Solar Attempt

On this first of three consecutive walks in my local valley of Cwm Dulais, as I returned down one of the lanes towards home, there was what I can only describe as a solar attempt. The sun tried repeatedly to break through the clouds that had blown in gradually as I continued my walk, but alas, was unable to make a lasting impression and it was only by diligent timing and patience that I managed to get this shot.

sun and clouds

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Water Under the Bridge

The old iron railing on the footbridge which I crossed on my walk this week will be familiar to those who saw my posts a couple of weeks ago about my previous walk on this route. I wasn’t originally going to include the sound clip below because it’s just water flowing under the bridge – but then on listening to it again, I changed my mind!

The sounds of that flow have three distinct stages: the first part has a lot of bubbly texture to it, including trickles and tickles, gloops and bloops, splashes and plashes (in preference to more technical language), the second is more even with those highlights less noticeable, and the ambience of the third stage has greater weight on the right hand speaker but with a gloopy base returning in the background – and then the sound fades to my footsteps climbing a dry leafy slope.

cwm-dulais-16

Water Under the Bridge

Focus on the Landscape

Climbing on up to the top of the hill on my walk this week naturally changed the views of the landscape again. Having done this walk four or five times in the week, you can see the changing weather from day to day.

Through the recent weeks of Winter the changeable weather within one day, or even within an hour, might have accounted for all these photos. The last week or two, however, have been much drier and whilst still changeable, it is a welcome break from so much rain and hints at the season changing to Spring.

The sound clip below illustrates something of the current weather both in the birdsong and also in the crunch of the bracken underfoot as I walk across the hill to another viewpoint.

On top of Goppa

Birds and Bracken 

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

Snow Going

Even towards the end of my walk round Lower Lliw Reservoir, the thaw was minimal. But as the snow gently melted new shapes and patterns were revealed. I particularly like the twisting twiddles of last years bracken.

ferns and snow

ferns and snow

leaves in winter

Closing the Gate and Reviewing the Week 60

My walk this week followed a track up a local hill, Graig Fawr. It is my intention to produce a StillWalks video from the photos and field recording I did on the walk. Below is a selection of images from this weeks posts about this walk as well as a short soundscape of some aural aspects of the walk.

To see all the photos and I have posted about this walk, you will need to look at the individual posts.

gate

Graig Fawr Soundscape

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

Icons of the Hill and some Pronunciation

Graig Fawr (pronounced Grige (with both “g”s hard) and Vower (as in power) and translates from the Welsh, more or less, as “big rock”)) . . . and before I forget, Happy St David’s Day from Wales 🙂

My walk up Graig Fawr soon brought me to a few things that seem to me to typify this particular area of my local uplands, the western edge of The Mawr (remember the “Fawr” pronunciation), the upland area north of Swansea.

One is the solitary tree and another is the bracken. There are large areas of bracken on the side of Graig Fawr and its companion hill, Cefn Drum (pronounced with a hard “C” and the “f” as a “v” and Drum is pronounced Drim). The colours and textures of the bracken are always there and now and then you will spot a single small tree growing out of its midst.

I have taken a number of photographs of these “icons” in different conditions and certainly the light is always different, but today the bracken had a particularly strong red tinge to its brown in some areas where it lay with the morning frost gradually thawing.

bare Graig Fawr tree

bracken

And then there was this water system manhole! I am not sure what the underground workings of this system are, but this access point with the slab of concrete and a glass jar laying on top of it and the concrete signage made me think of a grave with its headstone and the last flowers that were left in a jar, now disappeared.

Graig Fawr manhole

Evidence of Others

On many of the walks I take I rarely see many other people – one or two at most. However, there is always evidence that others walk the same routes. In this case, apart from the fact that the footpath is well trodden anyway, there were cycle tracks, footprints, trampled mushrooms and the hoof prints of horses.

There are almost always the sounds of human activity in the background and this walk was no exception. The sound clip on this post has the sound of farm machinery in the background along with the twitter and caws of birds. The ambient sound is partly made up of the distant motorway but more noticeable is the constant “flicker” of the electricity pylons under which I was standing. And then there is a human/canine encounter as well.

Cefn Drum 4 

Cefn Drum 4

Cefn Drum-27

hoof print

Cefn Drum-26

 

Lonesome Tree Pointing The Way

This is not the first shot I have taken of this tree but that is, perhaps, hardly surprising – it is an obvious subject that, standing out against the skyline, almost begs to photographed.

As I approached the top of the hill my walk seemed directed by the tree which appears from this angle to be pointing the way to the cairn in the distance. On the way back down it also seems to be pointing the way whereas unreality it is just telling us the direction of the prevailing wind.

Cefn Drum 3

Cefn Drum 3

Click on the first thumbnail to view larger and in sequence – you can listen to the sound clip above at the same time. It’s the same clip I posted yesterday but as it represents the same section of the walk I thought it the best one to use.

lone tree