lake and trees

My Walk this Week 166 – Gnoll Country Park

My walk this week is through a woodland I have not walked in for a few years – Moss Wood in Gnoll Country Park. In truth I am not sure that this woodland is the one I walked in previously, as the StillWalks video I produced here was in a coniferous wood which has since been cut for lumber.

woods and field

The coniferous trees of the lumbered wood were adjacent to these deciduous trees – I think I simply walked a different route to last time. Either way the walk was beautiful and I will be doing it again without any concerns about coming across the multiple  stumps of felled trees.Continue reading

crow in flight

Fauna Findings 1 in Scotland – Birds on the Shore

Like this solitary crow, I enjoy my solitary walks, but this is far from the only species of fauna I found when in Scotland last month. I approached it quietly to try and get a closer shot but was spotted, naturally, and it it took to the air, flying across the bay to meet its partner.

I've been spotted

There is a quiet bay, an old disused harbour, along the shore from us where the gulls and oystercatchers – and on this occasion, swans – gather and sit quietly on the water or by its edge andContinue reading

Fleet Bay

Calm Reflection – Gull Contemplation

A calm, hazy, hot day and the stone buoys that mark the entrance to a small disused harbour reflect in the water and a gull appears in contemplation of its quiet surroundings.

stone buoy 1

Like the gull, I too sit in contemplation of the scene and objects around me – stopping from time to time on all my walks to look and listen and absorb the sights and sounds, the textures, patterns and colours of the environment and feel the connections I have to all that is there.

Whether the connection is slow and seemingly timeless, as in the wrinkles and folds seen in the surfaces of rocks, or quicker, like the more immediate ripples of the water blown by the breeze, pushed and pulled by the sun and moon along with Earth itself (see Tides), the influence on me of these interconnections is sometimes obvious and noticeable, sometimes utterly imperceptible, but there nonetheless.

Imperceptible or not, I am aware that they exist and enjoy contemplating, or perhaps imagining, the ties that hold me (rather than bind me) to the intricacies of the planet and all that exists and lives upon it.

Contemplating Quiet

lake surface

Waterside and Woodland

Just realised I put the wrong date in on this post so it’s a little later in the day than usual – hope you all missed it!

Following the lakeside on my walk this week at The Waterside – Felindre, where we also enjoyed Welsh Valley Alpacas, we spotted some of the other fauna to be found there, namely a host of little tadpoles and fish.

woodland alley

From the waterside we climbed up into the woods where we enjoyed the bluebells still covering the sun-dappled glades and the alley-ways of trees. The carpet of needles was soft underfoot and, away from the crowd of people visiting the alpacas,Continue reading

trees silhouette

The Moon and A Mirror

I think the shot below is probably my favourite from my walk this week down on our local marshes during the sunset and moon rise. The flat water of the high tide filling the river and reflecting the fading light and lunar crescent like a mirror was so peaceful and calming.

The soundscape for the walk also reflected the evening peace, even with the backdrop of motorway traffic. The birds sang and along with the bubbling of a small stream flowing into the river, they allowed me to ignore the trundle of tyres on tarmac. The soundscape is in three sections – Continue reading

Climbing into Forest Stillness in November

It’s a steep path into the forest from the road but during a murky November when the days are getting very short the stillness that can be found there when the wind isn’t blowing is a real treat. Don’t get me wrong, I like the sound of the wind, but I also like the quiet peacefulness amongst the trees of this small forest when the sound of the motorway to the west is not carried over the hill. Even in the upper, thinner parts of this woodland, in amongst the spiky gorse, the air can be still and the sound of the conversing birds carries through the trees.

Forest Gorse in November

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Forest from January to June – Reviewing the Walks

Having covered the first half of the year of my walks in a local forest month by month and keeping to the format of posts I have been using for a year now (I think that will change next year), today I am looking back over the past week’s posts and selecting two images from each month/post. To head them up I have chosen one from April with the sun peeking through the trees.

Forest April Sunlight

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Wildness Becalmed

The wind that produced the wildness in the growth of this tree was becalmed on this day of our holiday in Scotland. The wild hawthorn trees that take this form are wonderful descriptions of the weather and the bleak looking hill in the background are not a place you would wish to be in foul weather.

But this day was completely still and everything in the landscape and seascape held a tranquility and peace that for all we knew could have been the precursor to a storm.

calm-day-3

Magical Calm Before the Storm

I have said that the weather was kind to us on my walk this week. It can be seen here on the expansive beach at Whitford, that there was the potential to be caught by an impending storm. Fortunately the wind favoured us and took this huge bank of dark cloud off to the north east.

calm before the storm

calm before the storm

The scene felt other worldly with the calm humidity and the simplicity of the open space. The haze blurred the details of what land could be seen and the “canvas” was reduced to indistinct sea and sky in muted colours. The old Victorian iron built Whitford Lighthouse was an enticing object just out of reach in the water and a small flock of one of my favourite birds flew as if in slow motion along the length of shore, mixing their calls with the skylarks. It was magical!

Larks and Oystercatchers

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The Waterside and Reviewing the Week 56

Heading home from my day at The Waterside, I was surprised and delighted to be driving across the Welsh hills and into a fantastic sunset. The colour, light and shade typified the mixed weather from the start of the day to the end.

The soundscape below may not fit perfectly with the sequence of photos if you listen and view them at the same time, but it is not meant to be StillWalks video but hopefully it will help to give you a better sense of that beautiful, secluded South Wales valley.

The Waterside-27

The Waterside Soundscape

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