My walk this week is a celebration of the different weather conditions we enjoyed under Scottish skies recently. I won’t say much more than that. As you will be able to see below, we relaxed to beautiful sunsets, cold winds, and water not just ebbing and flowing with the tide but also falling from the sky. On one occasion this produced a thunderous roar as the drops hit the tin roof above us in the middle of the night.
I am away at the moment and wasn’t going to post this week. However, I wanted to share a little taster of where I am and a hint towards future posts over the next few weeks. So check out the short video below.
My walk this week is from Swansea Bay – it wasn’t the brightest or warmest of days but it was definitely a calm day at the beach. You can see from the sea that it was flat calm and the incoming tide featured not so much waves as ripples – it was very peaceful.
Fortunately Swansea Bay is quite expansive and this meant that all the people taking advantage of being allowed out (lockdowns and all that) still had plenty of space between them. I’m not sure how much the birds appreciated the calm weather – certainly the gulls seemed a bit irritable, bickering between each other as they do. It always appears to me that when the wind is up, if anything enjoys the blusters and gusts by the sea, it is the gulls more than anything else.
The colours in the images below show a darker day than it felt, but they are calm. The textures and perspective seen on the beach from thousands of worm casts really excited me but I did not get a satisfactory close up.
My walk this week was my first walk of 2021, at the start of the New Year. My daughter and I walked up Graig Fawr, a local hill, and watched the sun set over the landscape – it was beautiful and peaceful.
It is a walk I have done many times before but not for a couple of years – it was good to see the meandering Loughor Estuary reflecting the colours of the sky once more.
Being the first day of the year and in the current pandemic lockdown, the landscape was quiet, no background traffic and just the hint of a breeze up on top. It was, however, relatively busy! We must have passed 10 or 12 people in all as they descended the mountain – all couples with the same idea of taking in the view and hoping for a good start to what is likely to be another difficult year.
So to everyone out there, remember to appreciate what we have, take care, stay safe and keep calm.
Happy New Year to all my StillWalks® followers and visitors. My walk this week is a hopeful one that takes you out of the woods and into the open.
The sound track for this short video was not going to be as it is. When recording the short clip in the woods at Llyn Llech Owain a helicopter flew overhead (as you can hear) – this prompted me to record a separate sound clip after it had passed.
However, it occurred to me that the helicopter might be considered symbolic of the past year in that it was likely to be an emergency flight taking someone to hospital. I doubt very much that we are out of the woods yet with the coronavirus. Even with the vaccine it will take time to immunise the population and we need to keep our fingers crossed that the vaccine will do the trick.
So out of the woods and into the open . . . Llyn Llech Owain is a local country park on one of those currently rare bright cold days, we and other families carefully kept socially distanced as we enjoyed the sounds of the geese on the lake, the peace of no traffic in the background, and the moon rising as the sun set (at the end of the video in the top left corner).
My walk this week contains contradictions, wind in the visual but calm in the audio. Two walks really, both from Scotland – one where photos were taken and the other where sound recordings was done.
The image above demonstrates a change in temperature while we were in Scotland, and of course that was preceded by wind. The strange rays of light sneaking through the cloud formation looks to me as though it might be an error in photo development, but this is a digital shot and anyway, I saw it with my own eyes, and it was weird. There’s nothing like nature to hold you in fascination and awe.
The effects of wind can be seen in the images below but the sound I recorded was from a cal walk along the shore, listening to the lapping of waves on the sand and amongst the rocks. So if the images leave you feeling flustered, hopefully the audio will keep you calm.
Perhaps it may be best on this occasion to look and listen separately – not something I usually prompt.
Calm Sea Soundscape
You might find using headphones worthwhile for this soundscape.
The curlew is perhaps the one natural element that is keeping its calm in the face of the wild wind and waves.
My walk this week is an offer to use my StillWalks® videos as well as these blog posts to keep calm and bring the outside in either for yourself or others who are self isolating as a result of the Corona virus pandemic, the confusion it brings and need to de-stress and cope with the anxiety that inevitably accompanies this unusual situation.
As the isolation strategy is to keep away from other people but not actually to stay indoors if you are living away from an urban environment, the StillWalks® message still applies as it is my hope that the videos and blog posts prompt you to go out if you can, and pay attention to the environment around you.
So this week I am providing a video below and links to one or two others as well as a selection of samples.
Starting at sunrise early on a summer morning in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, you will hear the birds and bees, sheep and a horse as you start out along the lane towards the beautiful woodland of Troserch. Crossing a footbridge, the reflections of light and shade in a river are accompanied by wild flowers and footsteps as you head towards a kissing gate leading out into the open fields.
Other videos you can watch or just listen to are:
A colourful Springtime garden video from France Garden Walk, France
You may also enjoy this StillWalks project video – Happy Muddy People
And this video which, unusually for me, uses actual video rather than still images! Forest February
Then there are further samples available on YouTube.
If these videos can help anyone in any way, isolating or not, I will be delighted. As always, more StillWalks® videos are available to download via the shop.
My walk this week comes from the break I had last month and explores the edge of land and sea with rough rocks and calm waters along with the sounds of coastal and mud-loving birds.
I set out along the country lanes of the south west Scottish coast, enjoying the backdrop of the Galloway hills and the textural details of the verges. From a broad beach, empty except for myself and a solitary crow, Continue reading