My walk this week shows images from my archive and a walk along Rhossili Down at the end of the Gower Peninsula in South Wales.
For all the changes in environmental circumstances from day to day or even hour to hour, these photos from 2014 cannot show any potential differences in the underlying structure and general appearance of the place. The pace of change on a geological time scale is not the same as our lives and although it is true that we sometimes see rocks fall from a cliff or even cliffs collapse as a result of erosion from the sea, the overall changes can be almost imperceptible.Continue reading→
A calm, hazy, hot day and the stone buoys that mark the entrance to a small disused harbour reflect in the water and a gull appears in contemplation of its quiet surroundings.
Like the gull, I too sit in contemplation of the scene and objects around me – stopping from time to time on all my walks to look and listen and absorb the sights and sounds, the textures, patterns and colours of the environment and feel the connections I have to all that is there.
Whether the connection is slow and seemingly timeless, as in the wrinkles and folds seen in the surfaces of rocks, or quicker, like the more immediate ripples of the water blown by the breeze, pushed and pulled by the sun and moon along with Earth itself (see Tides), the influence on me of these interconnections is sometimes obvious and noticeable, sometimes utterly imperceptible, but there nonetheless.
Imperceptible or not, I am aware that they exist and enjoy contemplating, or perhaps imagining, the ties that hold me (rather than bind me) to the intricacies of the planet and all that exists and lives upon it.
The edgeland of Newport which I was exploring on my walk this week were partly coloured by industry, but Spring knows no bounds and prompts all plant life to new growth at this time of year.
And so, looking away from some of the other aspects of this liminal industrial space, I took a closer look at some of the different wasteland plants that were coming to life around me. The buds and seed heads were fluffy, furry and fuzzy as they set out for the sun against the red earth and water of the ponds in this abandoned area of the Newport Levels.
I never did get to the official Newport Wetlands but was very happy to see this less cared for environment where there was plenty of evidence of man but no man to be seen.
My walk this week takes a look at and listen to a small urban triangle in Swansea, South Wales. I had been looked at the patterns of tower block scaffolding on a number of occasions in passing and thought it would be good to find the opportunity to take a closer look. So, duly prepared with my kit on a dry day I set out to explore both the scaffolding and other features of a small area that includes both the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and on the opposite side of the road, UWTSD Swansea College of Art.
There are three different eras of architectural design in this first stage (or side of the triangle) of my walk – the classical style of the Glynn Vivian and the College of Art, the more functional style of the early ’70s in the Oldway House tower block and the mixture of block and glass in the new entrance to the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery.Continue reading→
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.
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!
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→
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.
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→
When I arrived at this viewpoint near the start of my walk this week, the valley was filled with a thick fog. Now, having had a peaceful walk through the forest, the valley is revealed, and it is cold with frost.
In a couple of my posts about this walk I have described the woodland as peaceful, and indeed it was. The background sound of traffic on the motorway is almost always there but there are a few pockets of peacefulness that allow virtually complete escape from that sound.Continue reading→
Looking back from the bramble beginning by the road on my walk this week along the Tennant Canal near Swansea, South Wales, I can see and hear again some of the varied natural and industrial features of this environment that I enjoy so much.
I first discovered the beauty of this place on a guided walk with a bird specialist who worked his magic at identifying and translating all the birds and, seemingly, their conversations. The ability the human brain has for focusing our senses in different ways is remarkable but there is no questionContinue reading→
My walk this week is along a section of the Tennant Canal on the eastern edge of Swansea. I have walked along this footpath on a few occasions, the last time being a couple of years ago and the conditions now are similar to what they were then.
Similar conditions does not mean I have taken the same photographs as last time, although the swans are still there and one posed perfectly for me while the other slept. Continue reading→