forest gone

My Walk this Week 222 – Forest Gone!

My walk this week was up to a forest that is now gone, a forest or woodland which I used to enjoy enormously – but it is not permanent.

new forest planted

I have posted many times about what was a coniferous woodland and last year, when the trees were harvested, I was as devastated as the landscape. However, my walk this week showed me the footpaths had been cleared, new saplings were planted and the remnants of the old wood were getting hidden by fresh new greenery coming through. I was delighted 🙂

The sounds of the old coniferous trees and the ambience of that type of woodland was something I also enjoyed very much. But again I was delighted to hear the very different sounds of a multitude of small birds taking advantage of what is currently a more open landscape.

Forest Gone Soundscape

I look forward to returning many more times to this place, watching and listening as a new deciduous woodland develops.

hilltop heather

My Walk this Week 219 – Working Up Above

My walk this week meant that I was working up above the place I have been working in for the past nine months. Sitting outside at break times in good weather, I would look up at the hills overlooking the bay and wonder if there was a footpath that would allow me to look down from above.

rocky outcrop

Finally, this week, the opportunity arose and on investigation I discovered there is no footpath and some of the land is private. However, a helpful resident told me his kids play up there and on taking a closer look, I found the route they had worn over time.

It was a steep clamber through the wild woods but on reaching a rocky outcrop near the top, I was rewarded with the views I had been seeking. I felt a bit like an intruder to a hidden lair but and I cannot imagine many other people (if any) making their way up there. With my kit bag on my back and seemingly insistent on dragging me back down the hill head over heels, I was grateful to find a rope tied between a few tree trunks to aid the persistent climber.

Bay Soundscape

The soundscape reveals the ambience of the bay as well as that of the woods. Sitting on the outcrop of rocks the full scene could be heard with deep rumble of traffic beneath the mid pitches of the sea and the higher pitches of seagulls. Turning back to dip down from the edge of the slope the ambience changed – the traffic disappeared, the sea became distant and flies could be heard buzzing among the damp undergrowth.

Back in the woods on my precarious downward journey, jays were calling vociferously. But as always seems the case with jays, I couldn’t tell whether they were arguing about something or laughing their heads off at a good joke (probably me negotiating the steep, muddy slope).

silhouettes

My Walk this Week 217 – An Evening on the Marshes

My walk this week is back on my local salt marshes where the evening was still and the midges were out in their millions.

I went down there for the sunset and then had my back turned, recording sound, when it actually dipped below the horizon.

It was a still evening and there were not many birds singing but as always in this environment, there are gates – specifically four, but there were more people using them than just myself. I have included four in the soundscape but had I included all the instances of use on this short walk there would have been the sound of at least ten!

I understand and accept that by now you may think me obsessed with gates, and you wouldn’t be far wrong. Aside from the individual audio characteristics they have which I enjoy, they are symbolic of so much. They are way markers, milestones, entrances and exits simultaneously, thresholds, limitations, invitations – and they come in so many designs!

There is a bird that appears in the recording at about 01:10 – it was in the woods at the edge of the marsh but I do not know what it is. If anyone can tell me, I would be pleased to know. The Covid-eased traffic is ever present on the motorway but I have focused more on the other sounds in the trees and on the marshes.

Marshes Evening Soundscape

The images below seem not to show on the WordPress Reader any more, though the audio player does, so if using the reader, please visit the website by clicking on the three vertical dots on the right of the blog name to bring up a menu allowing you to visit the post on the website.

new growth, June 2020

My Walk this Week 212 – Back Through the Park Again

My walk this week revisits a walk taken in our local park in June two years ago. There have been some changes to the park in that time, but I was focusing on the natural growth then, just as I do now.

playground

The last two photos in the sequence below were in fact taken in April and then June this year and show the stump of a tree in the middle of the footpath through the woods. The stump of the cut tree clearly refused to die and the photo from June demonstrates its determination to live and thrive again.

The recording I made two years ago, of a song thrush in the woods has not lost any of its beauty for me, so although I do not have a soundscape from June this year, I have enjoyed listening to this again and I hope you will too.

Song Thrush in the Woods

The media player does not show on the WordPress Reader, so please visit the website to listen to the sound clip and view the images at the same time.

marsh wild flowers

My Walk this Week 210 – Covid Walk on the Salt Marsh

My walk this week on my local salt marsh, during the Covid lock down, was different to usual. In relative terms, the footpath felt as busy as the M4 motorway which seems to have returned almost to its normal level of traffic.

salt marsh crowds

If you look carefully at the image above you can see the “crowds” in the distance. Without wanting to be too sarcastic, I should mention that there were various other families, couples and individuals using the riverside footpath. As I am used to meeting no more than one other person at most, it felt crowded to me and I veered away from my intended destination of the “church(yard) on the marshes”.

Sound levels may be returning to pre-Covid-19 levels in this area but that includes the birds as well as everything else. Just as the ambient decibels increase, so does the bird song – and there is still the beautiful sound of the wind blowing through the tall marsh grass.

Marshes Covid Walk Soundscape

The soundscape media player does not show on the WordPress Reader, please visit the website to listen to the soundscape and view the images at the same time.

swamp pond surface

My Walk this Week 208 – Compare and Contrast

My walk this week is green and luscious and through something of a swamp! It is one I have only done once before and that was during an icy winter, so I wanted to compare and contrast the two seasons.

green walk

I don’t think I need to say much about the differences as they can be seen in the galleries below, but one of the most interesting to me is the is the water surface in the swamp/pond. In winter it was covered in thick, dark, opaque ice with a dusting of snow while on this more recent walk it is covered in thousands of catkins and algae.

The soundscapes are different as well, and again, I don’t think I need say much. The strange “groaning” sound in the Spring soundscape may be a distant goods train as there is a railway track nearby, but I cannot be certain.

Gorseinon Walk Soundscape and Images

The soundscape media player does not show on the WordPress Reader, please visit the website to listen to the soundscape and view the images at the same time.

Winter Walk Soundscape and Images

estuary vista

My Walk this Week 207 – Cefn Drum Lower Slopes

My walk this week is a warm Springtime walk to the lower slopes of Cefn Drum (pronounced Kevn Drim). I didn’t have time to go further but it was still a most enjoyable and much needed relaxing and therapeutic hour.

country lane

The weather is cooler now (my walk was taken two weeks ago) but the road verges are still looking as beautiful as ever. I have a suspicion that the County Council has delayed much of the cutting and trimming they do each year – either that or the climate over the past year has, for all its ups and downs, produced a bumper crop of wildflowers . . .

. . . or perhaps nature is just taking full advantage of not so many humans being around as a result of the Covid-19 lock down!

The birds were singing, the insects buzzing and true to their name, the mayflies were flying above the river in unbelievable numbers. You’ll have to trust me on that one because, unfortunately, I didn’t get a photograph.

Cefn Drum Soundscape

The soundscape media player does not show on the WordPress Reader, please visit the website to listen to the soundscape and view the images at the same time.

oakwood 2

My Walk this Week 204 – A Wander in the Park

My walk this week takes a wander through our local park – Coedbach Park. Along with other parks in the county of Swansea were closed for a few days once the Covid-19 lockdown started, but eh council were good enough to open them again quite quickly. It would have been a great shame not to see it Spring development.

park blossom 1

It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and I made the time for a stroll through the park – I thought I might see the ducklings my daughter had reported to me. Alas, I was only able to enjoy the spectacular blooming of the trees near the entrance and the woodland wildflowers, garlic, wood anemone and bluebells, the crooked oak trees and the sounds of the birds – poor me 😉Continue reading