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

Lichen

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

Steel Perspective

But Is It Art?

On my walk this week I found myself in one of the upper floor rooms of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and enjoyed looking at works by well known artists of the past such as Ceri Richards, Paul Nash, Henry Moore and others. In this room I was also struck by the effect of the translucent screen hanging in front of the floor to ceiling window. It changed my perception of the building opposite and for a few moments I thought I was looking at another work of art – so I took some photos!

Looking Out

Directly below, on the ground floor, is the room used for talks, presentations, etc.,  In here I spotted a stack of seats in the corner and I was again persuaded to take some photos. The clean, bright patterns of stainless steel really appealed to me ….. but is it art?Continue reading

floor decoration

My Walk this Week – Architecture at The Glynn Vivian

My walk this week is not in a natural environment but instead it is around the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and Museum – unless you consider our need for creativity a part of nature, which I do! It is an essential part of our existence that we observe the things around us and it is a part of my own particular nature to enjoy observing what we call art, and also on this occasion, architecture and design.

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and Museum

The architecture of the original building is formal, balanced, symmetrical. The newer wing is made in concrete and the even newer entrance is largely glass. This is perhaps fitting as the building opposite also has a new glass extension as entrance to Swansea College of Art and the original design of this building reflects that of the Glynn Vivian.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

NBGW Country Seat

Looking and Listening Seats for the Landscape

The attractively designed benches situated along my walk this week at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) are ideal facilities for looking at and listening to the surrounding landscape.

NBGW Landscape 2

At the moment I am focusing on the looking rather than the listening. It wasn’t actually raining on the walk but the ground was very wet from recent weather . . . as were the seats. Everything in fact, looked Continue reading

NBGW lake

My Walk this Week – Landscape Ageing and Restoration

My walk this week is from the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), though it turned out not to be the walk we had expected as the Pont Felin Gat woodland was closed off to the public for clearance / restoration work. The images show one of the existing lakes in the gardens as well as the site of another lake from the past. This is being restored but in the meantime the landscape of tree stumps creates some fascinating patterns, textures and colours.

So we followed the “blue” walk instead and climbed past old farm buildings which also look in need of restoration. Again, the colours, patterns and textures revealedContinue reading

Grilled Sun Rays

Campus Walk Sun Rays and Soundscape

I finished my walk this week with the sun shining out from behind the clouds and the seagulls wheeling as though this was a revelation – and indeed, when this happens it can feel like that! On this occasion the event was perhaps less dramatic than it can be sometimes, but suffering from the cold, biting wind as I was, it was good to see the gulls enjoying themselves, though they are not a feature of the soundscape.

sun rays

As I walked back through the university’s Bay Campus the construction of new buildings continued, but the lads playing basketball paid no heed to the skeletal buildings, the noise of cranes and jack hammers or the biting windContinue 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