My short walk this week at Blaenige, near Cynwyl Elfed in Carmarthenshire was a mixture of snow, sunshine, wind and a brief spot of rain – in other words, typical for this part of the world. I had to take it carefully down the steep track but on the way I found some great views over the landscape as well as some attractive details in my closer surroundings.
This winter has been so mild it came as a bit of surprise to find myself driving carefully through snow on my way to a meeting in Carmarthenshire. The meeting was at Blaenige, the home of MLR UK with whom I have been working for a while now to develop a StillWalks business package. The meeting finished in good time, and as I had brought most of my kit with me, I took the opportunity to go for a short walk down one of the steep hillside tracks through the farmland and woods.
There wasn’t a lot of snow and it was already melting during my walk but considering I hadn’t expected to see any this year, it wasn’t unwelcome and as the sky was partially blue, my walk this week, though short, was quite exhilarating.
One aspect of the walk which is changed with the snow is the environmental sound. Below I have included three sound clips of my footsteps in the changing snow. How much difference can you hear in them.
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.
The first photo, taken on my iPhone, shows something of the drama of the scenery with the castle towering over the town of Kidwelly in Carmarthenshire.
I needed the wider angle of the phone camera lens to take in the whole scene but the other shots were taken on my Canon 550D and reveal some of the details of this fascinating castle with its feathered ruler sitting atop the walls.
During my second visit to Kidwelly, I took a walk upriver and in doing so disturbed a flock of Jackdaws on the slopes underneath the castle. As can be seen from the dark clouds, it was typical weather for the time of year but this suited the appearance of the birds very well.
The position of the bird in silhouette in the first shot makes it look as though it is about to go in for an attack. In the second shot it could be in stealth mode, swooping low across the ground, ready to wrap its cloak-like wings around its prey!
Kidwelly Castle, blurred in the background and seen from the marshes near Kidwelly Quay. The winter appearance of rosebay willow herb also present in their colour and texture, an impression of the past, if only by a season or two rather than the centuries represented by the Norman castle and St. Mary’s Church.
My recent walks at Kidwelly in Carmarthenshire revealed to me a number of aspects of the local environment. The old canal, mudflats and birds of the Towe Estuary were among the first of my discoveries, but there were other elements of this area that contributed to the atmosphere of the place just as much as those more obvious features.
These trees had a particularly dry looking bark and colour to them along with their windblown direction of growth. These as well as the brambles and dry reeds through which the footpath led me, all contributed to my perception of the environment – one that suggested a much dryer place than could be the case.
I wonder about that apparent contradiction? Even the dampness in the cold air could not defeat the sense of a lack of water that I felt from the colours and textures around me.
For all the lack of colour in this image of the trees, there is a monochrome version of it featured on Monochrome Madness 47 at Leanne Coles Photography blog.
When I was in the Scouts I was Patrol Leader for Lapwing Patrol – we were well turned out but could never be as smartly dressed as this real lapwing patrolling the edge of the mudflats at Kidwelly.
There are no birds in this next photo but the strange pancake islands of grass that sit amidst the mudflats are still a fascinating feature.
I have visited Kidwelly a couple of times recently for work. It is a small town in Carmarthenshire, South West Wales. Being in this area in Winter, I was almost guaranteed damp weather at best. Regardless of this, it was still a pleasant discovery and I was happy to return for my second visit.
On my first visit, I discovered Kymer’s Canal or in Welsh, Camlas Kymer. It is the remnant of the original waterway that linked up the Pwllygod Collieries to Kidwelly Quay on the Gwendraeth Fach and the marshes and mudflats of the River Towy estuary.
So this week I am going to follow my short walks around this area with a mixture of photos from both my iPhone and Canon cameras.
More shots will be posted on Instagram.
Without clicking on the landscape version of this image, I find I have a preference for the portrait crop. However, that is partly because it is easy to see the dimples created by the surface tension between the water and the pine needles and in the second image that is the most important aspect of the shot. The first image composition or crop includes more space which changes my perception to one more focused on the reflected depth of the sky.