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

Waterside Wander

My walk this week was more of a lazy wander. The warm sunshine and the relaxed atmosphere at the Welsh Valley Alpacas Open Day prompted a meander more than a walk and that is what we did (see the two previous posts for this week).

ribwort

Returning from the top of the valley at The Waterside – Felindre we first met some of the male alpacas with their new shorn hair-dos. Then, sitting on a perfectly placed bench, I soaked up the atmosphere and photographed (yet again) one of my favourite wildflowers,Continue reading

lake surface

Waterside and Woodland

Just realised I put the wrong date in on this post so it’s a little later in the day than usual – hope you all missed it!

Following the lakeside on my walk this week at The Waterside – Felindre, where we also enjoyed Welsh Valley Alpacas, we spotted some of the other fauna to be found there, namely a host of little tadpoles and fish.

woodland alley

From the waterside we climbed up into the woods where we enjoyed the bluebells still covering the sun-dappled glades and the alley-ways of trees. The carpet of needles was soft underfoot and, away from the crowd of people visiting the alpacas,Continue reading

Welsh Valley Alpacas

My Walk this Week – Welsh Valley Alpacas

My walk this week includes alpacas! My friends Steve and Sue Heatherington run Welsh Valley Alpacas and, as the name suggests, they are situated in a Welsh valley. The alpacas are wonderful creatures and the valley is beautiful.

Alpaca close-up

I cannot tell you the names of those featured here but Sue and Steve know every one of the 39 (approx) alpacas individually by name and character. They are fascinating animals but not the only ones in the valley. The family of geese have been watched closely from when they started looking for a suitable nesting site toContinue reading

trees silhouette

The Moon and A Mirror

I think the shot below is probably my favourite from my walk this week down on our local marshes during the sunset and moon rise. The flat water of the high tide filling the river and reflecting the fading light and lunar crescent like a mirror was so peaceful and calming.

The soundscape for the walk also reflected the evening peace, even with the backdrop of motorway traffic. The birds sang and along with the bubbling of a small stream flowing into the river, they allowed me to ignore the trundle of tyres on tarmac. The soundscape is in three sections – Continue reading

evening reflection

An Evening with Marsh Grass

The tall marsh grass I enjoyed so much on my walk this week was enhanced by the beautiful evening light and the high tide which flows far up the River Loughor from the estuary. On this evening the level was perfect for a walk – not so high as to cover the surrounding marshes, but high enough to make the river brimful.

Riverside Marsh Grass

The result is a smooth mirror in the middle of the landscape, one that reflects all above and around it – the colours of the sunset and the riverside grasses. The surface was broken onlyContinue reading

Old Buddleia flower

A Space Between – Edgelands of Industry and Nature

My walk this week has been through a space between, a space on the edge of both nature and industry – and nature, of course, wins every time and in so many ways.

return route

Looking at the evidence of man is perhaps not the best way to finish my posts on this walk but there are other elements to the landscape apart from the old tyres and wires. The profusion of old Buddleia bushes will soonContinue reading

Red water grasses

Fluffy, Furry and Fuzzy – New Edgeland Growth

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.

Spring growth?

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.

Red Wetland

My Walk this Week – Edgelands and Old Reens

My walk this week is through the edgelands of Newport, South East Wales (UK). It took me towards what promised to be Newport Wetlands, according to the footpath sign post. I hadn’t gone there for this purpose but found myself frustrated in another errand and in need of an escape from the pressures of the day.

old wetland reen

I’d looked to see if there were any nearby walks in a natural environment. What I found was a wild space between industries that promised at least the potential to check out the reensContinue 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