patchwork landscape

My Walk this Week 142 – Circular Hill Walk

For my walk this week I started out early, when it was still quite dark, but this circular hill walk was really very enjoyable, even though the sun never managed to break through and the whole day was dim.

Early morning light

The day was just beginning for birds and builders alike and these start-of-the-day sounds accompanied me as I climbed Graig Fawr. Up on top the wind took over and gently buffeted me as I looked through the grasses and old brown bracken to the Loughor EstuaryContinue reading

spiky foreground

My Walk this Week 130 – It Must Be Mist

Mist or fog – whichever you think it is depends on where you are in relation to the cloud that creates it. Near the start of this walk I was able to look down on the mist/fog in the valley below, but as I climbed up the side of the valley, so it thickened to become more fog like.

mist and crow

But early morning fog is apt to clear or at least move and it is the latter that happened on this occasion – at least until later in the day when the sun finally raised the temperature and dispensed with the dampness. The gloom was very atmospheric and I didn’t mind in the least as I stopped to photograph and listen to my surroundings. The sounds included electricity pylons and cables fizzling in the moisture filled air and temporarily the sound of Continue reading

dry grass

Low Flow and the Colour of Grass

The low flow of rivers and the colour of the grass has changed the landscape in the UK. Hosepipe bans are coming to the north and without sustained rainfall in the near future in the south, I can imagine that we will have them too.

low river

The river above is normally raging over the weir but with the reduced flow the soundscape is changed as well as the landscape. I haven’t produced a soundscape again this week butContinue reading

My Walk this Week – Parched Paths

My walk this week shows the changes that have taken place in this location since six weeks ago – the ground is now parched where it had been lush and green. The character of the landscape has changed and presents a greater sense of the mediterranean than Wales.

parched path

In Wales we say it either was, is, or is going to rain, and it is true that we get what some would say was more than our fair share of it. However, it is also true that we get dry spells (from time to time), but not usually with the heat that we have been experiencing all over Britain for a few weeks now.Continue reading

lambs looking back

Looking Back Down the Hill

Looking down isn’t always the best thing to do – certainly not if you want to see where you are going – but it is also necessary if you want to be able to see the details underfoot of where you are. In the case of the lambs in today’s featured image, looking back down the hill at me is a matter of curiosity, the curiosity of the young.

dewey web detail

Their mothers had led them up the hill away from me as I approached on the descending lane, but they halted half way up to check me out. I too halted many times on my walk, first to look andContinue reading

new bracken

Rhododendrons Valley

Mauve and violet Rhododendrons used to almost fill one of our local valleys and although they were cut back significantly some years ago, my walk this week proves they are still there, and in much greater abundance than is shown in my photographs.

Rhododendron valley

The whole side of the valley used to be a mass of bright purple at this time of year and was a phenomenon to behold. I know rhododendrons are not native to Wales or the UK but, unlike Japanese Knotweed or Himalayan Balsam, I don’t generally have any issue with them, thoughContinue reading

Waterside Wander

My walk this week was more of a lazy wander. The warm sunshine and the relaxed atmosphere at the Welsh Valley Alpacas Open Day prompted a meander more than a walk and that is what we did (see the two previous posts for this week).

ribwort

Returning from the top of the valley at The Waterside – Felindre we first met some of the male alpacas with their new shorn hair-dos. Then, sitting on a perfectly placed bench, I soaked up the atmosphere and photographed (yet again) one of my favourite wildflowers,Continue reading

valley fog

Sunlight, Sheep and Fog

Gaining the top of the hill on my walk this week from fog to sunlight, I was followed by a flock of hopeful sheep looking expectantly at me – I suspect the farmer was due or perhaps the sheep though he was overdue!

Goppa sheep

My route took me past familiar objects both natural and man made. The rhododendrons perhaps have an element of both – they are natural but not native to the UK and can take over a whole hillside as they have in this location.Continue reading

Pen Allt-Mawr

Cwmdu Walk Part 3 – Reviewing the Walk

Back where I started by the farm and spinning/weaving workshop where my daughter was learning how to use a spinning wheel and on time for the end of her day at All In a Spin.

track fence

The three stages of this walk – up the valley (Cwm Sorgwm), across the top (Mynydd Llangorse), and down into the valley again will be edited as a StillWalks video. As the existing selected images and soundscapes would make the video last about 20 minutes, I will have to re-edit and select these to bring the video length down to about 9 or 10 minutes. Continue reading

bracken detail

The Density of Bracken

The density of the bracken on the steep hillside down which I was climbing cautiously, is common on the open commons of the Welsh landscape. While bright green in the Spring and Summer, it changes the hills to bright red in the Autumn when the light is right.

Beneath the bracken

We are having August weather this year as if we were already in Autumn and the bracken is now beginning to change colour. However, it was still bright and thick on this walk back at the end of June. My poor knees were aching from the steep descent (I much prefer climbing) and I had to sit down to give them a break half way down the slope. Continue reading