Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Night Steam



We're off to Wales tonight for a delightful narrow gauge train ride!





Your Journey on the Bala Lake Railway

Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake Railway) offers a delightful 9-mile (1 hour approx.) return journey alongside Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), through the beautiful and natural Snowdonia National Park. The journey offers extensive views of Llyn Tegid, its surrounding countryside as well as the Arenig Fawr, Aran Benllyn and Aran Fawddwy mountains. Keep a look out for the herons & buzzards that nest near the line - a perfect example of nature and machines living side by side.

Llanuwchllyn

The railway's HQ is located in the pretty Welsh village of Llanuwchllyn, where ample free car-parking, refreshments, small gift shop, toilets, picnic tables plus all the railway's storage and repair facilities can be found.
All trains start and finish their journey at Llanuwchllyn and early visitors may be able to view the day's engine being prepared prior to the departure of the first train of the day. After each trip to Bala and back (except the last journey), the locomotive is serviced at the water tower at the western edge of the Llanuwchllyn station site, where this fascinating process can be viewed.
Llanuwchllyn Station features an original Great Western Signal Box that is often open to visitors and provides an unique perspective on the station.


Llanuwchllyn Village

Sited at the head of the lake, the village has a long history. In the church there is an interesting old communion plate showing the story of the Temptation in relief and there is also a recumbent effigy of a mail-clad knight of the 14th Century in the church.
Sir O.M. Edwards and his son Sir Ifan ap Owen Edwards were born in Llanuwchllyn. The latter founded Urdd Gobaith Cymru, the Welsh Youth Movement in 1922.
The village is home to a famous mixed choir called Côr Godre’r Aran, a keen amateur football team and one of the Members of the UK Parliament.



Arthurian Legends & more

A mile or so down the main road to Bala, unmarked, is Caer Gai, once the site of a Roman Fort. The Fort was garrisoned from AD 75-130 and contained a civil settlement and a cemetery. The Fort was positioned on an important strategic route near sources of gold, lead and manganese. Tradition has it that it was the home of Sir Hector from the King Arthur legends and the name commemorates his son Cai Hir (Long Kay) – that’s the Sir Kay of the legends.
In latter times, during the English Civil War, one Rowland Vaughan, an ardent royalist, lived at the farm built within Caer Gai. After the battle of Naseby (1645), Oliver Cromwell instigated a hunt for Royalists and his army tracked Rowland Vaughan to his farm. Although Vaughan escaped, the property was destroyed by Cromwell's men.



Pentrepiod

After leaving Llanuwchllyn, the line heads straight out for a mile, on the way descending the 1 in 70 Ddolfawr Bank toward the lakeside offering expansive views of the lake, water meadows and surrounding hillsides.
Passing through the request only stop of Pentrepiod Halt the train rolls through a short cutting to Glanllyn Flag Halt and onto the first of a number of embankments beside the lake before gently gliding to a stop at the railway's passing loop station, Llangower.

Llangower

Llangower provides access to the lakeside for walks, picnics and bird watching. The stop also offers access to the car park and adjacent toilet facilities provided by the Snowdonia National Park.

Llangower, or Llangywair, (Llan-Gower) Village

Llan in the Welsh language means enclosure, yard or church or parish. Llangower is a small hamlet, with a beautiful old church, 3 miles from Bala beautifully situated on the south-eastern side of Bala lake. The village is on the (original) turnpike-road leading from Dinas-Mawddwy to Bala and Corwen.
Llangower church is dedicated to St. Gwyr, or Cywair. It is described as being an ancient structure, in the early style of English architecture. In the churchyard is an old yew-tree of remarkable growth. The church can clearly be seen from the train.
The line leaves Llangower on an upgrade, passing under a road bridge before dropping down through a wooded cutting to join the lakeside again. The line climbs an embankment beside the lake and then enters a rock cutting at Bryntirion before continuing its climb into a wooded area. Dropping down from the woods, the railway again travels along a lakeside embankment, offering views of Bala town, before crossing a steel girder bridge and entering the grassy cutting and long curve leading to Bala (Penybont) Station.

Bala (Penybont)

Apart from a simple waiting shelter, there are no passenger facilities at Bala station. Parking is restricted to on-road parking. Trains normally wait here for 10 minutes while the engine is run round, passenger loads changed and tickets issued by the guard, before the train departs on the return journey.
Although the sign says Bala station, this was neither Bala nor Bala Junction but Bala Lake Halt on the Ruabon - Barmouth Junction/Morfa Mawddach line.


Bala Town

Bala town is about half a mile (10 minute stroll) away offering a range of interesting shops, inns, restaurants.

Norman Castle Motte

The street layout, set up by Roger de Mortimer from Chirk Castle in the 14th Century is marked out in square courts. Stryt Fawr, the main street, is wide and has shops along its length - it is where the original markets were held.
Two side lanes, Arenig Street and Plase Street were attached to the old Tomen. ‘Tomen y Bala’ is a typical large Norman castle mound or "motte", located at one end of the town and now accessible as a public garden. It is well worth a visit, as from the summit there are wonderful views of Llyn Tegid (Lake Bala) and the mountains beyond.



