Urban Birds and Babies

I got these shots the other day during a garden bird count for the RSPB. I’m just sorry I didn’t get a shot of the funniest looking young Blackbird we have frequenting our garden just now with its fluffy feathers stuck out all over the place.

Mother and Baby 1

Mother and Baby 1

Mother and Baby 2

Mother and Baby 2

Mother and Baby 3

Mother and Baby 3

I was also reminding people this week about StillWalks being about the urban as well as the natural environment or countryside. The photos below are from the Abertawe Walk along the River Tawe going into the SA1 area of Swansea.

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

Feeling Felt

Last week’s fair at The National Botanic Garden of Wales was a bit of a wash out for StillWalks as was the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. On a sunny Monday, however, we were in Cardiff at the Welsh Makers Guild Gallery, Craft in the Bay, in Cardiff Bay where there was an exhibition by the International Feltmakers Association. The exhibition was called “The Climate is Changing” and, along with all the other exhibits in the Makers Guild shop, was fascinating and enjoyable to see. Now back to the rain!

99 Pieces of Driftwood by Marianne Sogaard Sorensen of Denmark

99 Pieces of Driftwood by Marianne Sogaard Sorensen of Denmark

Medusa by Annette Block of Germany

Medusa by Annette Block of Germany

Ultimo Salto - The Last Jump by Katia Volpe

Ultimo Salto – The Last Jump by Katia Volpe

A Welcome Visitor

This little fellow joined us in the marquee at the National Botanic Garden of Wales today.

Chaffinch in the marquee

Chaffinch in the marquee

This was the second day of the Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday weekend when StillWalks joined others helping to alleviate visitors’ disappointment with the weather. People have been enjoying many of the StillWalks available on DVD Collections One and Two – even the Quarry Walk – Autumn Rain walk and the Forest Walk in Winter – not, perhaps, what might be expected in the miserable weather today, but clearly enjoyed all the same.

Rain, rain, go away!

Rain, rain, go away!

We’ll be back again in the Great Glass House in the Botanic Gardens on Jubilee day, Tuesday – here’s hoping the weather men are wrong with their forecast for further rain.

Great Glass House

Great Glass House

Beautiful Journeys

I have been travelling about Wales recently – not too far from home but thoroughly enjoyable. The trips I have had to schools as the Josef Herman Foundation Award Artist for 2012, have taken me over the Beacons to Brecon as well as to Ystradgynlais and back over the hills to home where the Spring / Summer sounds of a Blackbird in Coedbach Park are a welcome end to the day. You’ll need to visit the blog to listen to the Blackbird.

Brecon Beacons

Up on the Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons

Looking across the Brecon Beacons

River Tawe at Ystradgynlais

River Tawe at Ystradgynlais

Overlooking Craig Cefn Parc

Overlooking Craig Cefn Parc

The Josef Herman Foundation has allowed 9 and 10 year old children to create a version of StillWalks. Through an Arts Council of Wales funded project initiated by Caron McColl and Lynne Bebb at Swansea Education Effectiveness Service, the children have been doing their own photography and sound recording for their walk as well as the post production and also poetry with Emily Hinshelwood.

Screening and Exhibition – there will be a celebratory screening and exhibition in the Autumn of the work produced by the children. The children are doing a great job, so watch here later in the year to see examples of their videos and other work.

Early Start for Dawn Chorus Day

It was fun to get up at 5.30 AM last Sunday for Dawn Chorus Day to go and join the Friends of Coedbach Park and Helen Grey from Swansea Nature Conservation Team. Helen organised the event and arranged for Martin Humphries to lead us on a walk and help with birdsong identification. A great time was had by all and I was able to record much of what was going on with the birds in the ancient oak woods.

Sound Clips and Spectral Images – A set of these sound clips can be found below (remember to click through to the blog if you are reading this in an email) along with a couple of the spectral displays from the clips.

Tree Creeper Spectral

Tree Creeper Spectral

Tree Creeper

Tree Creeper

Black Cap Spectral

Black Cap Spectral

If you are interested in viewing the other spectral display images, you can see them in this StillWalks Flickr Set.

A set of photos from this park event can also be seen on the StillWalks Flickr page.

Bluebells at Coedbach

Bluebells at Coedbach

Oak Woods in Coedbach Park

Oak Woods in Coedbach Park

Listening to the Dawn Chorus
Listening to the Dawn Chorus

Rainy Days in Wales and England

Sorry to those of you who noticed the lack of a blog entry last week. Here are a couple of the many reasons for the omission.

Pant-y-Sais Fen – Last Friday I discovered this place by Jersey Marine near Swansea. This was part of a bird song identification walk with Bob Tallnack and others from the Gower Ornithological Society. It was most enjoyable in spite of the rain and the fen by Neath Canal is a beautiful place where I hope to do produce a StillWalk on some dry day in the future. More photos can be seen on Facebook.

You’ll need to click on the blog title in order to listen to the Chaffinch in this place as it can only be viewed on the actual blog.

Neath Canal

Neath Canal near Pant-y-Sais Fen, Jersey marine.

York’s River Ouse oozes out – It was still raining when I attempted a production day in York last Sunday – the photos here show the evidence. Fortunately, Monday morning brought the sun with it and although the waters had not receded much, I was still able to get the images and sound I need to produce a new StillWalk.

River Ouse, York

River Ouse, York

River Ouse, York

River Ouse, York

Millenium Bridge, River Ouse, York

Millenium Bridge, River Ouse, York

From the Millennium Bridge, Millenium Bridge, River Ouse, York

From the Millennium Bridge, Millenium Bridge, River Ouse, York

River Ouse, York

River Ouse, York

Monday Sun, River Ouse, York

Monday Sun, River Ouse, York

If I were to associate a StillWalks with this blog entry, I think it would be Quarry Walk – Autumn Rain even though it is the wrong season.

Therapy at its Best in Scotland

Featured StillWalks – Coastal Walk Spring

For me, this is therapy at its best! Recently we had some unexpectedly good weather for the time of year and it reminded me of slightly later in the Spring last year when this StillWalk was produced.

Downloads – Coastal Walk Spring is from the South West coast of Scotland. The sample version on the StillWalks website is only 1.5 minutes of the full 6.5 but gives a good taste of a walk well worth downloading. There are some fascinating temporary sculptures on the stony beach. They can also be found in Coastal Walk Evening  where they look like sentinels watching the tide.

FREE StillWalks – If you have not already signed up for FREE to StillWalks, you will be able to download a walk of your choice FREE when you do.

Here are some of the images from the full length walk – enjoy 🙂

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

The Horses have It

StillWalks-Equestrian is a new website and service born from the interest taken in my photography for the production of StillWalks.

Bont Show

Ready and Waiting

Relaxing virtual walks for horses? – No 🙂 Maybe there will be some StillWalks made for horse riders in the future but they might require me to take along step ladders on production day in order to get the same sort of view point as the riders. In fact, many existing StillWalks routes have had evidence of horses along the way.

In Action

In Action

The sound of the show – One of the aspects of StillWalks I enjoy the most is sound recording. As yet, I have only done this at one show and I have not published the StillWalk produced. I look forward to the next opportunity as the sounds at a horse event are so distinctive. Here is a clip from the unpublished Bont Show Walk – remember, you’ll need to go to the blog to see (and hear) this clip.

Examples of photography for StillWalks-Equestrian can be seen on the website at www.equestrian.stillwalks.com with all images being available for sale at www.photoboxgallery.com/stillwalks-equestrian

Taking Off

Taking Off