red shattered rock

Coastal Curiosities 1 – Arranged and Sculpted Naturally

This week I am focusing on some of the coastal curiosities I found along my walks in Scotland last month. The wind and sea had been sculpting, as they naturally do, but people were also evident in the arrangements they left behind in the form of what appeared to me like a miniature straggling sea defence. A sea defence that was set higher on the beach than the highest tide level, at least for a few days, thus ensuring they would stay there for a while and allow me to photograph them in different lights.

miniature defences

The low sun in the evening also sculpted the appearance of the beach into a Martian landscape and the my daughter pointed me towards the Martian colours revealed in a rock formation split by erosion. This revealed a measure of timeContinue 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

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

Squall

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.

cows

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

valley fog

Sunlight, Sheep and Fog

Gaining the top of the hill on my walk this week from fog to sunlight, I was followed by a flock of hopeful sheep looking expectantly at me – I suspect the farmer was due or perhaps the sheep though he was overdue!

Goppa sheep

My route took me past familiar objects both natural and man made. The rhododendrons perhaps have an element of both – they are natural but not native to the UK and can take over a whole hillside as they have in this location.Continue reading

Waterside footbridge

Lingering Around the Lake

Lingering around the lake at The Waterside is a very easy thing to do. On my walk this week the weather was good – sunny and almost still with just the lightest of breezes from time to time.

reed island

A walk here is more about wellbeing than exercise and whatever the weather conditions, there is huge advantage to be gained from a quiet contemplation of the place and the space.Continue reading

Tunnel stalactites

Watery Effects at The Waterside

The dancing reflections of sunlight on puddles in an old reservoir overflow tunnel is just one of the watery effects to be found at The Waterside where my walk is this week.

water reflection

It is not just the effects of water that creates the patterns and structures I am looking at in the images below, it is the interaction between the water and the sunlight that choreographs the changing rhythms of the light and shade. The interaction of draining waterContinue reading

tree silhouette

From Light to Dark – Reviewing the Walk

My walk this week took me from light to dark in Brynmill Park in Swansea. I had visited the park on many previous occasions and so was interested in capturing some of the details of the place rather than a more open view of its land and waterscape.

Dark Park Railings

It was good to start my short walk in the afternoon sunlight and watch the squirrels gathering their winter stores and the swans and ducks on the dark water of the lake, even though there was the most terrific fight between two of the ducks (not included in the soundscape below).Continue reading

Ouse Walk gate

Millennium Footpath

It turned out that my walk this week was along the Millennium Footpath – another one! If “millennium” means one thousand (as in years), then I think there must be a millennium of “Millennium Footpaths” in Britain and probably many more around the world. This one is alongside the River Ouse as it flows out of York in the North East England.

River Ouse footpath

I suspect that this footpath was already here and frequently used before the turn of the century. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with giving that or any other name to a walking route, as anything that encourages people to walk and enjoy their surroundings is good in my book.Continue reading

Forest steps

In the Pink and Green

Summer walks in the woods reveal the pink flowers and the green grass in sunlight.

Forest Foxgloves

While there is plenty of shade under the trees – indeed the forest is often darker than usual because of the density to foliage – there are also pockets or glades of sunlight picking out the Continue reading