Llyn Tegid / Bala Lake

This is the largest natural body of water in Wales at 1,084 acres, much used by water sports enthusiasts who benefit from the winds sweeping through the mountain valley in which it is set. It is 4 miles (6.4 km) long by a mile (1.6 km) wide and is subject to sudden and dangerous floods. It is of glacial origin and used to extend to some 8 miles long.
It is crossed by the River Dee and its waters are famously deep and clear. The lake now forms part of the River Dee regulation system and the level at its outflow is automatically controlled. Depending on flow conditions and the level of water in the nearby Llyn Celyn, water can flow either into the lake or out from the lake at the normal outflow point.



Place of Legends

The lake has been a fishery of importance from early times. It is said that on moonlit nights you can see towers and buildings under the waters, and that bells can be heard. These buildings, according to legend, were the palace of King Tegid, husband of Ceridwen who was the mother of (Prince) Taliesin. Llyn Tegid is also home to the rare and protected whitefish called the Gwyniad (a kind of land-locked herring, that is said to date back to the Ice-Age) which roams the deeps.



Toot-toot!

:o)






Today's funny :o)












s

This 'n That



Lots of mushrooms from all the rain we had: 





Hubby digging out another stump:





It's a big 'un"



Weeds growing on inside of a tree:



Louise and Thelma looking for bugs:




Charlie just being Charlie:


My one and only rose finally dried out:




Our wonderful neighbors gave us two nice wooden rocking chairs!




:o)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How about....



.... a flower that looks like a real MONKEY!!







This species of orchid, aptly named the Monkey Face Orchid (Dracula simia), was created after Mother Nature decided to do a bit of monkeying around (hah!). These rare monkey orchids only grow in the cloud forests of southeastern Ecuador and Peru at elevations of 1,000-2,000 meters on the side of mountains. In the scientific name, “simia” refers to the monkey face and “Dracula” refers to the two long spurs that hang down, almost like fangs.
What makes this flower even cooler (as if it needed to get any more awesome) is that it smells just like a ripe orange when fully blossomed. Incredible!
:o)

Today's funny :o)










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What a difference....




                                                         ...... a day makes!

Monday:





It's 3 o'clock in the afternoon:



From the front door 
(Sorry - don't know how to turn the video upright)




... and yesterday:


Sunshine!



A lily blooming:


Charlie lost a feather:



Another lily:


And most importantly: dry chickens!!




:o)





Monday, June 19, 2017

Save your pennies, fellas.....



Varoooom!!!!!




Source: http://www.autoblog.com/2017/05/23/2018-dodge-demon-price-84995/

Ridiculousness has a price, and it is $84,995. That is the admission fee for the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, or as most people call it: The Demon. The number includes a $1,700 gas guzzler tax and $1,095 destination fee. It does not include a number of options, may of which cost a dollar.

Of those $1 options, a front passenger seat and rear seats are but two. Which is more of a reminder that, yes, Dodge will sell you car with only one seat if you want it that way. The other big $1 option is the Demon Crate, which includes skinny front tires for the drag strip, an impact wrench and jack, and a performance powertrain control module that bumps the power up to 840 hp on race gas. Dodge says the true value of the crate is $6,140. Don't let that fool you, as chances are they're just baking that cost in the $19,705 increase from the Challenger Hellcat.

Did we mention you can get a sunroof. Yes, you can get a sunroof, for $4,995. Surely one of the 3,300 Demon buyers (3,000 in the US, 300 in Canada) will take pride in checking every option box. For posterity, here's the entire list verbatim from Dodge's press release:
  • Demon Crate ($1): Exclusive Demon Crate offers components that unleash the car's 840 horsepower, 770 lb.-ft. of torque and full potential at the drag strip and is personalized with the buyer's name, VIN and serial number. The Demon Crate and the performance parts it holds are valued at $6,140, but Challenger SRT Demon owners can buy the entire package for $1. Contents of the Demon Crate include:
    • Direct Connection Performance Parts:
      • Two narrow, front-runner drag wheels
      • Performance powertrain control module with high-octane engine calibration
      • Replacement instrument panel switch module with high-octane button
      • Personalized ID badge
      • Conical performance air filter
      • Two valve stems Passenger mirror block-off plate
    • Demon-branded track tools:
      • Hydraulic floor jack with carrying bag
      • Cordless impact wrench with charger
      • Torque wrench with extension and socket
      • Tire pressure gauge
      • Fender cover
      • Tool bag
    • Foam case that fits into the Challenger SRT Demon trunk and securely holds the front runner wheels and track tools
  • Cloth rear seat ($1)
  • Leather rear seat ($1)
  • Front passenger cloth seat ($1)
  • Demon trunk carpet kit ($1)
  • Red seat belts ($195)
  • Leather Front Seat Group includes Laguna leather and Alcantara suede covered seats with embossed Demon head logo, front passenger seat, heated and ventilated leather front seats with heated steering wheel, premium floor mats, power tilt/telescoping column and bright pedals ($1,595)
  • Comfort Audio Group, Cloth Seats, includes front passenger cloth seat, 18-speaker Harman Kardon Audio, including two subwoofers and 900W amplifier, premium floor mats and bright pedals ($995)
  • Painted Black Satin Hood ($1,995)
  • Comfort Group, Leather Seats, includes Laguna leather and Alcantara suede covered seats with embossed Demon head logo, front passenger seat, heated and ventilated leather front seats with heated steering wheel, premium floor mats, power tilt/telescoping column, bright pedals, 18-speaker Harman Kardon Audio, including two subwoofers and 900W amplifier ($2,495)
  • Painted Black Satin Graphics Package, available with all 15 exterior colors, includes satin black painted hood, roof and decklid ($3,495)
  • For buyers who must have a sunroof – Power sunroof ($4,995)

