frilly fungi

My Walk this Week 237 – Detail and Nuance

My walk this week returns to some detail and nuance from this time two years ago – which tells you I have run short of time this week!

The image above seems an appropriate one for the time of year but it is not any association with Christmas decorations that interests me, but rather the natural outline the holly leaves have. Is it a lightening of the pigment in the leaf or simply the effect of light on its edges. Does nature have a sense of design?

It’s all in the detail they say (whoever they are) – I prefer to think of the detail as nuance. But nuance is only apparent when you look at, or listen to, the details. The changing frequencies of the quarry ambience and the flow of the river in the soundscape below or the patterns and textures of the various foliage and frilly fungi in the images.

These are a selection of the photos I took in this place two years ago and it looks and sounds as though that year was as wet as this one. Now I want to go back there and look again, not to compare but simply to enjoy the privacy of the space and the secrets it holds.

Old Quarry Soundscape

Play the soundscape and click through the carousel of images as you listen.

trees in sunlight

My Walk this Week 234 – The Park Through My Viewfinder

My walk this week looks through my viewfinder at our local park and its pond – Coedbach Park. Coed = wood and Bach = little, so Little Wood Park.

The video above of the pond and the images below were all taken on my DSLR, my “proper” camera, rather than my iPhone which I have used so often lately for my posts. I may have expressed some frustration with the iPhone images but I wouldn’t complain about the quality of the video it takes. The audio was recorded separately on my Zoom H5N recorder.

It was a walk taken at an opportune moment during a busy week when the sun was a rare sight. One advantage of working from home (for many more of us now) is that you can often be flexible with the hours you put in. I would argue that it is important both for yourself and your employer (if you have one) that the health benefits of taking a break for a short walk round your local park, or even just around your garden (again, if you have one), are such that it is invaluable to all – yourself, the people you work for, the people around you. everyone in fact.

I wonder if there is any chance in the future, in the “new normal” as it is being called, that a recognition of the benefits to be gained from activities such as this will become a strategic part of business models and company operations. We can always hope!

early evening sunlight

My Walk this Week 231 – Going With the Flow

My walk this week is necessarily another local one and is going with the flow in more ways than one.

The literal flow is in the Afon Camffrwd, a small local river swollen somewhat by the recent rains. A more existential flow is about me taking the walk in the first place.

Near the end of another day of regular showers the need to get out and calm my mind, exercise my body and enjoy my surroundings was obvious to me. We have to accept and deal with the current pandemic situation as best we can. While I am able to continue my work in tapestry weaving and sound as a result of a stabilisation grant from the Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Good Causes fund, I am still affected, along with everyone else, by the Covid-19 lockdown and the restrictions that go with it. It is a strange and unsettling experience for us all.

Again the soundscape for this walk is in the form of a short video, but there are some more details from my walk in the images below.

 

 

Reflected weather

My Walk this Week 230 – Disregarding the Weather

My walk this week is through my local Coedbach Park and I was disregarding the weather as I set out. Autumn has typically mixed weather but regardless of this, my head as well as my body needs to get out for a walk as regularly as possible.

So when the sun came out around lunchtime I thought Aha! This is a good opportunity for a walk. Of course by the time I had changed my shoes and got a coat on, the sky was darkening again, but I didn’t let that put me off and carried on out the door.

I reached the park before the first drops fell and fortunately I had brought an umbrella but even so I felt it advisable to stand under a tree and wait.

In the short video above, which also acts as my soundscape for this week, I start out in the oak woods where the magnificent trees, undergrowth and footpaths do the best job of calming any turmoil I may be feeling inside. The stress and mental congestion that is there for any number of reasons, but not least our current Covid-19 lockdown and all that goes with that, is handled admirably by nature and the elements, even the rain.

