper of the year flying downstream.

23903 - Frozen Dulais
23904 - Frozen Dulais
23906 - Frozen Dulais
23909 - Icicles, Cwm Dulais

I took a late evening drive out around the coast of Llanelli last night in search of any nocturnal activities and hit lucky with a couple of Foxes bounding along just by the roadside. These are the first that I have seen there so far this year and looked to be young individuals judging by their size. More surprising were the three Grey Herons that were standing motionless on the grass verges at several places. My guess is that they are out looking for frogs on these damp evenings. They certainly made a rather spooky appearance when caught in the headlights.


  1. Great photos Adam - saw my first Dipper of the year a couple of weeks back although not seen 'him' since.

  2. The Earth is always recreating its surface--great observations!

  3. Thanks Stu. I saw my Dipper quite regularly before the winter so I'm glad to see that he has made it through ok. I'll hopefully get some photos as well this year if fortune shines on me.

    Dixxe - I always like finding things in the natural world that others might overlook. It's one of the main reasons I started this blog to show people what is out there.

  4. Beautiful photographs, Adam. I, for one, have learned so much about observation since I began blogging and reading the blogs of others.

  5. Thanks Caroline. I like the way your posts often link to more information elsewhere. It's something I should start doing myself as well.

  6. Absolutely beautiful shots, what a series! Great job.


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