Tranquil Drone Flight around Pen-Clawdd-Mawr Hillfort and beautiful scenery nr Talsan in West Wales
WA2363: Pen Clawdd-Mawr.
Back in April I went out to investigate a series of overlooking Hillforts dotted along the Aeron valley in West Wales.
Not much is known about these ‘Pen Y Gear’s’, research has been minimal but they took up prominent defensive positions along the valley. Each fort was within a couple of miles of the neighbour and most look to have somehow artificially flattened the prominences , before constructing huge banks and ditches in defensive patterns. Maybe these were then topped with huge dry stone walls. Where they really defensive forts? Probably the smaller ones where fortified farmsteads perhaps for larger family farming groups, hunkered down together in a period of danger but usually living and farming the surrounding land.
Today not much is left of the Great Headland Bank as the name translates. Sheep as always are left to graze peacefully atop the green meadows that used to house the Iron Age community that once lived there. The village of Talsarn can be seen across the valley about a mile to the north and it is situated below the peak of TryChrug (343 Metres). Lower on the flank of the summit to the left is an ominous looking spur, this too is a Hillfort, we shall travel there soon. In spring on a sunny day the Aeron Valley is stunningly beautiful and the county of Ceredigion as a whole is one of the most sparsely populated areas in the whole of mainland Britain. ‘Aeron’ itself translates as ‘Berries’ in this case probably Blackberries as they can still be found all over.
Music, a newbie from Nostramus, seemed to fit the mood of the flight. So new is this track that for the time being I will call it “Pen-Clawdd-Mawr” Hope you like it!
A hazardous ground level flight along a steep and narrow coastal path lined with thorny Gorse bushes
Do not attempt this at home. I will not be held responsible for others damaging their drones attempting this type of buffoonery.
If you are after a gentle serene flight around beautiful countryside to relax to , this video might not be for you. For me it was about control of the aircraft in a really tight situation perched 300 foot atop a windy cliff in Ceredigion. This is the Cardigan Bay coastal path about three miles south of New Quay at Coybals.
In order to do this I had to keep an eye on possible ramblers approaching and menacing Seagulls who would fly over the cliff from nowhere. The day was breezy but in the evening there was quite a stiff breeze, hence not wanting to chance my luck over the high cliffs or sea too much. I had walked up this path from the footbridge at the bottom , ooh some 120 feet or so below. The narrow track was becoming encroached with hard thorny Gorse bushes, in places barely 2 foot six inches (80 CMs) So why not try to fly the Mini 2 back down to the footbridge? What could possibly go wrong? “Buzby” my Mini 2 was drifting slightly in the breezes so I had to really concentrate as I began the controlled flight descent. With me following closely behind.
It would be great to have collated this footage as one graceful sweep, pbut realistically , I ended up taking it really slow and on many occasions I had to correct and make adjustments. At no point did I land or catch or restart the drone, it was one continuous flight. I know I could simply have held the drone and manually walked it down but the truth is I didn’t, I flew it every inch of the way. There was just one occasion where I had to lift off to avoid a very tight spot on the path but came down a couple metres after and continued. There were many difficulties including dropping altitude, I had the drone set on Cinema but drifting caused by the breeze was a major issue as well as the tight gaps.
I don’t really know why I did this, put my rather expensive drone at risk, I guess I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a drop should the worst case scenario happen. But seeing what happened when I dropped my first drone whilst climbing out of the car it was a really risky business.
As it was on average I flew about three feet above the ground, sometimes lower sometimes a little higher, now and then I popped up to 15 metres or so to look around and then drop back again. I was conscious of the ground sensor so occasionally I would have to correct the drone from lifting. Eventually I am glad to say I managed to navigate the whole path down the gulley, over the footbridge and then back up the steps the other side before landing without any mishap, thank god! The only caveat was that “Buzby” was covered in dust from flying so low to the ground. I soon had that sorted. I tell you what though the whole experience has really improved my flying skills Now I am ready for more low flying antics.
Music by Nostramus which is my good self this one I felt because of the disjointed loop mash up style might suit the fast editing. I did have to edit a lot of pausing and swaying about and of course the whole footage is speeded up significantly so the whole episode in real time took 15 minutes has been edited down to two minutes. Without spoiling too much I hope you enjoy the errr dream sequence part, I couldn’t resit! I don’t regard this as a “Drone Egg”, film , more of an adventure.
Back in April I took ‘Buzby’ my drone out to investigate a series of overlooking Hillforts dotted alon the Aeron valley in West Wales. Not much is known about these ‘Pen Y Gear’s’ research has been minimal but they took up prominent defensive positions along the valley. Each fort was within a couple of miles of the neighbour and most look to have somehow artificially flattened the prominences , before constructing huge banks and ditches in defensive patterns. Maybe these were then topped with huge dry stone walls. Where they really defensive forts? Probally the smaller ones where fortified farmsteads perhaps for larger family farming groups, hunkered down together in a period of danger but usually living and farming the surrounding land.
