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

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

Uplands landscape

Punctuated By Ice at The Waterside

My walk this week has been around the lake at The Waterside – Felindre and seems to have been punctuated by ice. Indeed, the whole language and grammar of the posts has been dictated by the freezing icy conditions.

Icy Punctuation

Influenced as I am by the things I see and hear around me, I look at the light and shade, the patterns and textures, and I wonder what it would feel like to touch, to run my fingers along some of the surfaces of frozen water, hard ground lightly dusted with snow or old reeds and rushes from last year as they poke through the semi opaque sometimes mushy lookingContinue reading

fanning out

What’s Left Behind – Jetsam and Ice

In this my third and last post for my walk this week I am looking at some of what is left behind by both recent weather conditions and humans – the ice and jetsam scattered in the river and around the frozen woodland in a semi urban / industrial area.

ice bubbles

The ice was not yet melting but had created strange bubble-like forms around old reeds at the river’s edge.  Also at the edge of the Afon Llan was a collection of abandoned shopping trolleys tangled up with bits of wood swept downstream and caught up in their old metal mesh.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

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

Distant dwellings

Distant Horizon – Reviewing the Walk

In reviewing my walk this week I can see that I have posted another set of very dark images – it must be the time of year! The selected photos from my posts about this walk illustrate both the urban start in a multi-story carpark and the approaching light of dawn on the horizon in a windy Swansea Bay.

Distant horizon

The soundscape for this week backs up the images as always but while it includes the sound of crashing waves towards the end, it does not include the noise pollution of street cleaners and leaf blowers being used at 6 AM. Continue reading

wave chaos

Approaching Dawn Down on the Seafront

The darkness lifted ever so slowly as I proceeded on my walk this week from city centre to seafront in the approaching dawn. Having traversed the Maritime Quarter with its shadow patterns and reflections (see previous post) and experiencing a hint of the cold wind to come, I emerged onto the seafront behind a stainless steel sail sculpture and quickly retreated back behind the corner of the building by my side.

Urban Dawn Walk

It was cold and wild and the distant blue-grey light on the eastern horizon gave no hint of how the day may turn out. The tide was high and the waves crashed against each otherContinue reading

Swansea Marina

Swansea Bay – Reviewing the Walk

This weeks final post for my walk this week along Swansea Bay and back through the marina includes a selection of images from along the walk with all its space and textures and patterns and now of course, the sounds as well.

Swansea Maritime Quarter

The soundscape below contains just as many intricate patterns and textures as the visuals – from sea and blustering breeze to urban construction, the activities of marina visitors and the plinking of rigging against masts.

Continue reading

Forest tunnel

Forest Sounds – Reviewing the Walk

The images I have selected to review my walk this week are from three separate walks in a local woodland. Tow of these were sunny and quiet, one was more windy.

Forest Walk

The peaceful forest was quiet in comparison to the place on a windy day, but that does not mean there was not plenty to be heard, not by a long chalk. Continue reading