Pre-dawn silhouette

My Walk this Week – The Golden Light of Dawn

The day felt cold but looked good for my walk this week with the mist and the golden light of dawn. The natural colouring in the image below makes it look like an old photo, I think, with its sepia tones, but in fact nothing has been done to it other than a fairly restrained crop. I posted it on Instagram and Facebook and it got a few likes, but here it is again.

Misty Sunrise

I started out on my walk from my garden, looking through the hedge to a “red sky in the morning”, as the old adage goes. I needed no warning about the weather though, as I was going for a walk in the woods anyway.

Regular followers of the StillWalks blog should be becoming familiar with the woodland that is the feature of this walk. Hopefully I am able to shed a different light on it each time I visit. Of course it is the light of the sun and the time of year or day that changes the look and feel of any location and on this occasion the woodland dawn was . . . hmm, can you have a muted spectacle? It was spectacular and though muted by the mist, this only made it even more magical.Continue reading

Cascade Construction

Nearing The Waterside on my walk this week I have arrived at the cascade construction down which the water from a bygone reservoir tumbles and flows. Emerging from a tunnel which would once have been below a dam wall the river flows through the woodland valley on its route down to join the River Lliw.

The Afon Lliw starts in the same area – the uplands north of Swansea known as The Mawr – and is a part of our locality that I love. I produced video of a project a couple of years ago where local school children followed and researched the Lliw from source to sea – you can see the various video chapters here.

water cascade

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Walking and Talking

Having left the fields and re-entered the woodland on this Taste of Gower walk at Weobley Castle on north Gower, we encountered yet more gates. There were many more gates and stiles on this walk than I have shown and this can sometimes cause delays if the group of walkers is large, but on this occasion it did not seem to be a problem.

Of course it may have been an issue of which I was unaware, hanging back from the main group as I was and taking photos of the conversations ahead of me as well as the colours, textures and patterns of different gates and mossy walls.

Woebley Walk-24

The soundscape below features a number of the gates on this walk. They do not appear in the clip in real time, instead I have composed this piece to emphasise the different sounds of the gates on the walk – its as though they have their own language.

Weobley Gates

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see more of the post, thank you.

Arrivals from the Blackness

Before climbing to a higher position on my walk this week in the Lledr Valley in North wales, I called into Pont-y-Pant station. This was prompted by the shot below and a sense of wonder at the effort and engineering that is required to create a tunnel through such solid material.

railway tunnel

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Thorn and Thaw

Today I am again looking at the textures, patterns and colours I found on my walk this week in Carmarthenshire. They are different to those I enjoyed in the woodland yesterday but the remnants of Autumn seen in the spiky thorns of a bramble and the soggy brown mass of drooping vegetation at the trackside are just as attractive as the woodland.

When I take a closer look at the intricacies within in the forms of these natural objects, I always get excited about the complexity of the world around me and how every aspect of it, including ourselves, is all connected in such a variety of ways.

You can see from the “river” running down the track how fast the snow is melting. I can imagine that the moss that inevitable grows thick in places like this, still enjoys a degree of dampness even in the height of Summer.

Thorns

Mossy Fringe

Sitting by the side of the steep, slippery, wet footpath down which I walked through this mossy Carmarthenshire woodland, I found this brick built well (I assume that is what it is – the water was beautifully clear inside it). There are plenty of woodlands like this in Wales that are full of moss, but I particularly liked the fringe, sideburns and decorative foliage adorning this wayside feature.

Complementary images to my walks this week can be found directly on Instagram or via the sidebar images on the StillWalks blog. Images displayed here and on Instagram are a mixture of iPhone and Canon DSLR photography.

mossy well

well entrance

Mossy Well

A Flash of Fungi

I posted an iPhone photo of these little lamp-like mushrooms on Instagram recently. This is a shot taken on my Canon 550D (using flash). I can take good photos on my iPhone 5c but on this occasion it was definitely easier to get a better shot with the Canon.

Mushroom

Standing in the Sun

The moss on this woodland branch seems to be enjoying a glimpse of sun as much as I enjoyed seeing it. I know that this is a pretty common view of moss but that does not make any less pleasing to the eye 🙂

Moss

Mossy Monster

Alien monsters seem to be a feature of forests where old fallen trees grow a thick covering of moss over their ever shortening broken branches. This is certainly not the first time I have found a many tentacled creature like this in the woods.

mossy woodland monster

Light is Everything

Sunlight or cloud, rain or mist – the weather conditions influence, no, create the available light for photography.

A few weeks ago I was at Lliw Valley Reservoirs in the rain and took some photos on my iPhone 4s of what I described as “fence post gardens”. I posted them on the Moss Appreciation Society Facebook page with the comment that I would have to go back on a dry day to photograph them properly. The response from one group member was that moss likes, and is perhaps, at its best in the rain.

The sun was shining when I was up there last week and following my interview with BBC Radio Wales I proceeded to take some photos of the same “fence post gardens” with my Canon 550D. It was difficult to say the least! Sunlight can be very dramatic – usually in the early morning or evening, but it can also be a major problem depending on the subject matter.

I have picked out four photos that I think are not too bad from those I took on the day but it seems I am going to have to wait for a more overcast day or go there at sunrise to get some decent shots of this subject.

Getting to know the subject is also important whatever medium you are working with, and I think that it was not just the light conditions that gave me a problem. It was also time and the need to figure out the best angles. Next time I will go better informed.

Update (22/03/2013) According to a friend of my sister –

The second photo has some lichens in as well as moss- the silvery flattish ones at the front which may be a Paramelia – and probably the red and silvey grey one – also a brown cupped one in the middle- these last 2 will be Cladonia species.

Moss Garden

Moss Garden

moss

moss

Peristomes

Ghostly Tree

Ghostly Tree