The scenery along the Aeron Valley is stunningly green and beautiful on a bright spring day the hills stand up to 250 metres above the valley floor. The tiny village of Bwlch Llan sits serenely, protected by the Pen Y Gaer prominence and we float peacefully around the village Church. Finally the old master skeleton of a tree sits in proud judgement like a decaying green man as the drone drifts back to earth.
Music a gentle techno acid meditation I wrote back in the 90’s which I later released as part of the “Ruff and Tuff at The Edges” cassette compilation which was co opted by The Hidden Corporation. This project co existed with the genesis of Nostramus. It did have a name I will correct it when I can by for now I will call it Gentle Arpeggio.
Drone Footage of New Quay Harbour a flotilla of Boats and cool ripples across Cardigan Bay. New Quay Part Three of Three
New Quay Part Three of Three
Drone Footage of New Quay Harbour a flotilla of Boats and cool ripples across Cardigan Bay. I ventured forth on a fine but sultry day in May down to the Quay at New Quay Harbour and my good friend Jon joined me to help spot as I flew around the harbour and adjoining areas. The red boat featured at the beginning usually sails with tourists who want a peak at the Dolphins and Porpoises that often visit the Sea here. It seemed to play to drone camera by performing a wee pirouette for us. As it circled in front of us, the ripples and reflections spiralled away in ever increasing circles as the boat finally returned to it’s moorings.
It was a slow lazy day and folk just coming out of the recent lockdowns were enjoying the warmth of the early summer after a particularly cold spring. So we let ‘Buzby’ my Mini 2 drone take a slow and peaceful glide capturing the serenity of a clam day in the harbour. The Haven Holiday camps with hundreds of self catering caravans were straddling the cliffs overlooking the bay and further on beyond the rocky Llanilla Point the ‘Small Quay’ know as ‘Cei Bach’ can just be made out.
This footage was taken before Part Two of the New Quay series so the red pleasure boat still had its service dinghy attached. It can be seen speeding away towards the end of part two. Just loved the ‘trippy’ mesmerising ripples on this, best watched on at least a 1080p screen with a decent sound for full effect.
Music “Dream Nebula” by Nostramus. I wanted something that would reflect the visual ripples and was set to start afresh on a new piece. But sometimes I play back my video footage whilst randomly setting a playlist of some of my recent music and see if anything pops out. Normally one plus one equals two, we all know that but the strangeness of these things sometimes the film and the sound combine to add a completely different atmosphere, which is what happened here. So “I made it so” to quote Piccard.
New Quay Drone Flight around Town Harbour and Quay New Quay Part Two of Three
New Quay New Quay Part Two of Three
For this flight I called up Jon Murphy to aid spotting ‘Buzby’ my Mini 2 Drone as she flew around the Quay side, then over the harbour, returning along the beach or ‘Traeth’ as it is known in Welsh. New Quay’s correct Welsh name is ‘Ceinewydd’ which breaks down to ‘Cei’ = Quay and ‘Newydd’ = New.
The Quay is a popular hang out on nice days with many day trips available to book to tour up and down the coast but also to visit the wildlife including Dolphin’s and Porpoise’s which visit the area from time to time.
On this day the Sea was relatively calm, the flotilla of boats had moved out of the safety of the immediate harbour. Some of these boats are pleasure craft but others are fishing boats collecting fish for the nearby Fish Processing plant under the Headland. This plant tips back some of the fishy waste into the Sea which attracts the Dolphins and other wildlife. I had recently had a mishap with my drone and dropped it whilst getting out of the car, which upset the gimbal so it would no longer keep the horizon level. I had to consult the manufacturers for repair under my insurance policy. They returned a brand new drone and this was my first flight with this drone. There are a myriad of settings within the App that controls the drone and I hadn’t quite got them all set right again so my footage contained a lot of jerky movements and swift turning which for this film I had to edit out.
One passage flying along the Quay itself was so slow I ended speeding it up! So please forgive the old silent movies treatment effect, we thought it amusing, never let it be said that we don’t include humour. You can just see Jon and I as ‘Buzby’ fly’s over the Quay at the end. Music another clip from a new track called “Apogee” don’t ask~ I dare say a forthcoming presentation for release. Probably in a more developed form but we liked the way it floats over the footage.
One other part to the “New Quay” story will be posted shortly before we move on to other locations.
New-Quay-Headland and Stone Circle in Wales Cinematic Mini 2 footage New Quay Part One of Three
NEW QUAY PART ONE Of THREE.
Not many people realize that there is a Stone Circle atop the New Quay Headland in Wales. This headland is an iconic feature on the coastal landscape and can be seen for dozens of miles along the coast.
Save for the odd coastal path wanderers and the farmer who works this field pretty much no one knows of this circle’s existence.
