on the top of rocks

Floral Findings 3 – Growing on the Edge

I’m not sure that I can truthfully say that this clump of thrift, on the edge of rocks looking out over the sea, is actually growing. The year has been so dry and they are clearly past their colourful flowering stage . . . but still I find them very attractive!

on the edge

The shoreline has as much to enjoy by way of plants as the coast has just a few yards inland. The fact that they all have a slightly different annual cycle to their growth patterns makes them that much more interesting.Continue reading

red shattered rock

Coastal Curiosities 1 – Arranged and Sculpted Naturally

This week I am focusing on some of the coastal curiosities I found along my walks in Scotland last month. The wind and sea had been sculpting, as they naturally do, but people were also evident in the arrangements they left behind in the form of what appeared to me like a miniature straggling sea defence. A sea defence that was set higher on the beach than the highest tide level, at least for a few days, thus ensuring they would stay there for a while and allow me to photograph them in different lights.

miniature defences

The low sun in the evening also sculpted the appearance of the beach into a Martian landscape and the my daughter pointed me towards the Martian colours revealed in a rock formation split by erosion. This revealed a measure of timeContinue reading

sunset silhouette

Scottish Skies 3 – Sunset Silhouettes and Impressions

The silhouettes of stacked and jagged rocks and dark hills give a realistic impression of the scene they describe, but it is an impression. The camera (without any filters) provides more contrast than is there in reality and there have been occasions when I have increased that contrast further in order to provide a better sense of what the scene felt like.

sunset sentinel

The Impressionists did a similar thing in painting scenes that, while not perhaps accurately or photographically depicted, gave a more accurate impression or sense of life. Photorealism in paintingContinue reading

Sunset Scotland

Scottish Skies 2 – Evening Light

The evening light in my selected shots of sunsets in SW Scotland show the changing scene from day to day from different viewpoints. Almost all the photos were taken on different evenings but it is easy to take many, many photographs throughout just one evening as the sun sinks down and the light and shade and colours change above in the sky and below in the bay.

Low tide and lowering sun

Fewer clouds this year might have meant less drama, but I don’t think that is ever the case in this place. The skyscape / landscape / seascape is always mesmerising and holds my attention,Continue reading

dry grass

Low Flow and the Colour of Grass

The low flow of rivers and the colour of the grass has changed the landscape in the UK. Hosepipe bans are coming to the north and without sustained rainfall in the near future in the south, I can imagine that we will have them too.

low river

The river above is normally raging over the weir but with the reduced flow the soundscape is changed as well as the landscape. I haven’t produced a soundscape again this week butContinue reading

rosebay willow herb

From Pink to Pink – Wildflowers in the Valley

My walk this week follows on from one taken six weeks ago when the pink wildflowers in our local valley were rhododendrons – now the field of pink comes from rosebay willow herb.

rosebay willow herb

You could argue about the name of the colour either in the willow herbs, thistles or the rhododendrons and foxgloves, but they all sit within a narrow range of pinks/mauves/purples in Cwm Dulais. The rowan tree (also known as mountain ash) brings a touch of orangeContinue reading

kissing gate 1

Eight Gates and A Churchyard

My walk this week included nine gates, not eight, but the gate to the old churchyard on my local marshes was open and so is not included in the soundscape below.

Churchyard gate

The old St Teilo’s churchyard is a fabulous place and the walk across the marshes, alongside the River Loughor is also a local route I enjoy immensely. If doing a linear walk rather than the circular route,Continue reading

rusty tangle

Naturally Tangled

Rusty old coils of wire tend, naturally, to get tangled in time – take a close look at the grass seed head below to see the naturally tangled growth within it.

seed head

I was amazed to see the apparently squirming life going on inside its bulbous form. The patterns on the longer seed heads also provided me with visual excitement about the fast Continue reading

lambs looking back

Looking Back Down the Hill

Looking down isn’t always the best thing to do – certainly not if you want to see where you are going – but it is also necessary if you want to be able to see the details underfoot of where you are. In the case of the lambs in today’s featured image, looking back down the hill at me is a matter of curiosity, the curiosity of the young.

dewey web detail

Their mothers had led them up the hill away from me as I approached on the descending lane, but they halted half way up to check me out. I too halted many times on my walk, first to look andContinue reading

new bracken

Rhododendrons Valley

Mauve and violet Rhododendrons used to almost fill one of our local valleys and although they were cut back significantly some years ago, my walk this week proves they are still there, and in much greater abundance than is shown in my photographs.

Rhododendron valley

The whole side of the valley used to be a mass of bright purple at this time of year and was a phenomenon to behold. I know rhododendrons are not native to Wales or the UK but, unlike Japanese Knotweed or Himalayan Balsam, I don’t generally have any issue with them, thoughContinue reading