lower lake

My Walk this Week 126 – Gnoll Park

My walk this week is to a park I have not visited for a few years. Gnoll Country Park in Neath is a beautiful place with lakes, woodland, cascades, wildlife, wildflowers, history and a great community building.

shadow gate

Entering the park from the lower southern entrance was new for me and I got to see a part of the park I had not been round previously but no less enjoyable for that. I was taking the opportunity to walk here because I was in Neath anyway as I have lately been working on the website for a new gallery in the town – Queen Street Gallery. Continue reading

York University

My Walk this Week 125 – Colour in Construction

I was looking for woodland on my walk this week – and I found it, to a degree, behind the colour in construction of the Science and Technology Block of York University.

York University

It was open woodland straggling along the back of the university which I picked up again on my return across open fields. The colours used in the modern buildings reflected those of older walls surrounding the adjacent York House BIRT facility. I enjoyed the colour in both as well as the textures and patterns in the old, and the cleanliness and hard edges of the new.Continue reading

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

red berries

My Walk this Week 125 – Berried in York Woodland

Returning to my weekly theme of walks, I have recently been in search of woodland inYork. While the city is full of beautiful, mature trees, there is a lack of woodland – something that I am used to having where I live. I know it is a city and I shouldn’t expect to find woodland in its centre, but even around its outskirts the land is flat and farmed.

black berries

Following a footpath through a strip of land behind the university I first found seed heads left over from the Summer and then the berries and fruit of Autumn. Huge conkers on horse chestnut trees, black and red berries poisonous to humans, rose hips and brambles – they were all abundant and added to the colour around me.Continue reading

White and curly

The Horns Have It at the Agricultural Show

The horns were my first focus of attention as I walked round our local agricultural show. There are any number of these shows during the Summer and ours comes at the end.

black horn

The weather was good enough (dry) and the sheep were panting away in their stalls as they waited to go on show and be judged. If the winning feature were horns, I’d give it to these two fine pairs below in black and white.Continue reading

Nith Weir

Dumfries 2 – River Nith

The River Nith in Dumfries, Scotland, is a fabulous river to watch in the sunshine as the excited water tumbles and tangles over the weir.

Nith rapids

The river is tidal and before the weir was built a greater length of it was affected by both high and low tides, meaning any business that relied on its flow was beholden to the actions of sun and moon twice every 24 hours.

The weir may not be needed nowadays for trade purposes but it stillContinue reading

image on focusing table

Dumfries 1 – Camera Obscura

While in Scotland in June I both wanted and needed to visit Dumfries. I wanted to go there in order to visit the Camera Obscura I had so often heard about throughout my life. My father had seen it when a boy living in Dumfries and I thought it was about time I did too.

River Nith

Dumfries is an attractive town on a sunny day and one of its enjoyable features is the River Nith – but more about that in my next post. The camera obscura is a fascinating contraption housed in what used to be a windmill. It is this fact that influenced the design andContinue 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