Wild and not so wild life

Now the nights are closing in I get to run at dusk which I do love (even if the haunted woods still give me the heebie jeebies in the dark) but with a headtorch (Remind me to get batteries) its a lot of fun and a nice change to see nature in different ways and states.

On my way to the beach though I noticed a bit of nature in trouble (do farm animals count as nature?)  After a while you learn to tell when an animal isn’t just grazing and this one was definitely stuck in a fence – Like this one is obvious! Sheep are kinda stupid.

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Tell you what I’ll help out

Well I could have left it for the farmer to sort as I know he does rounds on a quad checking the stock – But what if he missed this dude?  To the rescue!

Pulling a sheep backwards out of a fence when it has its head rammed through a small square of wire is tougher than it sounds! Especially as the sheep is scared and pulling forward back into the fence. lets face it with me behind it pulling one way and it pulling the other from a distance I could have been arrested for indecency. Finally I got it free and off it ran as fast as it could without a word of thanks!  It also managed to get stuck in the coldest, muddiest stream ever …

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These were once La Sportiva Mutants ….

So off I continued to the beach and lo and behold what awaits me but more nature …

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Portuguese Man O War
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Photogenic Portuguese Man O War

I had heard these were being washed up in West Wales and was hoping to find one – The little bugger was only around 8 inches long but a jellyfish is a jellyfish – size is immaterial!

This one I didn’t touch – I presume the small ones sting too

Oh yeah and I did some running – sometimes thats almost secondary!

Just a quickie

If only my blog posting was as quick as my runs … this was actually tuesdays run and the speedwork continues. Only around 4 miles but I’m enjoying adding a bit of speed in between the ploddingness.

I had to be quick as the tide was racing in sweeping all before it. In this case numerous smaller jellyfish which have become stranded on the low tide mark.

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Bit of jellyfish dodging
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On the way back I noticed that the Hawthorn – At least I think its hawthorn has started to bllom already!

 

Baywatch it aint

I ran to the beach today in drimizzle which slowly turned to rain and then back again. Enough to thoroughly soak me. Though it felt much warmer than yesterday with no wind so it was almost enjoyable in a “well I’m out here better enjoy it” kind of way.

I bumped into an old buddy I havent seen in a while. I recognised him by his fluffy legs

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I think he may be a cut n shut – Two horses bolted together

Everything was drimizzly grey today

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Over yonder lies my destination in the mist

Then I stumbled upon another barrel jellyfish. If you read this blog regularly then you may remember me finding one a few weeks back but was unable to move it.

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This one was near the waters edge and I figured I would have a go at refloating him.  Neveradullbling asked if this could be done. I havent got a clue but despite the fact I was probably trying to save an already dead creature with no brain or nervous system I was gonna give it my best shot.  Which is why anyone passing by (thankfully no-one) could have witnessed me up to my knees in the freezing cold Bristol Channel dragging a big jellyfish behind me.

I managed the refloat and he was off and away drifting with the tide. As it was turning theres a good chance he will go out rather than beach again but to be honest I’m not sure it even matters. At this point my legs and feet were going numb so I squelched off along the beach to warm up not looking back for fear of seeing it coming ashore again. It can take its bloody chances now!

I did get a photo of the underside before we hit the surf though! You can see the fronds.

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Sometimes I think I take the animal lover thing a bit too far.

Thats gotta be jelly as jam just dont shake like that

A 7 mile jaunt after work. It’s so good to see the evenings brightening up fast.  Can get a nice longer feeling run in now and the sunsets are of course beautiful as per usual.

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Down in the wet for a low angle. Love the granularity of the sand in this one.
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It was clouding over slowly but the sky was a beautiful shade of blue inland
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Hmmmm a jellyfish the size of my fist
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Hmmmm another jellyfish
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The size of a wok!

This dude was the biggest I’ve seen so far and mighty heavy from the feel of it. I’ve looked it up and its a barrel jellyfish.  The tide was coming in but I wouldnt fancy its chances of not getting stranded again as they just float around a bit.

