Late afternoon

Witch Hazel in a Late Afternoon Landscape

The light was diminishing on my walk this week at the NBGW but the late afternoon still revealed some good views and wonderful details. One of my particular favourites in this respect was the Witch Hazel. The Botanic Garden of Wales has many of these and at this time of year they are blossoming with their beautifully coloured and wacky flowers – the colours make me think of the cocktail, Tequila Sunrise!

Witch Hazel

There was also a crooked oak tree that looked as though it was using one of its own fallen branches as a crooked walking stick to hold itself up. It reminded me of this old rhyme:Continue reading

NBGW Country Seat

Looking and Listening Seats for the Landscape

The attractively designed benches situated along my walk this week at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) are ideal facilities for looking at and listening to the surrounding landscape.

NBGW Landscape 2

At the moment I am focusing on the looking rather than the listening. It wasn’t actually raining on the walk but the ground was very wet from recent weather . . . as were the seats. Everything in fact, looked Continue reading

NBGW lake

My Walk this Week – Landscape Ageing and Restoration

My walk this week is from the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), though it turned out not to be the walk we had expected as the Pont Felin Gat woodland was closed off to the public for clearance / restoration work. The images show one of the existing lakes in the gardens as well as the site of another lake from the past. This is being restored but in the meantime the landscape of tree stumps creates some fascinating patterns, textures and colours.

So we followed the “blue” walk instead and climbed past old farm buildings which also look in need of restoration. Again, the colours, patterns and textures revealedContinue reading

River Dulais bridge

Out of the Light and Into a Rhododendron Tunnel

Having risen towards the sunlight at the start of this walk, I then had to descend again, and in doing so took a route that led me through a natural tunnel rhododendron tunnel.

This is the final part of my walk this week and a slight change of format. I am no longer going to post a review of the walk each week so if you want top see the rest of the walk you will have to visit the two previous posts.

Rhododendron tunnel

The tunnel is dark but feels fabulous and the middle of it is the quietest section of the walk. While the images below cover only the last part of this walk, the soundscape is from the whole walk which starts and ends with the sounds of the Dulais River or Afon Dulais.Continue reading

valley fog

Sunlight, Sheep and Fog

Gaining the top of the hill on my walk this week from fog to sunlight, I was followed by a flock of hopeful sheep looking expectantly at me – I suspect the farmer was due or perhaps the sheep though he was overdue!

Goppa sheep

My route took me past familiar objects both natural and man made. The rhododendrons perhaps have an element of both – they are natural but not native to the UK and can take over a whole hillside as they have in this location.Continue reading

sheep and frost

Open Landscape and Under Cover

Reaching the highest point on my walk this week allowed me to look out across the open landscape to towards the Gower Peninsula. Every time I stand in this spot I take a couple of photos and on this occasion I was also tempted by the rising sunlight and pale frost covered fields to capture the fence heading off in perspective to be silhouetted against the sky.

Open perspective

Heading back under cover of the woodland my aural experience was still and peaceful and I tried to keep it that way by taking careful footsteps on the soft ground – not so easy when the ground is covered in crisp leaves from Autumn, but straightforward enough when on the thick carpet of pine needles and moss. Tomorrow I’ll post my short soundscape for the walk.

Waterside footbridge

Lingering Around the Lake

Lingering around the lake at The Waterside is a very easy thing to do. On my walk this week the weather was good – sunny and almost still with just the lightest of breezes from time to time.

reed island

A walk here is more about wellbeing than exercise and whatever the weather conditions, there is huge advantage to be gained from a quiet contemplation of the place and the space.Continue reading

Dark Mirror

Dark Still Mirror and Expanding Ripples

My walk this week took me under and over a number of structures spanning the Tennant Canal – railway track, vehicle track, road, motorway, footbridge and gantry. Underneath these the sound changed and the dark mirror that was the still water of the canal was broken by expanding ripples as drips dripped from the structures above.

expanding ripples

Walking over the gantry and footbridge gave me a slightly elevated view of the of the woodland reflections in the dark water. That does not mean the water was dark, in fact it was beautifully clear.Continue reading