The day I took this footage, it was evening and the light was falling by the minute. The clifftop is rather a stiff climb, you certainly know it once at the top. After I got my breath back I found a suitable spot on the coast path and in the half hour or so I was flying , not a soul passed me I had the cliff top to myself and er the cows happily munching the grass. At first I didn’t see the circle, I had no idea of it’s existence and it is not noted in the Megalithic Portal or Julian Cope’s Modern Antiquarian. Looking at the circle it is too perfect and to me disappointingly but nonetheless the location and the spirit of place the ‘Genus Loci’ made it seem more than befitting that this headland needed a ‘crown’ of a stone circle. I guess someone in the recent past “made it so”
I only saw the circle while heading back from peering high over New Quay, it was only later that I realized that I was filming in 1080p rather than 4K. I often send ‘Buzby’ out and film in 1080p to reconnoitre first before switching to 4K to film a cinematic move. But the light was dropping fast, it was freezing cold (In May for goodness sake) . I had my second jab that day and although the side effects were no where nearly as bad as my first jab, I really felt the cold. So after this shot I headed back down the cliff and headed home. New Quay Part Two and Three will be based down by the ‘New’ Quay. I hope to release these over the next few days. The music is a clip from a little sonnet called ‘La Rogue Batterie’ set to an off space bass rhythm and a mood that expresses timelessness. Written and produced by Steve Spon for Nostramus, no doubt a sketch from a forthcoming release.
Drone flight around The House Of St David’s revealing spectacular coastal scenery in West Wales
On the recent Whitsun Sunday on May 30th we headed down to the westerly tip of Cymru known as ‘Wales’ to English speakers ~ deep within Dyfed in the county of Pembrokeshire to the tiny city of St Davids. Here the magnificent walled House of Saint David’s magnificent Cathedral lies surrounded by the ancient walled enclosure and ruins of the Bishop’s Palace. It was a glorious day and we had intended to visit Whitesands Bay a little to the west of the city but the tiny roads and lanes were rammed with tourists, day-trippers, camping vans and surf dudes, so we headed back to the shade of the Cathedral precincts and took shelter in the medieval ruins of the Bishops Palace. There we admired the architecture and remarked how classical Italian in style it looked in places, no expenses spared when it was re-built by Bishop Gower in the 14th Century.
It was said that two trips to St Davids were equal to one to Rome – turning it into a centre of pilgrimage for the entire Western world. Thousands flocked to see the shrine of St David in the newly built cathedral.
We chilled at the Palace until closing time at which the crowds had dimmed a little around the Cathedral, so we ventured into the huge Church to take in the ambience of spiritual peace and serenity. As we left the house the large crowds that were sitting around the graveyard enjoying the Sun had left for for the day we had a large crowd free space in the orchard at the back so I let ‘Buzby’ my DJI Mini 2 Drone for a spin. The above footage is an edited version. The music I prepared and composed especially for the footage being mindful and hopefully empathetic to the grace of Wale’s patron saint St David himself and his House. Now here’s the thing, whilst sat within the great church the Choir were going through the evenings routines. The lockdown measures had just ended for Wales thus they were once again together and singing together rather than on Zoom. It was beautifully moving to hear the sound of tuned hum voices reverberating around a splendidly large acoustic space. I slipped my phone into record and managed to capture the last refrain.
Now in the interest of artistic creation and with the magnificence of the space and religious culture I blended and recombined tomes and added some hopefully empathetic textures in my style to create the soundtrack. So this is my take on the glory of that day and the history and sense of Genus Loci. Having been bought up a Christian in my childhood I had since rejected it many years ago although I like to feel I still take onboard in my life some of it’s positive virtues. I have at times often been critical of Christianity for it’s negativity and hypocrisy among other reasons. Notwithstanding I deeply appreciate our culture and legacy left over from many generations of servitude to the cause. That is mine and perhaps your ancestors placed so much faith in their lives towards what they saw as being a sacred purpose. who am I to reject their beliefs? Instead I will hold up their work and cause as a testament of iconic cultural treasure.
I don’t expect to make any money out of this expression, I have not done so up until now with much of my other music or creations save an occasional small amount of pocket money, but I will pledge that if indeed any money should result from this particular piece of music, that I will remunerate, the Cathedral to sum of 50% of any royalties forthwith. Please message me if you have any questions on this.
A 4 k Mini 2 drone flight over cliffs and shores around St Nons Chapel, St Davids in St Brides Bay
Today we are in Saint Brides Bay , Pembrokeshire, nearly as far west as it can be in Wales. We are at the location of a ruined ancient Chapel dating to the 6th century also associated with Saint David, the patron Saint of Wales. This is located on the north side of St Brides Bay approximately a mile south of the City of St Davids. There are standing stones and a grotto nearby to the ruins, up the hill is another existent Chapel outside a large dwelling which I have reason to believe is a religious retreat and my what a place to chill out!
The cliffs round here while not being exceptionally high are non the less spectacular in geological and indeed artistic terms. During the second covid summer the so called ‘staycation’ holiday makers arrive wherever the local Farmers can get permission to open up for camping. This footage was taken on spring bank holiday weekend after an exceptionally cold and long winter and spring during 2021 .
This was the first proper summer like weekend of 2021 and this part of the world was literally gridlocked with holidaymakers. There are some interesting and colourful rocks formations in those cliffs and the footage you can see almost the entirety of the wonderful St Brides Bay in Pembrokeshire. there are some peculiar shaped field boundary hedges, if anyone has a clue why that should be, please let us know and comment.