April - Woodland

April To May – Reviewing the Second Quarter

For this first week of 2018 I have picked out some of my preferred shots taken on the many walks I enjoyed last year. Today I am looking at a few of my favoured photos from April to June 2017 and if you want to see more of them, just select the posts from the monthly archive on the blog page.

Valley mist

Valley Frost Revealed – Reviewing the Walk

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.

Valley 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

sheep and frost

Open Landscape and Under Cover

Reaching the highest point on my walk this week allowed me to look out across the open landscape to towards the Gower Peninsula. Every time I stand in this spot I take a couple of photos and on this occasion I was also tempted by the rising sunlight and pale frost covered fields to capture the fence heading off in perspective to be silhouetted against the sky.

Open perspective

Heading back under cover of the woodland my aural experience was still and peaceful and I tried to keep it that way by taking careful footsteps on the soft ground – not so easy when the ground is covered in crisp leaves from Autumn, but straightforward enough when on the thick carpet of pine needles and moss. Tomorrow I’ll post my short soundscape for the walk.

Pre-dawn silhouette

My Walk this Week – The Golden Light of Dawn

The day felt cold but looked good for my walk this week with the mist and the golden light of dawn. The natural colouring in the image below makes it look like an old photo, I think, with its sepia tones, but in fact nothing has been done to it other than a fairly restrained crop. I posted it on Instagram and Facebook and it got a few likes, but here it is again.

Misty Sunrise

I started out on my walk from my garden, looking through the hedge to a “red sky in the morning”, as the old adage goes. I needed no warning about the weather though, as I was going for a walk in the woods anyway.

Regular followers of the StillWalks blog should be becoming familiar with the woodland that is the feature of this walk. Hopefully I am able to shed a different light on it each time I visit. Of course it is the light of the sun and the time of year or day that changes the look and feel of any location and on this occasion the woodland dawn was . . . hmm, can you have a muted spectacle? It was spectacular and though muted by the mist, this only made it even more magical.Continue reading

Pwll Du Bay

Project Walk 2 – Reviewing the Walks

This, the second of the walking routes for the Our Gower Project, included on consecutive days both wet weather and dry. While the dry was more relaxing, the wet provided both atmosphere and a different, and perhaps more varied soundscape.

Pwll Du Beach

The images below are a selection from both days while the soundscape is from the second (dry) day. Although I said the wet weather provided a more variations in the aural environment,Continue reading

upright moss

Bishopston Valley Details and No Rain

This walk for the “Our Gower” project extends beyond Bishopston Valley to the beach at Pwll Du, but I thought I would present some of the details of the valley which, with the dry weather of the second project day in the valley, allowed us to explore and photograph more easily.

Fungi community

We also recorded some of the sounds of the thickly wooded valley and made notes about the atmosphere of the place – how it made us feel, what its colours and textures were like and something of the history and geography of the environment. For instance, Guzzle HoleContinue reading

Ash walking staffs

My Walk this Week – Our Gower Project Walk 2, Bishopston Valley

The second of the schools I walked with on the Our Gower project had no more luck with the weather than when we walked out on the marshes (see last weeks posts) – if anything, it was worse!

Bishopston Valley

Bishopston Valley on South Gower is home to some wonderful ancient woodland . . . and when it is wet, it is also home to a great deal of mud. Despite the wet conditions (or perhaps because of them) everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. As well as Wellington boots, everyone had been givenContinue reading

Across the marshes

Project Walk 1 – Returning to Weobley Castle

After exploring and recording their reaction to the salt marshes on this project walk, we all returned to Weobley Castle to eat our sandwiches in the dry before setting off for another Gower environment.

Weobley Castle

The views from the castle across the marshes are excellent and if the mist and rain were wet, they also added a timeless atmosphere to the place. Though some were more wet than others, everyone was happy to carry on.

Project Marsh Walk Soundscape

muddy marsh track

My Walk this Week – Our Gower Project Walk 1, Salt Marsh

My walk this week follows on from the project recce walk I posted about at the end of September. That was the recce – for the real walk we had to change the route as the ground underfoot had become non-negotiable for walking with a group following high tides and wet weather.

Salt Marshes

And the wet weather was a big part of the walk experience for the pupils we were taking out to experience the wonderful expanse of the salt marshes of the Loughor Estuary and Burry Inlet on the North Gower coast in Wales. Starting at Weobley Castle where they produce the delicious salt marsh lamb, everyone donned the wellington boots provided for them.Continue reading