Twyn Tyle

My Walk this Week 256 – Going Up the Uplands

My walk this week is up the uplands, or to give them their local name, The Mawr. I love The Mawr! It is an expansive area of moorland occupied by skylarks, pheasants and judging from this walk, badgers and / or foxes. I am sure there are many, many more creatures living there but one creature that is perhaps there in fewer numbers is human beings.¬†That makes me sound anti-social I guess, but I’m not – perhaps I’m just greedy for space!

Twyn Tyle escarpment

For those locals that may be interested and are under the impression that the escarpment shown in the video above is part of Pontarddulais (or Bont) Mountain, I would like to correct the names being used for this element of our landscape. Thanks to a mistake by GoogleMaps, the names of this small mountain and the one next to it are incorrect. The mountain featured in the video is Twyn Tyle and the one becoming known as Bont Mountain is in fact named Cefn Drum. It seems that only the elders of our community know this but it is something GoogleMaps needs to fix – the names are correct on the Ordnance Survey maps. There now, that’s my short rant over.

I am sure you can see from the photos below what it is I love about this landscape. I am sorry there is no soundscape to accompany the images, but trust me, the sound was there – wind, skylarks, more wind, more skylarks . . . and so on ūüėČ

100,000 sculptures

My Walk this Week 255 – Calm Day at the Beach

My walk this week is from Swansea Bay – it wasn’t the brightest or warmest of days but it was definitely a calm day at the beach.¬†You can see from the sea that it was flat calm and the incoming tide featured not so much waves as ripples – it was very peaceful.

Fortunately Swansea Bay is quite expansive and this meant that all the people taking advantage of being allowed out (lockdowns and all that) still had plenty of space between them. I’m not sure how much the birds appreciated the calm weather – certainly the gulls seemed a bit irritable, bickering between each other as they do. It always appears to me that when the wind is up, if anything enjoys the blusters and gusts by the sea, it is the gulls more than anything else.

The colours in the images below show a darker day than it felt, but they are calm. The textures and perspective seen on the beach from thousands of worm casts really excited me but I did not get a satisfactory close up.

reserving nature

My Walk this Week 253 – Revisiting the Nature Reserve

My walk this week returns to the nature reserve I began exploring a couple of weeks ago with my phone camera. When I returned with my DSLR camera I enjoyed finding practical angles and appropriate subject matter to try and represent the tangled and wild environment.

Some of this old quarry has been used as a bit of a dumping ground in the past, but even the these items are being swallowed up by nature and I suspect that the only object that will resist both time and natural forces is that dreaded and indestructible material plastic.

Nature Reserve – Listen out for the Red Kite at 0:20, 1:04 and 1:23 as it wheels around, harried by a crow.
The valley below

My Walk this Week 252 – A Walk Up the Valley

On my walk this week I didn’t attempt to document my walk up the valley – I went for the walk and nothing else. But then, as so often happens, I got distracted by all the wonderful aspects of there environment around me – in particular the river.

So I took some video showing various elements of the water flow and the changing associated sounds and then continued on my way.

The mossy dead tree below points the way of the river flow (just in case you weren’t sure), but it wasn’t until I climbed up the eastern slope of Cefn Drum that I took one or two more snaps on my phone. These include the curious object I found lying at the track side – does anyone have any idea what it may once have been.

11 arched bridge

My Walk this Week 251 – Estuary Circuit

My walk this week is a circular one with the circuit including the Loughor Estuary and salt marsh on my doorstep and also an old quarry which for many years has been a neglected nature reserve.

The space of the estuary was as enjoyable as ever and although it cannot be heard in the video below, I can say that I heard curlews calling as well as the range of other birds enjoying the watery habitat of the river and marsh.

As my walk extended my route took me past an old quarry that I have only tried exploring once before. On that occasion, later in the year, the tangle of brambles made it impossible to get more than a few metres into the neglected reserve. However, those same brambles are not so thick just now and although it was still a bit of a fight to make any progress, I was able to get a better idea of what the place is like.

slow exposure

My Walk this Week 245 – Dulais River

My walk this week focuses on an unfamiliar view of my local river, the Dulais. I explored up a path beaten through brambles and whin to a rocky promontory above the river as it flows through the valley woodland, swollen by recent rains. Flooding is largely prevented by defences installed higher up the valley some years ago.

I had intended walking much further but was distracted by the small path which I have passed so often and yet not ventured along until now. It was something of a scramble to get to the rocky platform above, but worth it to get this new perspective on a familiar feature.

So my soundscape this week is almost entirely fast river flow and is contained in the video above. 

Quarry reflections

My Walk this Week 244 – Old Quarry

My walk this week took me to an old quarry which looks quite different now to what it did when I first saw it about 36 years ago. What was once mostly water has filled out with a thick array of different trees and shrubs.

The way up there was muddy and the river was flowing fast with all the recent rain. The quarry water, however, was still and quiet and I enjoyed the peaceful reflections of the plants that now almost completely hide the rock face of the quarry walls.

I was reminded by the blackened stones of a camp fire of my youth and the enjoyable times I had with friends in just such wild places as this in Northern Ireland. However, we never left the mess of cans and plastic bottles that are to be found in this place. I have managed to avoid them in my photographs but I am sorry to say that the thoughtlessness of those enjoying themselves round the camp fire here today, was very clearly in evidence.

Somehow, we need to change the misconception by some that there is no connection between us and our environment (natural or man-made). Our interconnections with it are everywhere all the time – we affect it and it affects us. There now, I have said my piece as concisely as I can. I do not want to be political on this blog in any way but this is partly what StillWalks¬ģ is about – perception, appreciation and understanding of the world around us.

trees and sky

My Walk this Week 241 – Sunset at the Start

My walk this week was my first walk of 2021, at the start of the New Year. My daughter and I walked up Graig Fawr, a local hill, and watched the sun set over the landscape – it was beautiful and peaceful.

It is a walk I have done many times before but not for a couple of years – it was good to see the meandering Loughor Estuary reflecting the colours of the sky once more.

Being the first day of the year and in the current pandemic lockdown, the landscape was quiet, no background traffic and just the hint of a breeze up on top. It was, however, relatively busy! We must have passed 10 or 12 people in all as they descended the mountain Рall couples with the same idea of taking in the view and hoping for a good start to what is likely to be another difficult year. 

So to everyone out there, remember to appreciate what we have, take care, stay safe and keep calm.