And after the rain comes the sunlight and as I wandered on down towards the salt marshes, the River Loughor was at just the right level to provide me with a beautiful reflection of the sky as the sun pushed through aa little gap in the clouds.

waves and wind

My Walk this Week 227 – Visual Wind and Audio Calm

My walk this week contains contradictions, wind in the visual but calm in the audio. Two walks really, both from Scotland – one where photos were taken and the other where sound recordings was done.

light and dark

The image above demonstrates a change in temperature while we were in Scotland, and of course that was preceded by wind. The strange rays of light sneaking through the cloud formation looks to me as though it might be an error in photo development, but this is a digital shot and anyway, I saw it with my own eyes, and it was weird. There’s nothing like nature to hold you in fascination and awe.

The effects of wind can be seen in the images below but the sound I recorded was from a cal walk along the shore, listening to the lapping of waves on the sand and amongst the rocks. So if the images leave you feeling flustered, hopefully the audio will keep you calm.

Perhaps it may be best on this occasion to look and listen separately – not something I usually prompt.

Calm Sea Soundscape

You might find using headphones worthwhile for this soundscape.

The curlew is perhaps the one natural element that is keeping its calm in the face of the wild wind and waves.

Scottish Sunsets-8

My Walk this Week 226 – Spectacular Sunsets

On my walk this week I want to share some of my favourite photos of spectacular sunsets from the two weeks I spent in Scotland. The videos I posted while there could not follow the ever changing light for more than a few moments and the atmosphere created by the setting sun on successive evenings was literally awesome.

Scottish Sunsets-3

From the pastel tints and shades looking in one direction to the drama of a fiery sky in another, the reflections on clouds above and water below never ceases to amaze me.

However, I couldn’t photograph one of the most impressive evening skies I have ever seen. I was driving home at the time and as we crossed the border into Wales the sunset was unbelievable, unrealistic even! Yet it was real and will be one that lives on in my memory – it was a good way to arrive back from a much needed and, in spite of Covid-19, much enjoyed holiday. And we were back just in time for another lockdown!

Evening Soundscape – Curlews Calling

A couple of the curlews calling in the soundscape above are from one of the videos I posted previously – the others were separately recorded and are a natural (and phenomenal, to my mind) part of the evening landscapes/seascapes in the photos.

Click the play button for the soundscape and then click the first image below to see the full images larger.

 

thistle and path

My Walk this Week 216 – Returning To What Was

My walk this week takes a look and a listen to what was at one time a railway track. Listening to the soundscape for the walk also means returning to the sounds we were used to pre-pandemic.

The old railway track could still be seen in places when we first moved here many years ago. Things have changed significantly over that time and this part of that old rail route has become a wonderful slice of wild woodland. Unfortunately I suspect its days are numbered as the ever encroaching local housing and road developments continue apace and I was sorry to find my way blocked by a building site.

The soundscape below could have been edited down further. Although there are few birds singing at this time of day, I still enjoyed the sound of the wind in the trees and even the nuances of the distant motorway traffic. Returning to what was, pre-pandemic, means inevitably more traffic on the roads, jet aeroplanes in the sky (listen carefully) and of course the sirens of police cars. This last one I decided not to include and is the point at which I stopped recording.

Old Railway Woodland Soundscape

 

My Walk this Week 215 – Cycle Path 2

My walk this week repeats the route along the cycle path I posted about a few weeks ago, but to my surprise there were more differences on the walk than I expected.

I thought it would be a challenge to present a different post about the same place so soon, but it seems my lack of a sense of time extends beyond the delay in writing this post (I have been a day behind in my head all week) to a perception that less time has passed since I last walked this path.

The wild flowers in bloom now, compared to those a few weeks ago, demonstrate the fast pace of natural changes at this time of year. While I enjoyed the patterns and textures of my last walk there a month ago, it is wonderful to see the rosebay willow herb and other wild flowers come back into colour.

Cycle Path Soundscape

The photos and sound were again recorded on my iPhone and due its sensitivity to wind, the soundscape above is shorter than my usual. Hopefully you will still enjoy it while looking through the images.

The pool in the river is empty of children this time but shows that idyllic spot on a Summer day where, on my last walk there, you could hear the sheiks of laughter from local youngsters making the most of a hot day and ignoring the Covid-19 lock down advice on social distancing.