Boxing Day heart attacks

So for xmas I got a Suunto Ambit – cheers mum & dad! My Garmin was fine but the battery doesnt last more than 4 hours and this year I’m going to be out past that at least a few times. It also came with a heart rate monitor which of course I had to try out. I’ve never used one before but didnt notice it was there so I may use it again as the data is interesting. At this point all the heart rate based runners here might want to look away!

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So I’m no data expert but I have a feeling I’m not meant to be spending the vast majority of the run in the hard and very hard categories and lets not talk about the 8 minutes running at max. I’m kinda sceptical as surely these are arbitrary categories and the watch has no clue what’s hard for me :p  I also noticed that where I’m working really hard has less to do with pace but rather the terrain so my HR climbs when I’m on the rocks.

I think it will all make more sense once I’ve got a wider base of data to terrify myself with. I’ll give the watch a review once I’ve used it for a while too.

As for the run it was a beautiful boxing day on the beach.

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Suns out
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Hot cross jellyfish!
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Slices of rockfall

 

Evolution & Natural Selection

I went for a recovery run yesterday – Legs still feeling the efforts in Snowdonia but after a few miles they sorted themselves out again. Toes healing …. again.

What was interesting to me wasn’t so much the run but an example of both evolution and natural selection and how nature gets it right an humans get it wrong.

Evolution – I found these little dudes everywhere

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Jellyfish with sail on back allowing them to drift with the wind – Amazing when you think how creatures evolve to fit their ecological niche.

Natural Selection – I took a photo of this dude

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As I ran the length of the beach he spent at least 30 mins or so right under the cliffs – Amongst all the angular rocks which have clearly just fallen and not been eroded. He was with his family so at least they could see him get squished from a great height. He wouldn’t be the first to get killed around here. I was going to warn him but then thought nahh I’ve been told to mind my own business enough times by idiots I’d rather see natural selection take its course and weed out the gene pool.

So I concentrated on the view

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Where did the mountains go?

Transparent blob dodging plus tags

Bit of a grey morning weatherwise but tide was out and I had a plan …Turn left!

I usually go right when I hit the beach, not sure why I just prefer it that way but today I was went left as I was looking for something …. but more of that later

Because today I had to use my quickness of feet to avoid the jellyfish invasion. A few jellyfish have been popping up on the beach of late but this morning there were hundreds nay thousands everywhere.

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Jellyfish advance party!

Now as all you trailrunners know your gaze gets nearer the more technical the terrain but usually on the sandy stretches of the beach I can look up and around without fear of tripping …. or stepping on a jellyblob. This morning I had to concentrate on not stepping on the little guys. I suppose if I was a complete git I could have splattered my way from one end of the beach to the other but no way was I crushing some of the worlds little marvels no matter how dumb and squidgey they are.

I therefore have decided to crown myself the world authority on trailrunning on technical jellyfish terrain. I fully expect my inbox to be bulging with such missives as “I have just got into trailrunning but find I have difficulty traversing jellyfish on rocky terrain, how can Improve my form in this situation?”

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Note correct foot placement, not on but between jellyfish. This is known in the trade as a jellyparade where they all order themselves in a line. It is best if you can run perpendicular to jellyparades but if terrain forces you to run parallel then run with short dainty steps to avoid The Squish(tm)

So hopping all over the place I found what i was looking for – rusty machinery! On the beach I hear you cry?  If you know where to look and I do having spent years on this beach there are the rusted remains of an old shipwreck buried on the beach. Depending on the tide and coverage of sand and rocks you can find different sections.

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Rusted ship part 1
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I was happy to find this as it often gets comepletely buried. Most of the parts are scattered and small but this seems to be a complete section of hull still intact and buried.
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You can still see the individual rivets
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This piece is actually loose and just about liftable but much as I’d love it I’m leaving it here. Many peple have lost their lives in wrecks on this coast and to my mind this is where the wrecks should stay.

I took photos of more pieces but as one rusty bit of metal looks very much like another i won’t post them all here :p

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Also I round another fossil. Altra for scale

So it was a great 5 mile run alrogether and now I get to play the tagging game! (If you don’t know what i’m on about check out this post from Sergei)

Happy days kids!