jewelled bank

My Walk This Week – Ready for Growth

My walk this week returns to the National Botanic Garden of Wales. It was Mother’s Day here in the UK and we took the opportunity of our membership to visit at a time when so many plants and flowers are getting ready for growth.

prepared for growth

We can see the plants in our own garden getting ready for growth of course, but we do not have a team of volunteer gardeners and professionals attending to it and neither do we have the wonderful range of native andContinue reading

Uplands landscape

Punctuated By Ice at The Waterside

My walk this week has been around the lake at The Waterside – Felindre and seems to have been punctuated by ice. Indeed, the whole language and grammar of the posts has been dictated by the freezing icy conditions.

Icy Punctuation

Influenced as I am by the things I see and hear around me, I look at the light and shade, the patterns and textures, and I wonder what it would feel like to touch, to run my fingers along some of the surfaces of frozen water, hard ground lightly dusted with snow or old reeds and rushes from last year as they poke through the semi opaque sometimes mushy lookingContinue reading

Icy grass skirt

Clothes of Ice

The top end of the lake round which I walked last week seemed to be wearing a range of icy clothes. I suppose I might be forcing it a bit, but the idea came to mind when I took the shot below and thought this rock in the stream had a flouncy skirt look about it.

Flouncy ice

And then I saw the submerged half frozen grass at the edge of the silt pond and thought “Wow! What great effect.”

The last two shots in this short sequence are clearly not references to clothing,Continue reading

water freeze

My Walk this Week – Icy Textures

My walk this week is another cold one around the lake at The Waterside – Felindre. It was very icy and the range of textures within that ice was fascinating. We had been led to believe there would be snow but as you can see, the forecasts were wrong for this little pocket of the country and a light dusting was all we got.

The Waterside in Winter

This was another short walk as my hands felt as though they would fall off with the cold and it was only a new pair of gloves knitted by my daughter that allowed me take the photos. Taking a close look at the various ice formations revealedContinue reading

fanning out

What’s Left Behind – Jetsam and Ice

In this my third and last post for my walk this week I am looking at some of what is left behind by both recent weather conditions and humans – the ice and jetsam scattered in the river and around the frozen woodland in a semi urban / industrial area.

ice bubbles

The ice was not yet melting but had created strange bubble-like forms around old reeds at the river’s edge.  Also at the edge of the Afon Llan was a collection of abandoned shopping trolleys tangled up with bits of wood swept downstream and caught up in their old metal mesh.Continue reading

frozen woodland bog

Frozen!

The rest of the UK had snow but our little pocket of the country somehow managed to avoid it and so my walk this week was freezing but no more than that. The images of frozen water below may not be as dramatic  as some of those to be found in countries closer to the arctic circle, but they are different to our normal situation here in South West Wales where, since taking these photos, we have returned to rain!

Frozen surface

My walk this week was, however, one I had not taken before and although short, allowed me to view an area that combinesContinue reading

tree moss and ice

My Walk this Week – Freezing Over

My walk this week braves the bitter wind blowing across Britain from Siberia. I have never seen ice like this on our local river, the Afon Dulais, but despite this and the fact that the rest of the country was under thick snow, we had next to none of it! The “beast from the east” and Storm Emma brought high winds and bitter cold but we were disappointed not to  get any snow when seemingly all around us a colour, texture and acoustic change was taking place across the land.

Afon Dulais ice

Never mind, despite the ice feeling like it was inside my fingers, I still enjoyed my walk and the sights and sounds were still different to normal, but more of that later in the week. There was still someContinue reading

River grass

Reflecting On the Salt Marsh Landscape

Reflecting on my walk this week on the landscape of my local salt marsh I am happy that I took the walk when I did as I suspect this open landscape would have been even more cold in our recent weather than the walk I took at the tail end of Storm Emma (that will be next weeks posts).

Remains of last year

My focus on this walk has been more about the details than the open space and those details have mainly been the marsh grass and one or two of the features within it, such as the fences. I love some of the individual “marks” in this landscape – the spiky reflection of marsh grass in the river, the spiky barbs of a sinking fence, the spiky flicks of individual grass blades amongst the busy textures their stems, the crusty lichen covered surface of thin branches and the twirly wiggle of an old bit of rosebay willow herb from last year.

The audio element was there as well of course andContinue reading

Marsh Grasses

A Focus on Marsh Grass

One of the things I like most about  my walk this week on my local salt marsh is the marsh grass. It’s not the only thing I focus on when there, but using the camera to look at different aspects of the grass by adjusting the focal length allows me to investigate some of its different textures and patterns.

Marsh grass

The two images below with the fence half hidden amongst the grasses are ones that each have a different depth of field and which I like for different reasons. The one with the fence and background grasses blurred gives me a better sense of being there while the other seems to me to be more diagrammatic, though I like the complex texture it presents.  You may see them differently, but neither of them are realistic insofar as the camera lens cannot see in the way our eyes do but only recreate a sense of a place which we, ultimately, respond to according to our individual perception. Perhaps, if you are unfamiliar with this kind of landscape feature, the images may mean nothing to you. Our connection and response to the things around us, images included, is strongly influenced by our own experiences.

Focus on rust

My Walk this Week – All A Bit Marshy

My walk this week is a bit marshy, but not boggy! I hadn’t been down to our local salt marshes on the Loughor Estuary for a while and as the weather was unusually dry,  it was an opportunity to see how things had changed as they undoubtedly would have done in some ways.

I never get tired of seeing this environment – it has the quality of peacefulness and tranquility when it is dry even with the motorway traffic in the background. The day was still with little or no movement other than the slow flow of the half full river as the tide receded. The subtle swirls of the current gave a gentle distortion to the reflected pattern of clouds, but there was unquestionable evidence in the form of gaping cracks that there had been slippage of the river bank as a result of high tides and fast flowing water.

A makeshift rusty barrier was constructed as an extension to the wooden fence that prevents cattle reaching an area where the marsh grasses give refuge and residence to some of the birds that enjoy this habitat. I disturbed what I think was a beautiful looking corncrake but wasn’t quick enough with my camera to get a shot of it.