mini shells

My Walk this Week 131 – Swansea Bay Shells

The shells have it in my walk this week on the beach in Swansea Bay – big ones, little ones and multiply connected ones. A beautiful day and some much needed space – there would have been peace as well if it hadn’t been for a light aircraft performing aerobatics overhead. But that was quite an interesting sound, and anyway, as I walked down the beach the sound of the waves masked that in the sky. I’ll post the soundscape on Friday as usual.

multiple shells

One of the best things about Swansea Bay is the expanse of beach when the tide is out and that space was just what I wanted on this morning. There were plenty of other people about enjoying the sunshine and sand (and indeed the blue sky above), but none of that hemmed in any individual and everyone was able to wander the shore in relative solitude and enjoy it in their own way.Continue reading

beads on feather

My Walk this Week 130 – Damp Autumn Walk

My walk this week is on a damp Autumn morning. You can’t see it in these photos but the valley was full of mist and the clouds low overhead. The seasons are changing and while bright sunny days can be the most enjoyable, there is also a fantastic range of beauty to be experienced on damp days like this.

Autumn Beeches

The geese and ducks were clearly enjoying the water both in the air and under them and the dampness did not take away the crunchiness of fresh fallen Autumn leaves underfoot. The light, however, was dim and it is that more than anything else that makes a sunny day enjoyable.Continue reading

overgrown gate

My Walk this Week 127 – Forest Passage and Soundscape

My passage through the forest on my walk this week took me from one half concealed entrance to another, past open field and marshland, along ageing track and abandoned rusty objects.

out of the woods

My entrance to the woods was through a rapidly disintegrating wooden passage (see the first post for this week) and my exit was through a small iron gate so rusty and covered in ivy that it was only possible to sidle round it rather than through.

My first photo of this gate was underexposed but I decided to keep itContinue reading

beech nut opening

My Walk this Week 127 – A Seed in Time

The seed in question on my walk this week is a beech nut – perhaps I should say hundreds of beech nuts as the forest floor was covered in them.

spiky Autumn detail

Whoops! I have been rightly corrected about them being beech nuts – in fact they are sweet chestnuts . . . but there were lots of beechnuts in the woods as well so maybe I can be forgiven ūüėČ

There are seemingly many more squirrels this year as well, so how many beech nuts go on, or grow on, to become new trees may be in part a result of the the number consumed by the local wildlife.

hidden concrete

My Walk this Week 125 – Concrete and Trees

Looking for urban woodland on my walk this week, perhaps inevitably, I found concrete and trees. While trying to keep to the narrow wooded area behind York University, I intentionally crossed a road via an underpass in order to find the castle-like structure I had spotted on Googlemaps.

light and shade

Similar in design to Clifford’s Tower in the centre of York, the structure was much larger than that, and made of concrete. From the ground it was well camouflaged by the foliage patterns of¬†light and shade cast by¬†tall trees and the sun on the imposing walls and rusty windows.

It wasn’t a brutalist modern day castle, butContinue reading

dinner time

Fauna Findings 3 in Scotland – Feeding Frenzy

A feeding frenzy of young swallows was one of the most impressive dramas of our stay on the South West coast of Scotland last month. The young birds were fledging and the aerobatics the parents performed to catch insects in flight for their offspring was utterly amazing. Time and time again they would wheel and dive and change direction so abruptly you would think they would leave their brains behind, let alone their stomachs.

house martins

These aerobatics went on for a day or two and then the young ones took to the sky and there was even more drama as their parents fed them on the wing andContinue reading

adder

Fauna Findings 2 in Scotland – Wildlife

We spotted a wide range of wildlife during the hot weather in Scotland last month with multiple spotting of deer in the fields and on the beach, a pair of pheasants calling to each other regularly, an adder crossing a hot footpath, many different birds (even more than usual), and a couple of field mice under the hedge came out each evening to share the food put out for the birds.

deer in the distance

As well as the images I have selected below, we also witnessed dramatic but unsuccessful chases by weasels of small rabbits – one of them ended right at my feet! On hearingContinue reading

crow in flight

Fauna Findings 1 in Scotland – Birds on the Shore

Like this solitary crow, I enjoy my solitary walks, but this is far from the only species of fauna I found when in Scotland last month. I approached it quietly to try and get a closer shot but was spotted, naturally, and it it took to the air, flying across the bay to meet its partner.

I've been spotted

There is a quiet bay, an old disused harbour, along the shore from us where the gulls and oystercatchers – and on this occasion, swans – gather and sit quietly on the water or by its edge andContinue reading