trees in sunlight

My Walk this Week 234 – The Park Through My Viewfinder

My walk this week looks through my viewfinder at our local park and its pond – Coedbach Park. Coed = wood and Bach = little, so Little Wood Park.

The video above of the pond and the images below were all taken on my DSLR, my “proper” camera, rather than my iPhone which I have used so often lately for my posts. I may have expressed some frustration with the iPhone images but I wouldn’t complain about the quality of the video it takes. The audio was recorded separately on my Zoom H5N recorder.

It was a walk taken at an opportune moment during a busy week when the sun was a rare sight. One advantage of working from home (for many more of us now) is that you can often be flexible with the hours you put in. I would argue that it is important both for yourself and your employer (if you have one) that the health benefits of taking a break for a short walk round your local park, or even just around your garden (again, if you have one), are such that it is invaluable to all – yourself, the people you work for, the people around you. everyone in fact.

I wonder if there is any chance in the future, in the “new normal” as it is being called, that a recognition of the benefits to be gained from activities such as this will become a strategic part of business models and company operations. We can always hope!

Mumbles lighthouse

My Walk this Week 233 – The Sea The Sea

On my walk this week I was mesmerised by the susurration of the sea, the sea. It was the light and colour that really caught my eye, but when looking at its gentle, repetitive movements and listening to its rhythmical shush and liquid intricacies I couldn’t help but be enamoured of the full expanse of Swansea Bay at high tide.

Still using my iPhone I am frustrated by the effect even a slight breeze has on its microphones – but the distortion in the audio in this video is not what is in my memory.

Being in Mumbles to run an errand with my daughter (Hannah Duncan Creations), we took the opportunity to walk along the seafront to the pier. The sunlight caught the outcrops of rock, made islands by the high tide, on which the lighthouse is built and the sharp edge made me think of the shot of Catalina Apple used for the operating system of that name. Looking at that system image afterwards, I was less convinced of any similarity.

I only took a few photographs and short video clips but the walk was a very enjoyable and welcome break from the darkness the seemingly interminable rain brings. It’s not so much the rain I dislike as the lack of light that comes with it.

Gate to the mountain

My Walk this Week 232 – Wandering the Hillside

My walk this week is more of a wander on Cefn Drum, one of our local hills. Being a sunny Sunday afternoon, the hillside was busy with 4 or 5 other people gently strolling along the labyrinth of footpaths, so I didn’t hang around long and beat a retreat back down the hollow way seen in my last post.

The video includes flowing water again, but this is a sound it can be hard not to hear in Wales, especially at this time of year. And once again the video is also my soundscape for this week and indeed it includes separately recorded sound as well as that recorded as video.

My walk started well before the gate to the mountain (we say mountain but really it is a hill rising to about 750 feet), but a gate is a good starting point, a threshold, whatever rusty state it may be in.

My walk on the hillside ended with another battered aged gate, one with a different perspective, at least from the angle I photographed it.

 

early evening sunlight

My Walk this Week 231 – Going With the Flow

My walk this week is necessarily another local one and is going with the flow in more ways than one.

The literal flow is in the Afon Camffrwd, a small local river swollen somewhat by the recent rains. A more existential flow is about me taking the walk in the first place.

Near the end of another day of regular showers the need to get out and calm my mind, exercise my body and enjoy my surroundings was obvious to me. We have to accept and deal with the current pandemic situation as best we can. While I am able to continue my work in tapestry weaving and sound as a result of a stabilisation grant from the Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Good Causes fund, I am still affected, along with everyone else, by the Covid-19 lockdown and the restrictions that go with it. It is a strange and unsettling experience for us all.

Again the soundscape for this walk is in the form of a short video, but there are some more details from my walk in the images below.

 

 

Reflected weather

My Walk this Week 230 – Disregarding the Weather

My walk this week is through my local Coedbach Park and I was disregarding the weather as I set out. Autumn has typically mixed weather but regardless of this, my head as well as my body needs to get out for a walk as regularly as possible.

So when the sun came out around lunchtime I thought Aha! This is a good opportunity for a walk. Of course by the time I had changed my shoes and got a coat on, the sky was darkening again, but I didn’t let that put me off and carried on out the door.

I reached the park before the first drops fell and fortunately I had brought an umbrella but even so I felt it advisable to stand under a tree and wait.

In the short video above, which also acts as my soundscape for this week, I start out in the oak woods where the magnificent trees, undergrowth and footpaths do the best job of calming any turmoil I may be feeling inside. The stress and mental congestion that is there for any number of reasons, but not least our current Covid-19 lockdown and all that goes with that, is handled admirably by nature and the elements, even the rain.

And after the rain comes the sunlight and as I wandered on down towards the salt marshes, the River Loughor was at just the right level to provide me with a beautiful reflection of the sky as the sun pushed through aa little gap in the clouds.

Cwmdonkin Park

My Walk this Week 229 – Making Use of Cwmdonkin Park Swansea

My walk this week is in Cwmdonkin Park in Swansea and the Autumn colours were starting to show. Many people were making use of the park on this sunny Sunday afternoon, not least because of impending tightening of coronavirus lockdown measures.

Cwmdonkin Autumn

Cwmdonkin Autumn

The coronavirus lockdowns are taking their toll in many ways and most particularly on people’s mental health. It is hardly surprising that so many take the opportunity of a sunny day to get out to local urban oases such as Cwmdonkin Park. For some it is not so simple to get out and about, even without lockdowns, but maybe the short video below can help in some small way.

There is also a full StillWalks® Autumn video on the StillWalks home page if you are interested.

Sea view from Redcar

My Walk this Week 228 – Fabric of the North Sea

My walk this week looks out at the North Sea from Redcar where I was working to install to of my audio interactive tapestries as part of the Fabric of the North exhibition at Kirkleatham Hall Museum. What a hectic day it was!

The North Sea

The work was successful and the exhibition looks excellent. If you are able to visit you will need to book a time slot via the Kirkleatham Hall Museum website, but if you cannot get there, the exhibition will also be online on the Fabric of the North website.

Once finished at the museum we took a short trip down to Redcar seafront. If the shot above appears slightly out of focus, you can blame the strong wind which is evident in the image.

I admit to staying in the car for most of this brief visit but other local inhabitants braved the weather and walked their dogs along a stretch of the beach I remember well from so many walks taken so many years ago.

No soundscape this week I’m afraid – just a short video clip of the scene to accompany the photos below.

 

waves and wind

My Walk this Week 227 – Visual Wind and Audio Calm

My walk this week contains contradictions, wind in the visual but calm in the audio. Two walks really, both from Scotland – one where photos were taken and the other where sound recordings was done.

light and dark

The image above demonstrates a change in temperature while we were in Scotland, and of course that was preceded by wind. The strange rays of light sneaking through the cloud formation looks to me as though it might be an error in photo development, but this is a digital shot and anyway, I saw it with my own eyes, and it was weird. There’s nothing like nature to hold you in fascination and awe.

The effects of wind can be seen in the images below but the sound I recorded was from a cal walk along the shore, listening to the lapping of waves on the sand and amongst the rocks. So if the images leave you feeling flustered, hopefully the audio will keep you calm.

Perhaps it may be best on this occasion to look and listen separately – not something I usually prompt.

Calm Sea Soundscape

You might find using headphones worthwhile for this soundscape.

The curlew is perhaps the one natural element that is keeping its calm in the face of the wild wind and waves.