Late afternoon

Witch Hazel in a Late Afternoon Landscape

The light was diminishing on my walk this week at the NBGW but the late afternoon still revealed some good views and wonderful details. One of my particular favourites in this respect was the Witch Hazel. The Botanic Garden of Wales has many of these and at this time of year they are blossoming with their beautifully coloured and wacky flowers – the colours make me think of the cocktail, Tequila Sunrise!

Witch Hazel

There was also a crooked oak tree that looked as though it was using one of its own fallen branches as a crooked walking stick to hold itself up. It reminded me of this old rhyme:Continue reading

NBGW Country Seat

Looking and Listening Seats for the Landscape

The attractively designed benches situated along my walk this week at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) are ideal facilities for looking at and listening to the surrounding landscape.

NBGW Landscape 2

At the moment I am focusing on the looking rather than the listening. It wasn’t actually raining on the walk but the ground was very wet from recent weather . . . as were the seats. Everything in fact, looked Continue reading

NBGW lake

My Walk this Week – Landscape Ageing and Restoration

My walk this week is from the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), though it turned out not to be the walk we had expected as the Pont Felin Gat woodland was closed off to the public for clearance / restoration work. The images show one of the existing lakes in the gardens as well as the site of another lake from the past. This is being restored but in the meantime the landscape of tree stumps creates some fascinating patterns, textures and colours.

So we followed the “blue” walk instead and climbed past old farm buildings which also look in need of restoration. Again, the colours, patterns and textures revealedContinue reading

Grilled Sun Rays

Campus Walk Sun Rays and Soundscape

I finished my walk this week with the sun shining out from behind the clouds and the seagulls wheeling as though this was a revelation – and indeed, when this happens it can feel like that! On this occasion the event was perhaps less dramatic than it can be sometimes, but suffering from the cold, biting wind as I was, it was good to see the gulls enjoying themselves, though they are not a feature of the soundscape.

sun rays

As I walked back through the university’s Bay Campus the construction of new buildings continued, but the lads playing basketball paid no heed to the skeletal buildings, the noise of cranes and jack hammers or the biting windContinue reading

Grass in the Bay

Natural and Man-Made

My walk this week took me through Swansea University’s Bay Campus to the open view it has of the expansive Swansea Bay. The combination of the natural and man-made had a number of crossover points – one of these was how cold it was with the wind chill coming off the sea, exposed as I was both in the open and amongst the buildings.

Beach Perspective

Other overlaps of the natural and man made came in the birdlife and young trees planted around the buildings, the moat-like sea defences (I suspect that, one day, these will not be enough), the rusting structure of an old disused outlet pipe onto the beach, and the industrial view looking east to Port Talbot.Continue reading

fence perspective

My Walk this Week – An Angle on Nature and Construction

My walk this week was slightly unexpected. I had gone to explore the docks area in Swansea Bay but found no access due to gates and security fencing. However, as I moved on I found a footpath edging a part of Swansea University Bay Campus still under construction. On one side of the path I enjoyed the effect of perspective on the site fence, while on the other the textures I found in the bare nature of the season.

Winter nature

So while I had expected an industrial walk in the docks, instead I got a mixture of nature and man made construction. The nature was partly in the form of a bitterly cold wind for whichContinue reading

River Dulais bridge

Out of the Light and Into a Rhododendron Tunnel

Having risen towards the sunlight at the start of this walk, I then had to descend again, and in doing so took a route that led me through a natural tunnel rhododendron tunnel.

This is the final part of my walk this week and a slight change of format. I am no longer going to post a review of the walk each week so if you want top see the rest of the walk you will have to visit the two previous posts.

Rhododendron tunnel

The tunnel is dark but feels fabulous and the middle of it is the quietest section of the walk. While the images below cover only the last part of this walk, the soundscape is from the whole walk which starts and ends with the sounds of the Dulais River or Afon Dulais.Continue reading

valley fog

Sunlight, Sheep and Fog

Gaining the top of the hill on my walk this week from fog to sunlight, I was followed by a flock of hopeful sheep looking expectantly at me – I suspect the farmer was due or perhaps the sheep though he was overdue!

Goppa sheep

My route took me past familiar objects both natural and man made. The rhododendrons perhaps have an element of both – they are natural but not native to the UK and can take over a whole hillside as they have in this location.Continue reading

Misty Valley

My Walk this Week – Misty and Bright

My walk this week is a long awaited bright one, albeit misty at the start. It was cold and bit frosty but the sun was rising and as my elevation increased with a climb up a local hill, I was able to look down on the fog laying the valley below.

Hazy woods

It was a beautiful morning only marred by the level of fly tipping on the slopes beside the Dulais River 😡 What is wrong with the people that do this? Apart from the damage it does to the environment, wildlife and oceans, are they also blind?Continue reading


Swiss Valley Water – Reviewing the Walk

My walk this week up to Swiss Valley Reservoir was a very wet one, but also a very enjoyable one despite the amount of water (except for the fact that my umbrella kept collapsing on me!).

Please note:  I need to let you know  that my weekly posts are going to change slightly – from here on there will be no post on Saturday. I am cutting My Weekly Walk posts to Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the soundscape for the walks being posted on the Friday. Further cuts may be necessary in the future.

Swiss Valley Reservoir

I took the walk later in the day than expected and in combination with the wet weather, this meant it was another walk that started out dark and became darker and darker as I followed the riverside footpath up the ravine.  By the time I reached the reservoir (not very far) the scene was as you see it in the image above.Continue reading