Oh, and make sure you stop by Coopville - I'll check it out for 'ya..... for free.....

:o)

Today's funny :o)






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Pizza Party!


It was just too darn hot and humid turn the oven on and cook yesterday, so Hubby and I went out to our favorite pizza place for dinner.

I always get a doggy bag  to take home the crusts for the gang:










Thelma won this piece - she can run faster than Charlie!



Gotta learn 'em to lay eggs in the coop!



Ants - thousands of them! (but not for long)


Only one bloom this year:



Storm clouds building last night- supposed to get heavy rain and wind today:




I hope it cools everything down - this humidity is just awful!




Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Night Steam



You're gonna love this one!!






Sentinel Waggon Works

Company
Sentinel Waggon Works Ltd was a British company based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire that made steam-powered lorries, railway locomotives, and later, diesel engined lorries and locomotives. Alley & MacLellan was founded in 1875 and was based in Polmadie, Glasgow. This company continued in operation until the 1950s. Initially manufacturing valves …


More info here:

https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/407359

and here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinel_Waggon_Works

Enjoy!

:o)


Today's funny :o)




:o)




Busy Hubby....


.....  he took down ANOTHER tree:




It was a lot taller than I thought it wouldbe





The inside was rotten:



Woodpeckers do so much damage:



Lots of dead branches on top of it too:



All the noise doesn't even faze Charlie anymore:


Another batch of potatoes growing:


And another damn deer....



.... always the damn deer...



:o(




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jingle, Jangle Jingle.....



Lawdy!  Don't know where the heck this ear worm came from today!!!
  Yikes!!!
(I KNOW it is mean to post it, but I don't want to suffer all by myself....)






















The spur was used by the Celts during the La Tène period (which began in the 5th century BC), and is also mentioned by Xenophon (c. 430 - 354 BC.) Iron or bronze spurs were also used throughout the Roman Empire.The spur also existed in the medieval Arab world.Early spurs had a neck that ended in a point, called a prick, riveted to the heel band. Prick spurs had straight necks in the 11th century and bent ones in the 12th. The earliest form of the horseman's spur armed the heel with a single prick. In England, the rowel spur is shown upon the first seal of Henry III and on monuments of the 13th century, but it does not come into general use until the 14th century. The earliest rowels probably did not revolve but were fixed.
The spurs of medieval knights were gilt and those of squires were silvered "To win his spurs" meant to gain knighthood, as gilded spurs were reckoned the badge of knighthood. In the rare cases of ceremonious degradation, the spurs were hacked from the disgraced knight's heels with the cook's chopper. After the battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302, where the French chivalry suffered a humbling defeat, the victors hung up bushels of knights' gilt spurs in the churches of Kortrijk as trophies of what is still remembered by the Flemings as the Guldensporenslag (the battle of the golden spurs). The English named the French rout from Thérouanne as the Battle of the Spurs, due to the rapidity of the French cavalry's flight.
Prick spurs were the standard form until the 14th century, when the rowel began to become more common. The prick design never died out entirely, but instead became a thicker, shorter neck with a dulled end, such as the modern "Prince of Wales" design commonly seen in English riding.

Boot with spur, 19th century
Though often decorated throughout history, in the 15th century, spurs became an art form in both decoration and design, with elaborate engraving, very long shanks and large rowels. Though sometimes it has been claimed that the design changes were used because of barding, the use of barding had fallen out of fashion by the time the most elaborate spur designs were created. More likely, the elaborate designs reflected the increased abundance of precious metals, particularly silver, that followed the European exploration of the Americas that began in 1492. Spur designs in Spain and colonial Mexico were particularly elaborate. For example, the spurs of the Spanish Conquistadors were sometimes called Espuela Grande, the "Grand Spur," and could have rowels as large as six inches around.
In northern Europe, the spur became less elaborate after the 16th century, particularly following the Stuart Restoration, but elaborate spur designs persisted, particularly in the Americas, descendants of which are still seen today, particularly in Mexico and the western United States, where the spur has become an integral part of the vaquero and cowboy traditions. The spur as an art form as well as a tool is still seen in western riding, where spurs with engraving and other artistic elements, often handmade and utilizing silver or other precious metals are still worn.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spur