Looking and Listening . . .

. . . seeing and hearing, that’s what StillWalks is all about.

As I walked through the woods on Sunday on my way towards Upper Lliw Reservoir, it was quite clear that the birds were perfectly happy with the rain. Although they were hard to spot, they were very easy to hear.

Can anybody identify the birds or the fungi?

tree growths

Tree Growths

Tree Growth

Tree Growth

Winter Walk – Llyn Llech Owain

This new StillWalk in Winter from Llyn Llech Owain, “Winter lakeside Walk” is one where I caught the early birds  and the sunrise – not difficult when the days are so short.

I uploaded the walk just a week ago and it is one I really enjoy. I am going to put some photos from it on my blog through this week and would love it if people took a look at the video itself. Just click the link above or either of the images to go straight to StillWalks Winter Walks.

The StillWalks videos are free to view on a small scale but if anyone is interested in seeing any of them in full scale high definition, just contact me – the prices are on the website.

Sunrise

Sunrise

Across the Water

Across the Water

The Influence of Rocks on Water

Potential StillWalk – the other day I took a walk down a footpath I hadn’t been to for a number of years, pre-StillWalks times. Looking with “new” eyes and listening with “new” ears was fascinating.

The sound of water – There can sometimes be a recording issue with the sounds of an environment that includes running water, i.e. a stream or river. The sounds of the flowing water can so easily drown out other sounds of the environment such as birds, and can become wearing if it is permanent.

However, the small Camffrwd River that the footpath follows did not present this problem. The sounds of the river ebbed and flowed in volume with the arrangement of rocks on its bed. The photos below are accompanied by some sound clips recorded on my iPhone, as were the photos.

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Recording 2 stream A short clip of the general sounds of the river.

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Recording 4 birds ftstps stream The birds make their presence obvious as the sound of water is less dominant and the flow sounds change as I walk along the path.

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Recording 5 walking stream This is a longer clip (2:15) which demonstrates very well the changing sound environment as I move along the path and river.

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Recording 6 stream tumbling water

Unique sounds – All the sound clips and photos prove the need, in producing a StillWalk, to carry out the sound recording at the same time as the photography. The sounds on any day, at any time of day, at any time of year, will always be specific to conditions at the time . . . makes me think of the chaos theory and the interconnectedness of things! Chaos by James Gleick is a fascinating and very accessible book on this subject.

Evening Light and the Song Thrush

I questioned the accuracy of my studio clock yesterday morning because it said it was 9.30 AM but it felt and looked more like 7.30 to judge by the lack of light.

Today, however, we have had light again 🙂 After so much darkness and rain it was a huge relief and good for the soul. I wasn’t the only one enjoying the evening light and this Song Thrush was out to prove it as well – recorded on the new RODE iPhone app (not on their new iPhone mic though, that will have to wait a little while).

Click below to hear the Song Thrush I recorded this evening.

Evening Sun

Evening Sun

Evening Clouds

Evening Clouds

Evening Sun on the River Loughor

Evening Sun on the River Loughor

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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

Early Start for Dawn Chorus Day

It was fun to get up at 5.30 AM last Sunday for Dawn Chorus Day to go and join the Friends of Coedbach Park and Helen Grey from Swansea Nature Conservation Team. Helen organised the event and arranged for Martin Humphries to lead us on a walk and help with birdsong identification. A great time was had by all and I was able to record much of what was going on with the birds in the ancient oak woods.

Sound Clips and Spectral Images – A set of these sound clips can be found below (remember to click through to the blog if you are reading this in an email) along with a couple of the spectral displays from the clips.

Tree Creeper Spectral

Tree Creeper Spectral

Tree Creeper

Tree Creeper

Black Cap Spectral

Black Cap Spectral

If you are interested in viewing the other spectral display images, you can see them in this StillWalks Flickr Set.

A set of photos from this park event can also be seen on the StillWalks Flickr page.

Bluebells at Coedbach

Bluebells at Coedbach

Oak Woods in Coedbach Park

Oak Woods in Coedbach Park

Listening to the Dawn Chorus
Listening to the Dawn Chorus

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

Wildfire

Recently we have had some unusually hot weather for the time of year and the other day I discovered this –

Wildfire

Aftermath of Wildfire on the Marshes

Not as dramatic as the fires in canberra in 2003 which my friend, Simon, who lives there, was telling me about a little while ago. He described the incredible speed at which the fires spread across the length of this hill which he can see from his house.

Canberra fires 2003

Canberra fires 2003

The photo sent to me can also be seen on Wikipedia along with much more info.

The land in Australia is at least “designed” by nature to cope with this kind of conflagration and I am sure that nature, being what it is, will allow the marshes to recover quickly as well. However, it is still a heart rending sight to see the damage that fire can cause.

Sunrise and Robins – Having taken some photos of the results of the marsh fires, I then caught the sun coming up and enjoyed immensely the sound of this Robin which would be part of Week 9’s Marsh Wood birds recording – more available on SoundCloud. More photos on Flickr, and Facebook.

Sunrise

Sunrise