Monday, 5 October 2009

Parys Mountain - Copper Mines

Parys Mountain is probably my favourite mountain of all time. The colours are magnificently autumnal. Its strange that I should love this mountain so much, after all, it is a mountain that has been raped and pillaged by mankind, excavated like a hard boiled egg leaving only the outer shell. This mountain has been mined since the Bronze Age 3500 years ago.

Parys mountain once offered a wealth of copper, sulphates, welsh gold, silver and tin. There were acidic pools in her cavities that the miners would throw cast iron into to the pools and the chemical erosion would turn the metal into copper. The copper was used to line the bottom of the English fleets giving the fleets an advantage over the armada's.

New industry on the Island - Sustainable energy...

I was amazed by the nature surrounding this harsh environment, gorse, hawthorn, fern, heather, yarrow, herb bay willow. I loved that the natural growth here mimics the colours of the mountain. The literature on this mountain tells that :-

This extreme, harsh, acidic setting has resulted in a unique environment supporting unusual forms of life. Special bacteria derive their energy from the oxidation of sulphides, and rich flora of special lichens can be found coating rock surfaces, whilst heather survives over most of the mountain. Bats, including the rare lesser horse-shoe bat, have colonised the mine workings, and amongst the birds to be soaring with the jackdaws over the opencasts are the red-legged/billed choughs.

This picture doesn't pick it up, but from here i could see the Ilse of Mann. A friend once told me that the Isle of Mann was very similar to New Zealand. I have not been to either but would love to visit both.

The mountain is no longer mined. A new shaft was built in the late 1980's but the price of metals dropped so mining ceased. It is expected that when the price of metals are more favourable the mountain will be mined again. I'm hoping the rare wildlife flora and lichens will prevent that from happening.

The mountain range you see in the distance is Snowdonia.

Spectacular colours. I'd love to capture the beauty of this mountain by felt painting using only natural coloured wools or wool dyed with natural plant, bark and berry dyes.

The locals often dug their own mines off the beaten tracks and hid the entrances with foliage. Some of the shafts were 20ft deep or more so you wouldn't want to stumble into them!

Part of this mountain is owned by Australian companies. The rest of the mountain is owned by various investors and is sought after.

I am dedicating this post to Tammie Lee of Spirithelpers. I have always admired her mountain and lake photographs and the gentle sentiments that accompany them :)

I have taken almost 100 pictures of Parys Mountain. If you are interested in seeing more I am happy to email a few.


Caio Fernandes said...

it is incredible !! so much hitory and details , still .. is a wonderful natural place ....
your pictures are very convicent .
see you Jasmine ... have fun !!

Delphyne said...

It is precisely what has been raped and pillaged by mankind that deserves our most dedicated and tenacious love. I, too, hope that the species comeback will prevent any further destruction of a beautiful place on our most beautiful Earth.

Anonymous said...

I love this land! great pics :)

Clare W said...

There are certainly come marvellous colours here. Thanks for showing us!

Brian Miller said...

beautiful pictures. i am glad to see nature taking over the mess we leave behind after we have taken what we did from her.

ArtSparker said...

There is a mellow sweetness about this harsh landscape.

T said...

The hollow copper mine has many colours Jasmine, but eventhough I love metals such as copper I see this show of colour like an open wound in the earths surface....and it has been open for so long.

There are many soft colours in the mountains that would lend themselves to felt painting...particularly with natural dyed wools....this is something that I too are keen to do. But because I only use native vegetation I am not getting that bigger range of colours. So it will take a while.

The Scrybe said...

The fact that nature can survive in the harshest of environments is something which fills me with hope and inspiration...
Another set of interesting pictures :)

Jasmine said...

Caio - The colours are wonderful. I try and remind myself that nature placed them their, even if mankind cut the mountain to the quick...

Delphyne - You are absolutely right!

GreenWhisper - Thank you :)

Clare W - Thank you for visiting, I hope to see you again :)

Brian - I think nature always finds a way.

Artsparker - There certainly is. These pictures would have gleemed with radiance if the sun was out. These pictures don't do enough justice for the palate of colours.

T - i think the wound runs deep but feels like it is healing nicely. I do wonder why I find this place so beautiful when it is a visual display of a mountain lost. Maybe it is because it feels very peaceful here. I don't feel sadness in the air.

Scrybe - I feel the same way :))

Harnett-Hargrove said...

there is a raw beauty to all of this. Landscapes do go through their own evolutions with or without the help of human hands. -J

velvetwoods said...

Lovely mountains and pictures.
I like the special bacteria that get their energy from the oxidation of sulphides,amazing.

ruthie said...

Wonderful photos jasmine, beautiful colour. it always amazed me how nature takes things back to itself eventually, a warming thought for me. i can see the isle of man too from this neck o the woods, though i haven't been!

Corinna Nitschmann said...

Wow, that is an amazing post: these photos with that much information.

I'm happy, you like the details of my felt bag. Let me invite you to my felt blog I write in English: . Maybe you enjoy it more than the german one :o).

I like your felted tree with that little wind around. That really makes the picture live.

Have a nice day

Crafty Green Poet said...

this is such an interesting virtual tour of a fascinating mountain, thanks for sharing!

Susan Berlien (warmchocmilk) said...

It's inspiring really. Nature is so powerful and beautiful!!

aleph said...

it´s an impressive landscape indeed, your photos and your writting are so sensitive and give so much to think, feel, reflect... thanks for sharing so much.

Assayya said...

Gaia is speaking by your pictures.
this is Mother Nature in al het beauty and vulnerability:))

Tammie Lee said...

Thank you, for you have touched my heart. How lovely that a place that brings you peace and beauty reminds you of me and what I share.
Your post is overflowing with lovely images and information that is good for us to know. I, like you hope that if mining is considered here again, will not be allowed for the precious and rare life that is thriving her. It is so interesting that private people dug their own entries to find treasure. Thank you for sharing all of this with your lovely images and for including me.

Andy Coffey said...

Your fierce sensitivity to this broken place, reminds me of the odd way that swamps, so redolent with life, and smells, have been called wastes for I don't know how long. Your interest in it's history and story about the cast iron made me really wonder. Just startled me. How amazing. Mining history around the world is so filled with passion and fable. And here you wander a broken world with so open a heart.