churchyard railings

My Walk this Week 144 – One Way To the Marsh Churchyard

My walk this week is a one way walk across our local marsh to the old St Teilo’s churchyard. I have walked this route many times before, and posted about it, but on this occasion the marsh grass is taller than I have seen it for several years – and they are my favourite aspect of the marsh.

dancing marsh grass

Bending as it does in the wind, and curving round to see the sun, it appears to me to be dancing – a busy chorus line of uniform activity responding to the elements and singing in their dry rustley voices as the breeze shuffles them together. Continue reading

kissing gate 1

Eight Gates and A Churchyard

My walk this week included nine gates, not eight, but the gate to the old churchyard on my local marshes was open and so is not included in the soundscape below.

Churchyard gate

The old St Teilo’s churchyard is a fabulous place and the walk across the marshes, alongside the River Loughor is also a local route I enjoy immensely. If doing a linear walk rather than the circular route,Continue reading

A Pattern of Poo . . . sheep poo!

Here are the culprits enjoying a mid morning meal in the old St Teilo’s Churchyard down on the marshes on the Loughour Estuary.

Walking along the old footpath beside the River Loughor last Sunday morning, I followed one of the gullies made by the flooding tide – the marshes are tidal and the salt marsh lamb that is produced as a result is very tasty indeed!

The gullies fill regularly with the tide but not all the way to the top except at those times of year when the spring tides occur. This means that the upper part of the gullies tend to be shallower and the mud exposed for longer periods.

Not just the mud of course – the sheep poo as well! You may not agree with me, but at the time of my walk, I was fascinated by the patterns left in the gullies by the mixture of mud and sheep poo drying out in the sun – a kind of burst bubble effect. Go on, say it . . . “simple things amuse simple minds”, to which I would answer, “to each their own” or “live and let live”. Don’t think of it as poo, just as pattern.

Sheep in Churchyard

Pattern of Poo

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Protecting the Dead

They say time heals all wounds. Time is having a different effect on these railings around an old grave in St Teilo’s churchyard down on the marshes near Pontarddulais – unless you consider that nature is healing by gradually taking over.

The trees below will not, I think, be healed by time. These magnificent trees were cut down as part of the restoration of the walls of this old churchyard. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I went there one day to find them gone completely, and I wondered how the residents of the graves felt about it.

Protecting the Dead

Protecting the Dead

Churchyard Trees

Churchyard Trees

Before and After

As a follow up to yesterday’s post, I have to report a change to one of my favourite locations, namely the old St Teilo’s Churchyard.

St Teilo's Churchyard

St Teilo's Churchyard - Before

St Teilo's Churchyard - After

St Teilo's Churchyard - After

Something is missing!

St Teilo's Churchyard - Previously

St Teilo's Churchyard - Previously

It won’t look like this in the Summer anymore! I am very glad my StillWalk of the churchyard features it in this happier state rather than the current state. These large, well established trees were cut down in order to renovate a wall. :-/

Favourite Locations

Penllergaer Woods

Penllergaer Woods in Autumn

The locations of the StillWalks I produce are many and varied – from woodland to coast, townscape to park, I enjoy them all. Pre-production recce walks can sometimes be the most interesting as that is the time of initial discovery if the place is new to me. Production days, however, are the time to look and listen really closely.

Some of the places I have enjoyed most are: Penllergaer Woods, samples of which can be seen in – the Autumn Walks, Woodland Walk 1 and Woodland Walk 2 in Winter Walks. Also the old St Teilo’s Churchyard down on the marshes near where I live can be seen in the Old Churchyard Walk from Summer Walks and Carrick Shore in SW Scotland – Coastal Walk Evening in Spring Walks. One more is on the Swansea cycle route – Abertawe Walk from the Autumn Walks.

Pennlergaer Woods in Winter

Pennlergaer Woods in Winter

M4 Traffic – Pennlergaer and the old churchyard, are both close to the M4 motorway, which is busy at all times. In Penllergaer I find the gradual absorption of the sound of traffic, by the trees and their foliage, as you go deeper into the woods, very attractive. Perhaps it is the contrast of the two adjacent environments that creates a better sense of release from one and welcoming of the other.

