holey tree

My Walk this Week 126 – Woodland Wonders

The wonders of the woodland, the lakes, the colours and the soundscape . . . and the textures and the bird life and the patterns and the fact that the rain held off for me on my walk this week around Gnoll Estate Country Park in Neath, South Wales – these are some of the things that I enjoyed about this walk.

Early Autumn colour

One thing I did not remember from previous visits (going back a few years) was the oak tree with a huge hole through its trunk. Clearly the park authorities felt it was a wonder worth preserving and have reinforced the natural structure with metal rods.Continue reading

stepping down

My Walk this Week 126 – Step Up To the Lake

I step up from one lake to another in this second stage of my walk this week  – and there is a third lake in Gnoll Park, plus a reservoir! This lake is the largest and features a wonderful cascade which, even when it is not flowing with water, makes an attractive feature.

stepping up

We are at the start of Autumn now and the colours are beginning to change. There are only hints of the season to be seen in my photos but they are there all the same, plus the temperature has dropped.

I restricted my walk to this larger lake becauseContinue reading

lower lake

My Walk this Week 126 – Gnoll Park

My walk this week is to a park I have not visited for a few years. Gnoll Country Park in Neath is a beautiful place with lakes, woodland, cascades, wildlife, wildflowers, history and a great community building.

shadow gate

Entering the park from the lower southern entrance was new for me and I got to see a part of the park I had not been round previously but no less enjoyable for that. I was taking the opportunity to walk here because I was in Neath anyway as I have lately been working on the website for a new gallery in the town – Queen Street Gallery. Continue reading

York University

My Walk this Week 125 – Colour in Construction

I was looking for woodland on my walk this week – and I found it, to a degree, behind the colour in construction of the Science and Technology Block of York University.

York University

It was open woodland straggling along the back of the university which I picked up again on my return across open fields. The colours used in the modern buildings reflected those of older walls surrounding the adjacent York House BIRT facility. I enjoyed the colour in both as well as the textures and patterns in the old, and the cleanliness and hard edges of the new.Continue reading

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

red berries

My Walk this Week 125 – Berried in York Woodland

Returning to my weekly theme of walks, I have recently been in search of woodland inYork. While the city is full of beautiful, mature trees, there is a lack of woodland – something that I am used to having where I live. I know it is a city and I shouldn’t expect to find woodland in its centre, but even around its outskirts the land is flat and farmed.

black berries

Following a footpath through a strip of land behind the university I first found seed heads left over from the Summer and then the berries and fruit of Autumn. Huge conkers on horse chestnut trees, black and red berries poisonous to humans, rose hips and brambles – they were all abundant and added to the colour around me.Continue reading

N. S. Harsha

A Centre of Art – Swansea 2 The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

Last week I took a day to walk around some of the art currently showing in Swansea. The city is teeming with it – all sorts both international and local. For many years now the arts scene in Swansea has been good but in recent years it has been growing even stronger. So I will be posting each day this week with a different aspect of the work we enjoyed on our tour from one gallery to the next.

N. S. Harsha

We started at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery where N. S. Harsha had his largest exhibition in the UK to date. He was winner of the Artes Mundi prize in 2008 and one of the works was an installation made for the Glynn Vivian. The whole exhibition was impressive and the installation was powerful in its use of mirrors – I became one of the people painted on the floor looking up at the mirrored ceiling. It has a strange and disorientating effect.Continue 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

Fleet Bay

Calm Reflection – Gull Contemplation

A calm, hazy, hot day and the stone buoys that mark the entrance to a small disused harbour reflect in the water and a gull appears in contemplation of its quiet surroundings.

stone buoy 1

Like the gull, I too sit in contemplation of the scene and objects around me – stopping from time to time on all my walks to look and listen and absorb the sights and sounds, the textures, patterns and colours of the environment and feel the connections I have to all that is there.

Whether the connection is slow and seemingly timeless, as in the wrinkles and folds seen in the surfaces of rocks, or quicker, like the more immediate ripples of the water blown by the breeze, pushed and pulled by the sun and moon along with Earth itself (see Tides), the influence on me of these interconnections is sometimes obvious and noticeable, sometimes utterly imperceptible, but there nonetheless.

Imperceptible or not, I am aware that they exist and enjoy contemplating, or perhaps imagining, the ties that hold me (rather than bind me) to the intricacies of the planet and all that exists and lives upon it.

Contemplating Quiet

red shattered rock

Coastal Curiosities 1 – Arranged and Sculpted Naturally

This week I am focusing on some of the coastal curiosities I found along my walks in Scotland last month. The wind and sea had been sculpting, as they naturally do, but people were also evident in the arrangements they left behind in the form of what appeared to me like a miniature straggling sea defence. A sea defence that was set higher on the beach than the highest tide level, at least for a few days, thus ensuring they would stay there for a while and allow me to photograph them in different lights.

miniature defences

The low sun in the evening also sculpted the appearance of the beach into a Martian landscape and the my daughter pointed me towards the Martian colours revealed in a rock formation split by erosion. This revealed a measure of timeContinue reading