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

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.


Herded by Cows and a Squall

At the start of my walk this week I mentioned my caution regarding cows and how I cut off across the top of the hill to avoid them. But they were having none of that and following a sudden squall of hailstones I was persuaded yet again to take an alternative route back down the hill.


The fast changing weather provided me with a range of lighting effects and I found myself blinded by the light one moment and then wowed by the hailing clouds over Swansea Bay the next. It was still very cold and although this wasn’t a long walk,Continue reading


Lichen and a Dry Stone Wall

Sheltering unsuccessfully from the bitter winter wind by a dry stone wall on the Swansea uplands I took a moment to admire the lichen and thought about how it looks as though someone has illustrated it in pen and ink.

lichen on dry stone wall

I had been persuaded by a herd of cows to cut across the top of Mynydd Gelli instead of circumnavigating it at a lower contour.Continue reading

Mynydd Gelli winter view

My Walk this Week – A Sprinkling of Winter

We rarely get any snow in the small town where I live and so when I awoke to find a thin Winter sprinkling in the garden, I assumed that there would be more of it all around us on higher ground and I prepared to take a walk later in the morning.

Mynydd Gelli tree

So I was surprised to find naked trees and moorland when I set off up one of the hills in the lower reaches of the Mawr, the upland area just north of Swansea. No white blankets to be seen,Continue reading

Late afternoon

Witch Hazel in a Late Afternoon Landscape

The light was diminishing on my walk this week at the NBGW but the late afternoon still revealed some good views and wonderful details. One of my particular favourites in this respect was the Witch Hazel. The Botanic Garden of Wales has many of these and at this time of year they are blossoming with their beautifully coloured and wacky flowers – the colours make me think of the cocktail, Tequila Sunrise!

Witch Hazel

There was also a crooked oak tree that looked as though it was using one of its own fallen branches as a crooked walking stick to hold itself up. It reminded me of this old rhyme:Continue reading

NBGW Country Seat

Looking and Listening Seats for the Landscape

The attractively designed benches situated along my walk this week at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) are ideal facilities for looking at and listening to the surrounding landscape.

NBGW Landscape 2

At the moment I am focusing on the looking rather than the listening. It wasn’t actually raining on the walk but the ground was very wet from recent weather . . . as were the seats. Everything in fact, looked Continue reading

NBGW lake

My Walk this Week – Landscape Ageing and Restoration

My walk this week is from the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), though it turned out not to be the walk we had expected as the Pont Felin Gat woodland was closed off to the public for clearance / restoration work. The images show one of the existing lakes in the gardens as well as the site of another lake from the past. This is being restored but in the meantime the landscape of tree stumps creates some fascinating patterns, textures and colours.

So we followed the “blue” walk instead and climbed past old farm buildings which also look in need of restoration. Again, the colours, patterns and textures revealedContinue reading