On the other hand, I love the walk down to and around the old St Teilo’s Churchyard and you cannot get away from the M4 traffic in this place. I find I “filter out” a lot of the sound from the road and just listen to the birds that can easily pierce the sound of the cars and trucks.  The sound recorder does not ignore the traffic of course, but, as I do it subconsciously on location, I feel justified in filtering out some (but not all) of the background road sounds when editing.

StillWalks Works for Me – I tend to use them when I need to take a few minutes out of the working day, relax and focus my mind on something other than work. I also use them at times of stress – this is often when waiting for an approaching event such as a meeting. I use them occasionally at the end of the day too, when I need to wind down before going to sleep.

On the Move – If I am on the move and, therefore, watching a StillWalk on my iPhone, the screen may be small but with headphones plugged in and the video filling the screen, I find I easily “move” into the space of the StillWalk. At all times of viewing on a computer screen, I would always watch the StillWalk in full screen mode and I try to prompt others to do this. Not only do you see more, but full screen view also prevents many other distractions and helps promote your relaxation and enjoyment of the StillWalk.

Still Watching . . . I may have to add one of the latest StillWalks to my favourites list – Moss Wood Walk in the Autumn Walks. This is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South Wales and I have just watched full screen in full HD . . .

Week 6 – Marshwood Birds – Anyone interested in following my weekly recording and photos from this project can find the recordings on SoundCloud and the images on Flickr.

On the Move

On the Move, Swansea to York

Sunny Sunday and Week 5 Marsh Wood Birds

At last – sunshine in amongst all the drizzle and mist in South Wales. It’s a couple of days ago now and, of course, we were straight back to the drizzle on Monday but the memory remains.

Saturday was at least dry and allowed me to get out to record week 5 of the birds down at the marsh woods. Listen to the clip below. This is a 2 minute clip but I could have sat and listened through the cans for a lot more than the 7 minutes of the full clip. Remember, if you’re reading this in an email, you’ll have to click the title above or the http link at the bottom to see the full blog entry with sound clips . . . or you could click the comment button.

And then in the woods the birds were arguing over territory again – or was it food? The two things guaranteed to make birds or humans argue. Listen below.

Marshes

Marshes

Robin

This Robin's keeping an eye on me

Old Railway Track

Old railway track through the woods

Sunday AM

At last, a bright day. At least for today there would be no SAD. I took a walk down to the old St Teilo’s Churchyard and had to take my coat off in the warmth – I love this place and have done a StillWalks there, a Summer sample of which you can see here – Old Churchyard Walk. Here are a few pics from Sunday AM.

Marsh Grasses

Marsh Grasses

St Teilo's Churchyard

St Teilo's Churchyard

St Teilo's Churchyard

St Teilo's Churchyard

River loughor

River Loughor - Down on the Marshes

Sunday PM

With the sun still shining, a trip to Cardiff was called for to take Ellen back to Uni – she had come down to Swansea to go and see the National Dance Company of Wales (NDCWales) at the Taliesin Arts Centre with us. They were awesome 🙂 Anyway, not wanting to waste the sunshine, we had a walk in Roath Park and got a cuppa in the cafe there. We were reminded what a popular place it is . . . with birds and people alike. Whoops! How did I manage to miss both people and birds off these shots – I wouldn’t have thought it possible lol. The sound clips at the bottom prove they were there though.

Roath Park

Roath Park

Roath Park Crocuses

Roath Park Crocuses

Roath Park

Roath Park

Remember, if you’re reading this in an email, you’ll have to click the title above or the http link below to see the full blog entry with sound clips . . . or you could click the comment button.

Churchyard re-visit

I was down the old churchyard on the marshes again the other night (see the Old Churchyard Walk) and took these pics on my phone. Watch out on this blog for the impromptu StillWalk from the same evening also using photos taken on my (old) iPhone.

If you like the mossy pics, why not join the Moss Appreciation Society on Facebook