My walk this week is in the mid-summer mist of the Swansea uplands known as The Mawr. The sun was shining the day before!
The last time I visited Penlle’r Castell at the highest point on The Mawr, the weather was different to what I was expecting on this occasion in mid Summer – you can see it here ! Uplands are unpredictable landscapes at any time of year I guess. The main difference between then and now was the temperature and the horse flies loved the humidity created by the summer heat and misty moisture. They also loved my exposed flesh and by the time I got back to the car, I leapt inside without packing away any of my recording kit.
Penlle’r Castell Soundscape
This soundscape is a subtle one so you may want to use headphones. It was very peaceful and still up there on the hills with just a gentle breeze and the occasional sound of a distant animal. But the quiet ambience of the place has its own unique quality and if it weren’t for the horse flies, I would have stayed there a lot longer.
So click the play button above for a listen and then the first image below to see the full images in sequence (not available like this on the mobile WordPress Reader in which case click the Visit button via the … menu or open in your mobile’s internet browser).
A lot of lovely greens here emerging from the greyish mist. Is the last shot an aerial view? Looks like it could be from a drone…
Thank you Chris. Yes the last shot is a screenshot from GoogleMaps. I think I put the link in the caption but you need to copy and paste rather than click.
Thanks, I’ve looked at the web version now rather than the version in the WP Reader and can see the link now!
I do love (virtually) accompanying you on your walks, Alastair — especially the quiet and contemplative strolls, like this one. You’re right that the soundscape was subtle, but a beautiful accompaniment still to your beautiful photos.
Thank you so much Heide – just the boost I need Even when an environment is quiet, it still has a unique aural sense to it. I have an album of “silences” in different places and they all have their own individual quality. This is no doubt because there is no such thing as silence really. Thanks again
Simon and Garfunkel were really onto something when they wrote about the sound of silence, weren’t they? You’re right that even what we perceive as silence has an underlying quality to it. I learned this with both surprise and dismay a few years ago when I had the extraordinary privilege of spending a few minutes in an anechoic chamber. Anyway … I do love your posts, so I’m honored my comment provided a bit of a boost.
Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it the case that in an anechoic chamber, if you’re in there for enough time, you start to hear your own heartbeat? Our senses are enhanced by necessity I think but we can also focus them deliberately. Always good to talk Heide
Oh, it doesn’t take long at all to hear your own heartbeat — maybe 30 seconds, in my case. What was more disturbing was the sound of my breathing, with its raspy “whoosh.” It was really unsettling! It made me think of the expression that nature abhors a vacuum, because in the absence of external sound it seemed my ears were determined to hear *something.* But you’re right that it also helped me focus on my sense of hearing in a way I hadn’t previously. If you ever find yourself in Paris, let me know — I’ll see if I can help arrange a tour of this facility for you too!
Aah Paris – I hope I can get there again sometime. And if I do I’ll certainly take up your offer
I enjoyed this virtual walk to this exotic, yet familiar place. Viewing the photos with the sound brings one away. You can keep the buzzing horseflies, though.
I would have used a stronger word for the horseflies!
Yes, a few come to mind.
Wonderful visit to The Mawr, Alastair. I wasn’t able to get the headphones working (long story), but I enjoyed the photos so very much. I love that star-shaped moss and the vastness. I smiled at your description of the pesky horseflies and how you “leapt” into the car without packing up your equipment — I know that feeling.
Thanks again Jet That was a much more typical day on The Mawr though I would always try to avoid those xxxx horseflies.