Heading back to Blackpill in Swansea Bay on my walk this week with the Swansea Health and Wellbeing Walk I looked out across the bay from time to time and enjoyed the colours in the sea and sky. The weather being good and Autumn not being too far advance at that time, there were still many green leaves on the trees and the sunlight shining through them created some beautiful overlapping patterns.
The path we followed on the Swansea Health and Wellbeing Walk is divided like many others into separate areas for walkers and cyclists. It is a very useful thing for cyclists to have bells on their bikes – most useful to the walkers. So thanks to all those many cyclists using this path during our walk for warning us that you were there as it is easy to stray from one part of the path to the other. With the noise of traffic on a busy road, the bells become essential!
My walk this week with the Swansea Health and Wellbeing Walk moved from the cycle path to the promenade before reaching the 360 Beach and Watersports Centre at St Helen’s. The old bridge in the image gallery below may seem out of place beside the other photos but this is the old Victorian St. Helen’s bridge that used to span Oystermouth Road a few yards from where the 360 cafe is situated. Not wanting to dispose of the bridge altogether (presumable with the intention of reinstating it when finances allow), the bridge has been sitting by the side of the road for some years now.
My walk this week is from a couple of weeks ago when I went to join in the Swansea Health and Wellbeing Walk on the seafront. Starting at the Junction Cafe at Blackpill, it was originally planned to walk to mumbles and back but for whatever reason the route was changed and we walked in the opposite direction dn headed for the 360 Beach and Watersports Centre instead.
It was a short walk, less than four miles there and back but plenty of people came along, some from the Taste of Gower walks but many more besides.
I started my walk this week with a post of 360 degree views of Swansea Bay at Crymlyn Burrows. Now after getting excited about so many of the patterns and forms in the sand on this expansive beach, I have come full circle. Back in front of the Bay Campus of Swansea University the view is as good as ever but after all the subtleties of sand I was surprised by the glare of contrasting colour in front of the Great Hall on the campus. The grass was new and the paint on the tables was new too!
Virtually all sound from the city and the motorway was being blown inland by a light breeze on this peaceful morning walk and the sound of distant birds and people along with my footsteps on the sand is most of what makes up this calm soundscape.
Crymlyn Burrows Beach Soundscape
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Crymlyn Burrows are a very small example of a landscape feature made up of sand dunes and vegetation, yet they are burrows all the same. The beach here in Swansea Bay may be expansive but arriving at the topmost reaches of the tide line as I headed back to the car gave me a classic view of dune grasses against a changing sky. The photos may be obvious shots to take but that does not make the scene any less enjoyable when you are there. The soft dry sand feels great underfoot but of course is much more difficult to walk on.
While the patterns in sand I have been looking at on my walk this week have been details of the beach in Swansea Bay, there are also interesting patterns and textures to be seen from longer, wider viewpoints. In this first shot today I like the gradual fading of the reflected light on wet sand as it transitions to drying sand.
In the second photo the pattern was subtle, perhaps more-so in reality than it is in the image but still noticeably there and resembling a tiger’s stripes. While I enjoy nuance within imagery and my surroundings, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this pattern strengthened and converting to monochrome and increasing the contrast was one relatively quick way to do this.
There was subtlety in the sounds of the beach on this walk as well as in the patterns of sand. I got my recorder out again as soon as I heard my footsteps on top of one of the sand banks where the surface still retained water and the rhythm of my footsteps created a fizz of compressed sand and released moisture. The passing of a distant small aircraft only seemed to emphasise the peace of the beach at this stage of my walk.
Footsteps in Damp Sand