Uplands landscape

Punctuated By Ice at The Waterside

My walk this week has been around the lake at The Waterside – Felindre and seems to have been punctuated by ice. Indeed, the whole language and grammar of the posts has been dictated by the freezing icy conditions.

Icy Punctuation

Influenced as I am by the things I see and hear around me, I look at the light and shade, the patterns and textures, and I wonder what it would feel like to touch, to run my fingers along some of the surfaces of frozen water, hard ground lightly dusted with snow or old reeds and rushes from last year as they poke through the semi opaque sometimes mushy lookingContinue 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

frozen woodland bog


The rest of the UK had snow but our little pocket of the country somehow managed to avoid it and so my walk this week was freezing but no more than that. The images of frozen water below may not be as dramatic  as some of those to be found in countries closer to the arctic circle, but they are different to our normal situation here in South West Wales where, since taking these photos, we have returned to rain!

Frozen surface

My walk this week was, however, one I had not taken before and although short, allowed me to view an area that combinesContinue 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.

new growth

Alternative Details – Route Taken or Root Taken

Having looked at some of the natural details on the short walk home with my niece (see previous post), we then started looking at some of the alternative details of our surroundings. The patterns created by dirt and moisture in the air and by the remains of roots on surfaces along our route.

remains of growth

This route took us past the dry crinkled textures of a brown beech hedge and onto a parking area where my niece said all she could see was cars and vans. So we took a closer lookContinue 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

Grass in the Bay

Natural and Man-Made

My walk this week took me through Swansea University’s Bay Campus to the open view it has of the expansive Swansea Bay. The combination of the natural and man-made had a number of crossover points – one of these was how cold it was with the wind chill coming off the sea, exposed as I was both in the open and amongst the buildings.

Beach Perspective

Other overlaps of the natural and man made came in the birdlife and young trees planted around the buildings, the moat-like sea defences (I suspect that, one day, these will not be enough), the rusting structure of an old disused outlet pipe onto the beach, and the industrial view looking east to Port Talbot.Continue reading

fence perspective

My Walk this Week – An Angle on Nature and Construction

My walk this week was slightly unexpected. I had gone to explore the docks area in Swansea Bay but found no access due to gates and security fencing. However, as I moved on I found a footpath edging a part of Swansea University Bay Campus still under construction. On one side of the path I enjoyed the effect of perspective on the site fence, while on the other the textures I found in the bare nature of the season.

Winter nature

So while I had expected an industrial walk in the docks, instead I got a mixture of nature and man made construction. The nature was partly in the form of a bitterly cold wind for whichContinue reading