My Walk this Week – Winter Frost and Sunshine

My walk this week is one with winter frost and sunshine in abundance – it was very enjoyable. I did not have the inclination to climb on this particular morning and so took to the local park and from there headed down to the river. The tide was not high and there was little or no wind so the river Loughor and its marshy estuary were still and bright.

River Loughor and swan

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A Lattice of Branches

As I wandered along the twisting footpath behind York University on my walk this week the sun slipped lower and provided a wonderful yellow as the backdrop to a lattice of branches in the trees lining the path. There were many other busily patterned views on my walk around the campus lake with the hanging branches of weeping willows creating natural veils against the water or the network of fine limbs and twigs od silver birch against the fading sky.

sunset and tree silhouettes

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Modern Materials and Context in the Environment

At about the half way point on the return along the linear route of my walk this week there is a kissing gate which stands alone at the junction of a small footpath leading off through the fields. The photo below suggests a peck on the cheek rather than a kiss but though I went to get a photo of the reflections in the path-side pool, I didn’t actually go through the gate. It was, as I said, standing alone and there was no need to go through it when I could go round – I wondered why it was there at all but was conscious of not using it. Had it been made of wood I am certain I would have used it but while the idea of a gate of this design has practical purposes, the modern materials rather spoil the effect.

kissing gate

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Towards the End of the Day

My walk this week was longer than I had originally intended and I think that is partly the result of the straight path I was on. Even where the path was not straight, the bend was long and gentle and my memory of it from a number of years ago was not clear enough for me not to want to see round the bend. The result was that the sun was pretty low in the sky on my return.

sunset through the trees

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In the land of the Living

During my woodland walk this week it was easy to forget that anyone else existed while in amongst the trees – except for the background sound of human activity. The traffic of a suburban area on the edge of farmland was not really significant – more-so was the rising and falling volume of the tractor at work in the fields, recorded on my iPhone 6s. This, however, could not detract from the enjoyment of the woodland environment on a peaceful end-of-summer day just prior to our holiday in Scotland.

roadside woodland

Stainton Woods – Traffic and Tractor

Avian Profiles in Roath Park

Nearing the end of my walk this week and one of the eastern exits to Roath Park in Cardiff, I am struck by the classic pose set by this cormorant. There are many, many birds of many different species in Roath Park but determining the variety of any specific bird is somewhat of a challenge to me. So I think this is a cormorant and the other avian profile in the images below I think is a Yellow Legged Gull in its first year . . . but don’t quote me on it. The swans I know are swans but what variety of swan I could not say.

Not being able to identify many of the creatures, avian or otherwise, or much of the plant life I see around me in any given environment, does not reduce or hamper my enjoyment and appreciation of that environment, either natural or urban. The naming and labelling of things has its advantages when it comes to communication and understanding but for the purposes of StillWalks and my own personal enjoyment of my surroundings and the benefits I get from it, it is not necessary to name everything. Indeed, considering that StillWalks videos have no voiceovers (or music), it is not necessary to name anything! It is only in my blog posts that you will “hear my voice” so to speak.

cormorant

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Stepping Out and Susurrus at Three Cliffs Bay

As we were stepping out across the stepping stones at Three Cliffs Bay on this Taste of Gower circular walk fro the Gower Heritage Centre, I noted the different ambient sound.

It may be expected that the sound of the sea will be different to that of a woodland but the susurration of the wind in trees is not so very different to that of a gentle sea as it washes distantly over a sandy beach. It is different though – the open space seems to me to be one of the greatest influencing factors and with eyes closed or not knowing where you are, these different ambient sounds would give you a pretty good clue as to your surroundings.

The next Taste of Gower walk will be tomorrow 26/08/17 – details here.

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

If you ignore the sound of footsteps in the sound clips below, perhaps you will agree that the word susurrus could be used to describe the background ambience of both soundscapes. According to the dictionary I could also have used the word to describe what I called the murmur of voices as the walking group disappeared off into the distance in previous posts on my walk this week, but personally I prefer the onomatopoeia of “murmur” for voices and “susurrus” for the wind or sea. What do you think?

Sound of the Sea

Walking in the Woods

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