Waiting

Looking out to sea and waiting – that is what these “standing stones” appear to be doing!

My StillWalk, “Coastal Walk“, in Scotland in the Spring features these shots. The balanced stones looked as though they were just biding their time and waiting for some spectacular event – or perhaps they were just soaking up the sun while they could.

Sculpture on the Beach

Sculpture on the Beach

Patterns in the Sand

Patterns in the Sand

Counting the Birds

The RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch is coming up again at the end of January and the other day I did a dummy run whilst waiting for video to process.

Regular feeding – Having realised that feeding the birds a little regularly is better than a lot all at once, I started on a daily regime of a couple of fat balls and some nuts. I guess they are very pleased to have it there now that we have some proper winter weather.

Jakdaw

Jackdaw

Robin

Robin

Starling

Starling

Blackbird

Blackbird

Blackbird

Blackbird

Sparrows

Sparrows

Quality Walks

Misty Walk is a new stillWalk which was actually produced at the end of last winter. There are several more StillWalks in the pipeline but it has proved difficult this last year to complete the post production on these. This is largely because of the project work I have been doing – see Projects.

I have uploaded two versions of the Misty Walk to the Winter Walks page. Both are high quality but one is in HD (720p) and the other is small scale at 480 x 270 pixels. (see also below).

StillWalks should be viewed, if possible in full screen mode and these videos will show the difference between the two versions. The HD button is in the top right of the first video and the full screen button is on the bottom right of each video.

It was supposed to be a dry, sunny day for this production but it turned out otherwise! This misty walk is on Ryer’s down on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales and was very enjoyable and atmospheric (small scale). Walk location

Urban Birds and Babies

I got these shots the other day during a garden bird count for the RSPB. I’m just sorry I didn’t get a shot of the funniest looking young Blackbird we have frequenting our garden just now with its fluffy feathers stuck out all over the place.

Mother and Baby 1

Mother and Baby 1

Mother and Baby 2

Mother and Baby 2

Mother and Baby 3

Mother and Baby 3

I was also reminding people this week about StillWalks being about the urban as well as the natural environment or countryside. The photos below are from the Abertawe Walk along the River Tawe going into the SA1 area of Swansea.

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

from Abertawe Walk

Therapy at its Best in Scotland

Featured StillWalks – Coastal Walk Spring

For me, this is therapy at its best! Recently we had some unexpectedly good weather for the time of year and it reminded me of slightly later in the Spring last year when this StillWalk was produced.

Downloads – Coastal Walk Spring is from the South West coast of Scotland. The sample version on the StillWalks website is only 1.5 minutes of the full 6.5 but gives a good taste of a walk well worth downloading. There are some fascinating temporary sculptures on the stony beach. They can also be found in Coastal Walk Evening  where they look like sentinels watching the tide.

FREE StillWalks – If you have not already signed up for FREE to StillWalks, you will be able to download a walk of your choice FREE when you do.

Here are some of the images from the full length walk – enjoy 🙂

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Coastal Walk Spring

Favourite Locations

Penllergaer Woods

Penllergaer Woods in Autumn

The locations of the StillWalks I produce are many and varied – from woodland to coast, townscape to park, I enjoy them all. Pre-production recce walks can sometimes be the most interesting as that is the time of initial discovery if the place is new to me. Production days, however, are the time to look and listen really closely.

Some of the places I have enjoyed most are: Penllergaer Woods, samples of which can be seen in – the Autumn Walks, Woodland Walk 1 and Woodland Walk 2 in Winter Walks. Also the old St Teilo’s Churchyard down on the marshes near where I live can be seen in the Old Churchyard Walk from Summer Walks and Carrick Shore in SW Scotland – Coastal Walk Evening in Spring Walks. One more is on the Swansea cycle route – Abertawe Walk from the Autumn Walks.

Pennlergaer Woods in Winter

Pennlergaer Woods in Winter

M4 Traffic – Pennlergaer and the old churchyard, are both close to the M4 motorway, which is busy at all times. In Penllergaer I find the gradual absorption of the sound of traffic, by the trees and their foliage, as you go deeper into the woods, very attractive. Perhaps it is the contrast of the two adjacent environments that creates a better sense of release from one and welcoming of the other.

On the other hand, I love the walk down to and around the old St Teilo’s Churchyard and you cannot get away from the M4 traffic in this place. I find I “filter out” a lot of the sound from the road and just listen to the birds that can easily pierce the sound of the cars and trucks.  The sound recorder does not ignore the traffic of course, but, as I do it subconsciously on location, I feel justified in filtering out some (but not all) of the background road sounds when editing.

StillWalks Works for Me – I tend to use them when I need to take a few minutes out of the working day, relax and focus my mind on something other than work. I also use them at times of stress – this is often when waiting for an approaching event such as a meeting. I use them occasionally at the end of the day too, when I need to wind down before going to sleep.

On the Move – If I am on the move and, therefore, watching a StillWalk on my iPhone, the screen may be small but with headphones plugged in and the video filling the screen, I find I easily “move” into the space of the StillWalk. At all times of viewing on a computer screen, I would always watch the StillWalk in full screen mode and I try to prompt others to do this. Not only do you see more, but full screen view also prevents many other distractions and helps promote your relaxation and enjoyment of the StillWalk.

Still Watching . . . I may have to add one of the latest StillWalks to my favourites list – Moss Wood Walk in the Autumn Walks. This is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South Wales and I have just watched full screen in full HD . . .

Week 6 – Marshwood Birds – Anyone interested in following my weekly recording and photos from this project can find the recordings on SoundCloud and the images on Flickr.

On the Move

On the Move, Swansea to York

Beautiful Morning – Beautiful Sounds

It was a beautiful bright morning this morning and I decided I just had to get out to look and listen to the sights and sounds in the park and on the marshes. Had thoughts of a new, part time project – to record at the same time each week the sounds from the same spots in this location over the period of a year and then look back and see (or hear) how they change with the seasons. Question is, will I be able to persuade myself to do it when the weather is horrible, as it is often enough in Wales!

Remember, if you’re reading this in an email, you’ll need to go to the blog to listen to the sounds – the Song Thrush is really lovely! 🙂

Early Morning in the park

Early Morning in the park

Song Thrush

Song Thrush

Early morning over the marshes

Early morning over the marshes

Churchyard re-visit

I was down the old churchyard on the marshes again the other night (see the Old Churchyard Walk) and took these pics on my phone. Watch out on this blog for the impromptu StillWalk from the same evening also using photos taken on my (old) iPhone.

If you like the mossy pics, why not join the Moss Appreciation Society on Facebook