forest gone

My Walk this Week 222 – Forest Gone!

My walk this week was up to a forest that is now gone, a forest or woodland which I used to enjoy enormously – but it is not permanent.

new forest planted

I have posted many times about what was a coniferous woodland and last year, when the trees were harvested, I was as devastated as the landscape.¬†However, my walk this week showed me the footpaths had been cleared, new saplings were planted and the remnants of the old wood were getting hidden by fresh new greenery coming through. I was delighted ūüôā

The sounds of the old coniferous trees and the ambience of that type of woodland was something I also enjoyed very much. But again I was delighted to hear the very different sounds of a multitude of small birds taking advantage of what is currently a more open landscape.

Forest Gone Soundscape

I look forward to returning many more times to this place, watching and listening as a new deciduous woodland develops.

hilltop heather

My Walk this Week 219 – Working Up Above

My walk this week meant that I was working up above the place I have been working in for the past nine months. Sitting outside at break times in good weather, I would look up at the hills overlooking the bay and wonder if there was a footpath that would allow me to look down from above.

rocky outcrop

Finally, this week, the opportunity arose and on investigation I discovered there is no footpath and some of the land is private. However, a helpful resident told me his kids play up there and on taking a closer look, I found the route they had worn over time.

It was a steep clamber through the wild woods but on reaching a rocky outcrop near the top, I was rewarded with the views I had been seeking. I felt a bit like an intruder to a hidden lair but and I cannot imagine many other people (if any) making their way up there. With my kit bag on my back and seemingly insistent on dragging me back down the hill head over heels, I was grateful to find a rope tied between a few tree trunks to aid the persistent climber.

Bay Soundscape

The soundscape reveals the ambience of the bay as well as that of the woods. Sitting on the outcrop of rocks the full scene could be heard with deep rumble of traffic beneath the mid pitches of the sea and the higher pitches of seagulls. Turning back to dip down from the edge of the slope the ambience changed – the traffic disappeared, the sea became distant and flies could be heard buzzing among the damp undergrowth.

Back in the woods on my precarious downward journey, jays were calling vociferously. But as always seems the case with jays, I couldn’t tell whether they were arguing about something or laughing their heads off at a good joke (probably me negotiating the steep, muddy slope).

marsh wild flowers

My Walk this Week 210 – Covid Walk on the Salt Marsh

My walk this week on my local salt marsh, during the Covid lock down, was different to usual. In relative terms, the footpath felt as busy as the M4 motorway which seems to have returned almost to its normal level of traffic.

salt marsh crowds

If you look carefully at the image above you can see the “crowds” in the distance. Without wanting to be too sarcastic, I should mention that there were various other families, couples and individuals using the riverside footpath. As I am used to meeting no more than one other person at most, it felt crowded to me and I veered away from my intended destination of the “church(yard) on the marshes”.

Sound levels may be returning to pre-Covid-19 levels in this area but that includes the birds as well as everything else. Just as the ambient decibels increase, so does the bird song – and there is still the beautiful sound of the wind blowing through the tall marsh grass.

Marshes Covid Walk Soundscape

The soundscape media player does not show on the WordPress Reader, please visit the website to listen to the soundscape and view the images at the same time.

View from Goppa hill

My Walk this Week 202 – Goppa Hill, Another view

My walk this week¬†presents another view of my recent Goppa hill walk, but in a slightly different way to usual. It was at the end of March this year and the images are screen shots from the VR 360 video I am developing as a StillWalks¬ģ experiment. It takes a while to work on something like this but at this stage I can offer a soundscape and a selection of scenes from the video – selected screen shots. I’ll share the VR video when I have completed it.

So click the play button to listen while viewing the images below.

Goppa Walk Soundscape

The soundscape is quite a windy one in parts, but this changes with the location on the walk, partly dependent on whether it is open ground on top of the hill or when I was surrounded by rhododendrons as I walked down a natural tunnel to the valley floor. Don’t confuse, or perhaps I should say, try and identify, the different sounds of the wind and the river as the recording progresses. There are also the beautiful sounds of various birds.

Goppa Hill Walk-1

Fallen Tree

Open path

en route

hill path

View from Goppa hill

Rhododendron tunnel

Dulais river

old mine track

Cwm Dulais gate

 

slow shutter speed on water

My Walk this Week 201 – Past, Present and Future

My walk this week took me along a route I have often walked in the past, and in this post I am linking back to the time of Storm Doris in April 2017. My walks here, past present and future, start from the image below. This week I have included a selection of images from the walk taken in 2017 and then next week I will to post a version of  my walk in the present time with links to a VR (virtual reality) version for future use.

Goppa footpath

On my walk in the present time I was using a GoPro Fusion 360 to take short VR  video clips along the way.Continue reading

Looking east

My Walk this Week 200 – Overlooking the Landscape from Paxton’s Tower

My walk this week was in a location carefully selected to not have many other people around – Paxton’s Tower in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Please remember that these blog posts are not intended to prompt you to go out during this difficult time with the Coronavirus, but rather to¬†bring the outside in and hopefully help with some of the difficulties of confinement. For more free StillWalks¬ģ resources visit my previous post.

Looking north west

It was a beautiful day and the views from the hill on top of which Paxton’s Tower sits were also beautiful. The photos below look in all geographical directions as well as up at and up in the tower. There are some details too – signs of Spring and the patterns and textures of the full cycle of life.

Can you see the horned creature leaping out of the dead tree? Continue reading

trees and marsh grass

My Walk this Week 194 – The Marsh and Ciara

My walk this week is another to my local salt marsh, this time during the tail end of Storm Ciara and the wind that was probably worse in other parts of the UK. All the same, we weren’t tempted to venture out in the wild weather.

entering the salt marsh

When crossing the River Loughor on the motorway, I could see that the the tide was high and the marshes were getting there regular dose of salt. But by the time I got down there the sea had retreated and I was able to get to the river bank.

I loitered a bit amongst the trees at the edge of the marsh as the wind was strong and pretty cold and so the photographs I took focus mainly on that view point and some of the lichee details and tree textures around me.

Windy Marsh Soundscape

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The soundscape is a bit shorter than usual and perhaps the main feature of it is the sound of motorway traffic being blown strongly from the southwest. However, if you listen carefully, you will also hear the hissing rustles of the marsh grass which is a sound I love, though less because of the sound itself and more because of the marsh environment it conjures in my mind.

So click the play button to listen while viewing the images below Рclick the first one and then again to move forward through the carousel.

Loughor Estuary

My Walk this Week 193 – Estuary Atmosphere

My walk this week took me down to the Loughor Estuary which has its own unique atmosphere whatever the weather conditions.

Loughor Estuary

On this occasion it was dull and windy but no less enjoyable for that. If you like the wind, as I do, then this open, expansive land and waterscape is a good place to find it at a low elevation. The place can be spectacularly still and beautiful during a quiet sunset but I enjoy almost as much the cloud cover and wind here – a place that feels somewhat mystical in all conditions.

Lonely, harsh, wild, still, contemplative – all of these adjectives and more suit the place at different times.

Estuary Soundscape

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The soundscape follows me down a farm track, past early signs of Spring and a rushing stream to the open, wind blown estuary and salt marshes, under the railway bridge and out through the tall marsh grass by the river where I disturbed a pair of ducks but caught them fleeing on camera.

So click the play button to listen while viewing the images below Рclick the first one and then again to move forward through the carousel.