Wales on cloudy winter’s days can yield some  broodingly dramatic expanses of blacks and greys. There is certainly a lack of light as we drive through Snowdonia’s national park one Christmas Eve. (These photos were taken from a moving car). Even so, there is no lack of colour. If anything the rugged moorland russets of bracken, turf and heather are heightened by the grey-black backdrops.

Here, then, are landscapes of the mind, settings for the doings of ancient Celtic heroes, wizards and shape shifters, whose remnant tales still survive today, albeit in transcribed and edited forms in the Mabinogion.



P1060737 (2)n

Life in Colour: black/grey

33 thoughts on “Hinterland

  1. lovely brooding shots Tish as you pass on by. Feels almost like the land that time forgot – and one that summons memories of family holidays under canvas
    p.s. three generations of males in my family climbed Snowdon just last month plus two others thereabouts but Welsh blood runs in their veins!

    1. A land that time forgot – yes, I agree, Laura, there’s a strong sense of that. Also, your august mountain-climbing rellies apart, so much of it seems quite inaccessible to humankind. Much shape shifting would be required to negotiate those many steep and craggy scree slopes.

  2. We drove up from Newport (Wales) to Chester before new year’s that one time I visited you and yes, it looked just like this from the motorway! Stayed at the golden lion inn and loved that place. Wind storm and all!

  3. That blurry young cyclist bottom right reminds me of me in a former life, back when Wales was only a short hop across the border, although also a world away. Scotland concertinaed was how someone had compared the two landscapes. Both are dramatic but in different ways: the Welsh mountains, especially in mid-Wales, seem more intimate if you get my drift. There’s a welcome in the hillsides! Forty years ago, I saw the lyrics to that soppy song painted onto a rooftop as we passed by on our little bike tour and it struck me as almost literally true. Still does! How soppy is that?!

    1. There’s always room for some soppiness. And I take your point about the Scottish highlands v. Welsh ones. The former, magnificent but often so distant (when driving by) as to lose sense of the scale of them. Snowdonia, on the other hand, seems to enclose one in another world, not always comfortable. The mid Wales landscapes do feel more hospitable. In all cases a wake-up call to the imagination.

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