hidden concrete

My Walk this Week 125 – Concrete and Trees

Looking for urban woodland on my walk this week, perhaps inevitably, I found concrete and trees. While trying to keep to the narrow wooded area behind York University, I intentionally crossed a road via an underpass in order to find the castle-like structure I had spotted on Googlemaps.

light and shade

Similar in design to Clifford’s Tower in the centre of York, the structure was much larger than that, and made of concrete. From the ground it was well camouflaged by the foliage patterns of light and shade cast by tall trees and the sun on the imposing walls and rusty windows.

It wasn’t a brutalist modern day castle, butContinue reading

dinner time

Fauna Findings 3 in Scotland – Feeding Frenzy

A feeding frenzy of young swallows was one of the most impressive dramas of our stay on the South West coast of Scotland last month. The young birds were fledging and the aerobatics the parents performed to catch insects in flight for their offspring was utterly amazing. Time and time again they would wheel and dive and change direction so abruptly you would think they would leave their brains behind, let alone their stomachs.

house martins

These aerobatics went on for a day or two and then the young ones took to the sky and there was even more drama as their parents fed them on the wing andContinue reading

adder

Fauna Findings 2 in Scotland – Wildlife

We spotted a wide range of wildlife during the hot weather in Scotland last month with multiple spotting of deer in the fields and on the beach, a pair of pheasants calling to each other regularly, an adder crossing a hot footpath, many different birds (even more than usual), and a couple of field mice under the hedge came out each evening to share the food put out for the birds.

deer in the distance

As well as the images I have selected below, we also witnessed dramatic but unsuccessful chases by weasels of small rabbits – one of them ended right at my feet! On hearingContinue reading

crow in flight

Fauna Findings 1 in Scotland – Birds on the Shore

Like this solitary crow, I enjoy my solitary walks, but this is far from the only species of fauna I found when in Scotland last month. I approached it quietly to try and get a closer shot but was spotted, naturally, and it it took to the air, flying across the bay to meet its partner.

I've been spotted

There is a quiet bay, an old disused harbour, along the shore from us where the gulls and oystercatchers – and on this occasion, swans – gather and sit quietly on the water or by its edge andContinue reading

Fleet Bay

Calm Reflection – Gull Contemplation

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.

stone buoy 1

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.

Contemplating Quiet

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

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

footpath

My Walk this Week – Keeping To the Footpath, Following the Rules

My walk this week follows the rules and my local marsh footpath down to the old St Teilo’s churchyard. It is a walk I love and have done (and posted about) many times. But there is always something new to see as the the conditions are always different. One of the first things you come upon when leaving the park above the marshes is this metal gate notice telling you to “KEEP TO THE FOOTPATH”.

keep to the footpath

I’m not one for sticking to the rules but I am sure that, like me, most people walking here do keep to the footpath because it takes you were you want to go and follows a very attractive route.Continue reading

open park

Looking at Lavender on Leaving the Park

I think it was probably volunteers that planted this beautiful lavender in our local park, and a beautiful addition it makes  too! The park is managed and developed through a combination of the Friends of Coedbach Park and the Swansea City Parks Department and they’re doing a great job.

lavender

The park has many different features including two oak woods known locally as the first and second woods. They are divided by a driveway that leads past a playground, tennis courts, bowling green, BMX track and pond to the rugby club and playing fields. It is a very well used park Continue reading