Is This The Last Day of Summer?

A couple of days ago we went to meet some friends for a picnic on Broughton Beach at the end of the Gower Peninsula. The weather was not as good as it had been but good enough for us to brave the odd mini shower.

One of the nicest things about a large beach is that it never seems crowded however many people are there, but in fact there were not many people around on that day, so we almost had the whole place to ourselves.

I love the space in places like this and if there is a bit of wind as well, that just adds to it!

The panorama shot below was taken on my iPhone and worked out pretty well. The video clips were also done on my phone and prove at least two things. First, there were children there obviously enjoying themselves. Second, the lack of sound on the other clip is because the phone mic didn’t like the wind, so I just took it out altogether. I love the patterns in the water though I miss the audio.

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Broughton Bay, Gower

Broughton Bay, Gower

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Signs, scenery and a pony in the woods

This was the view I had from Three Crosses Community Centre whilst waiting for the rest of the dragonfly hunting group I was with last week. It was very pleasant sitting in the sun with a light breeze to cool me.

Looking across the Gower Peninsula, it struck me that there were a lot of signposts. However, they did not spoil the view but rather created an interesting mix of patterns and structures through which I could see the natural beauty of the landscape.

We accept or learn to accept a lot of things in our need for order in society and the power we want to run our lives – like the millions of electricity pylons and increasing number of wind mills, sky scraper skylines and network of roads to name but a few of the interruptions to our views. We want what they bring and they do not necessarily spoil the view – it is more a matter of how you think about them.

Having said that, there should be balance in everything and we cannot afford to lose much more of our natural habitat – after all, the horses need their shade!

Signs and Scenery

Signs and Scenery Pony in the Woods

Pony in the Woods

Dragonfly Environments

Following on from my weekend posts on the Countryside Connections dragonfly and damselfly hunt at Three Crosses community woodland, these photos are about the environment in which we found the creatures.

The pictures say almost everything about the kind of environment you are likely to find dragonflies but every time I see these wonderful creatures, I am reminded of another environment.

During my childhood in Northern Ireland we had regular visits to a cottage in the Annalong Valley of the Mourne Mountains. The riverbed of the Annalong River was pretty dry a lot of the time because the water was diverted to the Silent Valley reservoir, but it was a perfect place for dragonflies and my memories of those days, playing among the rocks and boulders of the river, are marked by the fantastic colours of the numerous dragonflies that also enjoyed that environment.

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Three Cliffs Bay – Step 5, Footpaths

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The footpath up to Pennard Castle (see yesterday) from Three Cliffs Bay was not the easiest of climbs as much of it was sandy. Even where there were steps of sorts, it was still a sandy surface.

The crooked wooden slat path running from the Pennard Castle inland was great. All that was missing was a crooked man and a crooked stile 🙂

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Sandy path Wooden Steps Wooden Steps Wood slat path Crooked Path Crooked Path

Three Cliffs Bay – Step 4, Pennard Castle

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It was a hot and bright day when I went to Three Cliffs Bay and Pennard Castle on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales and this can sometimes pose problems for the photographer. I hope I have managed to deal with the issues of light and shade reasonable effectively in these shots. There was some adjustment needed in Lightroom, particularly in the last shot, but not too much.

A sense of scale – These photos are, more than anything else, an attempt to describe the different scales of the surroundings and features. Don’t miss the figure in the first image, which, more than anything else, proves the actual size of the castle ruins.

The three other shots give a good sense of how difficult the castle would have been to attack at least from the seaward side but for me,  I like the framing of the different elements of the landscape with the castle windows and entrance.

Pennard Castle Pennard Castle Pennard Castle Three Cliffs Bay

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Three Cliffs Bay – Step 2, People and Beach

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Part two of this series of images from Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales.

It was a hot and bright day and there were various activities going in different parts of the bay. I particularly like the middle one of these three photos because it seems to me to show the blinding heat of the day so clearly. Virtually the only way to differentiate the sea from the sky is the change in texture.

It is similar in the third shot but I was more intent on bringing in the foreground and the subsequent pattern layers in the scene.

All photos are available for sale on the StillWalks Photography website.

Three Cliffs Bay Three Cliffs Bay Three Cliffs Bay