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

ripples

Scottish Seas 3 – The Subtleties of Surface

The surface of the sea is constantly changing – colour, pattern, texture – it all depends, from moment to moment, on the changing conditions of light, wind, currents and the pull of the sun and moon.

surface colour

However rough or calm the sea is, the changing patterns on the surface of the water can hold my attention for a long time. The longer I look, the more subtleties I see and although there is an overall rhythm to the motion, that too changes gradually as the tide gently rises and falls against the rocks and seaweed – see the video below.

The longer you sit quietly, the less you are noticed byContinue reading

sea and light perspective

Scottish Seas 2 – Evening Tide

Whether it is the ebb or the flow of the tide, the sea has a gentle gradient to cover in this part of South West Scotland. That does not always mean the waves are gentle but on this occasion the roughest it got can be seen in the third image of the sequence below.

evening ebb

The appearance of the weather in that image is exaggerated by the heavy grain effect I gave it. I like the effect but it tells a lie about the conditions, making them appear less favourable than they wereContinue reading

bumpy surface

Scottish Seas 1 – All Quiet on the South West Coast

From Scottish skies last week to Scottish seas this week and all is still and quiet – the gentle ripples on surface and sand reflect the warm breeze of an unusually warm Summer.

tidal ripple

No drama in the form of storms and crashing waves, just the peaceful lap of the gentlest of tides and the hot hazy light that so often disguised the horizon and prompted me, on occasion, to play with focus.Continue reading

distant Isle of Man

The Light in Scottish Skies 1

I have some Scottish skies to show you. With all the dry weather we have had this Summer the light in SW Scotland was unique. In some of the photos below it may look as if we had some poor weather while there but that is not really the case.

evening view

At times the light was such that it was difficult to differentiate between the different aspects of the sea, landscape and sky. It prompted me to go abstract and emphasise the effect because that seemed more realistic. The second shot below is deliberately out of focus, blurred, but the only reason the shot of the swans is not sharp is because I was having to act quickly to capture them in flight.

Over the next couple of weeks or so I will not be posting My Walk this Week – instead I would like to show a selection photos I took on various walks in Scotland while on holiday.

Sea lines

Light and Lines

By the end of my walk this week on Aberavon Beach the light had brightened to the point of dazzlement. We didn’t have a blue sky but the sunlight was bleaching in its brightness and the heat was clearly making a dip in the sea an attractive option for many.

a day on the beach

Having walked the length of the beach, we turned around and walked back along the promenade where I found myself noticing some of the lines and anglesContinue reading

starfish on the move

Safe For Swimming – Flags and Patterns On the Beach

I liked the bright red and yellow flags on Aberavon Beach when taking this week’s walk there. They denote an area where it is safe to swim but I don’t think the child in this picture, walking determinedly up the beach, had been swimming.

A determined stride

This wasn’t the only young one on the beach – there were plenty of other children running around of course, but also starfish on the move. The patterns made in the sand by the starfish weren’t the only ones eitherContinue reading

Enjoying the sunshine

My Walk this Week – An Angle On the Beach

My walk this week is along Aberavon Beach on the eastern side of Swansea Bay. It was warm but overcast when we started out and I suppose that might account for the clothing that one of these beach anglers was wearing.

anglers angling

The sun soon showed up, however, and justified the clothing of the others on the beach as well as their activities.

Aberavon has an expansive and beautiful beach but it is slightly strange to see mechanical monsters seemingly so close on the skyline.Continue reading

December - Winter Sunrise

Reviewing the Year – 2017

At the end of this first week of 2018 I have selected one image from each month of 2017 plus the featured image on the StillWalks blog page.

I thoroughly enjoyed all my walks in 2017 and look forward to posting about more walks in the coming year. However, I may need to cut down on the number of posts. As much as I enjoy doing the photography, field recording and writing, there will be a distinct pressure on my time in 2018 and cutting to one post per week may be one of the solutions to this problem. I will do my best and we shall see how it goes – either way, unlike this week, future posts will include soundscapes as well as images.

I would like to thank everyone for following the StillWalks blog in 2017 and I look forward to reading all your posts in the coming year. I hope it will be a very productive one for all of us. Happy New Year!