This final photo of the week was again taken with my iPhone but shows the view looking north east up the valley before I enter the woods to climb up to the top of the hill and look south towards the Gower Peninsula in the distance.
Click on any image in the gallery to view them in a carousel. The sound clips posted this week can also be found below. These will not be visible in an email – you will have to listen to them on the blog.
Overhead the sun and clouds were yet again proving the changeableness of the Welsh weather. This morning’s skyscape / landscape is another shot taken using the pano mode of my iPhone camera. I use this most often to widen the lens rather than give a long panoramic view which with this app results in bendy beaches and horizon lines.
Under foot the extent of moss growth also proves the level of dampness in this environment – a rotting fallen tree shows just a tiny bit of it.
The sound today comes courtesy of a Mistlethrush I think. I couldn’t get a good enough sight of it to prove its identity but from what I could see, I would say it was a Mistlethrush rather than a Songthrush.
The walks I have been taking each morning recently, include a range of environments – urban, coniferous forest, deciduous woods and open farm land.
Although I prefer the natural woodland environments on these walks, I also enjoy the faster, more even pace of walking through the (semi) urban area. Even in the woods there is still the background sound of traffic on the motorway – except at one point along the footpath where the sound from the motorway (see last photo) almost completely disappears and there is only the sound of individual vehicles occasionally passing on the road below.
The sounds as well as the plants and animals of these places are many and varied. The field recording I have posted below and in previous posts this week illustrate something of that variety.
There is an intrusion into the sound clip below. I was recording on my Edirol R09 and had forgotten to switch off my phone! So there is another element of the urban environment unintentionally included.
If these photos tell a story, it is one of fiction in one sense and of reality in another. The first two shots present the sense I had of this morning’s walk through the woods to the top of the hill where the sun was fighting its way through the clouds. There was a lot more light on the land, the fields and tress, than is apparent in the photos but I decided to direct my iPhone to reveal the atmosphere in the sky rather than the details and colours of the trees or field. The result of course, is a much darker foreground in the images than it was in reality – unless you consider the sense of the scene I had in my mind. Taking that into consideration, the photos are much closer to reality.
The third image is technically more accurate in its presentation of the light seen at a fire break in the forest. If this is not such a dramatic shot, it is still a point on this walk at which I always stop and take in the scene.
More of the atmosphere of the forest can be heard in this sound clip – click the play button or the file name to hear the sounds of my walk through the woods.
We have had Blackbirds in our garden every year for many years now but this year there are more than ever. A family of 5 lost one of their crew to one of the local cat recently but its youngest sibling is still around and enjoying the seed we put out for it and the other birds.
You can still see the yellow border to its beak showing that perhaps calling it a teenager is going a little beyond its age.
I like nothing better than to watch and listen to them outside my studio door. Below is one of the recordings I made of Blackbirds a couple of years ago.
For all the years I have lived near Swansea, I have never walked the full length of the cycle/footpath from Swansea to Mumbles, just different parts of it at different times.
The path runs along the top of the beach from Swansea’s maritime quarter right round to Mumbles Lifeboat Station. On the other side is Oystermouth Road, a busy road along which tourists must drive as well as locals to reach the Gower Peninsula, one of Wales’ most popular areas and was designated as the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956.
Despite the proximity of Oystermouth Road, the sound clips I recorded recently might suggest that the road is much further away than it is. There was plenty of traffic on it at the time but the light breeze was blowing away from the cycle/footpath and so even for my iPhone, this was not the predominant sound.
This week’s featured StillWalks video is a sample of one from a new set of videos I have produced featuring Lower Lliw Reservoir.
The full set of four walks (one for each season) will be available soon on DVD and this will include an introductory video. The HD videos will be available to purchase online at a later date.
The walk round the lower reservoir is beautiful at all times of the year and I hope that you will enjoy this short sample. When the DVD is published in a few weeks, it will be available through the cafe at Lliw Reservoir and also via the StillWalks website.
This weeks featured StillWalks video is from a place I am looking forward to seeing over Easter. I hope the weather is good – although it is a place that is wonderful in any weather conditions!
In future featured videos will be accessible via the post they are published in on Sundays and through the sidebar of the website blog page. They will be changed every 1 – 3 weeks.
If you would like this video in HD (720p), you can pay whatever you like via the donate button in the sidebar of the website and I will send you a link to download the video for you to watch in full screen high definition any time you choose. You can watch it on your computer, mobile or HDTV (via USB memory stick).
Last week I was up on top of Mynydd y Graig in the Mawr ward of Swansea. It is up above the Lliw reservoirs into which the River Lliw flows. It was very windy up there but the views are great and the sound of the Skylarks lifts the heart every time.