morning mist and sun

My Walk this Week 247 – Misty Marshes

My walk this week is really my walk last week when I ventured down to the misty marshes early one morning before the day warmed up and enjoyed capturing this beautiful place with stills, video and audio.

Any environment differs according to the weather conditions, but this can be perceived in different ways. Visually (and in a tactile way) the misty marshes are exciting to me. Even though the river is moving ever so slowly, the fog in the air is mysterious and the atmosphere is dank or clammy to the touch.

An excess of moisture is literally hanging in the air and this changes our experience of sound as well as vision. The short video clip above shows the this moisture and also transports the sound of traffic on the motorway very efficiently. The result of course is that on this day, at that time, the marshes were noisier than usual – not only with the busy road but also with the birds shouting over it.

In the soundscape below I have been able to focus more on the birds than on the background traffic and we do this with our ears (or rather our brains) as well – filter out or dim down the sounds we do not want to listen to and focus on the those we enjoy most. That, for me, is not only the birds and in this instance includes those wonderful gates as well.

And then there are the stills, an opportunity to capture a moment in time, a snippet of what is seen and felt, both of the broader landscape and also some of its details, textures, patters, nuances.

I hope you can enjoy the different aspects of this little corner of Wales as much as I did on my walk. Click on the first image and look through the carousel on a larger scale while listening to the soundscape.

more perspective

My Walk this Week 246 – Parks and Park Keeping

My walk this week was through three different Swansea parks  – it was a very pleasant walk but one which started with something of a challenge to my patience when it comes to park keeping!

St James’ Park is small but has a wonderful collection of trees, some of which are truly majestic in stature. It is a wonderful environmental oasis in an urban setting which naturally has a regular deposit of leaves and pine needles on the ground. And this is where my patience was tested – not by the leaves but by the park keeper using a leaf blower to clear them. I say “clear”, but really, that is a joke. I find the noise pollution alone is enough to set me ranting.

So please excuse my opening to this post and enjoy the dulcet tones of the leaf blower with a brief scan of the St James’ Park and then move quickly on to the preferable sounds of the birds, children playing and adults walking in Brynmill and Singleton Parks.

St James’ Park
Parks Soundscape
Quarry reflections

My Walk this Week 244 – Old Quarry

My walk this week took me to an old quarry which looks quite different now to what it did when I first saw it about 36 years ago. What was once mostly water has filled out with a thick array of different trees and shrubs.

The way up there was muddy and the river was flowing fast with all the recent rain. The quarry water, however, was still and quiet and I enjoyed the peaceful reflections of the plants that now almost completely hide the rock face of the quarry walls.

I was reminded by the blackened stones of a camp fire of my youth and the enjoyable times I had with friends in just such wild places as this in Northern Ireland. However, we never left the mess of cans and plastic bottles that are to be found in this place. I have managed to avoid them in my photographs but I am sorry to say that the thoughtlessness of those enjoying themselves round the camp fire here today, was very clearly in evidence.

Somehow, we need to change the misconception by some that there is no connection between us and our environment (natural or man-made). Our interconnections with it are everywhere all the time – we affect it and it affects us. There now, I have said my piece as concisely as I can. I do not want to be political on this blog in any way but this is partly what StillWalks® is about – perception, appreciation and understanding of the world around us.

looking out

My Walk this Week 238 – Urban Lakeside

My walk this week is around an urban lakeside in a brief window of it not raining.

The clouds were threatening, or perhaps I should say promising, to rain – and of course they kept their promise, but not until after my walk.

I was going to say something here about Fendrod Lake in Swansea’s Enterprise Park, but hopefully the video and soundscape above and the images below will give all the information about the value of a place like this in an urban landscape.

It has certainly been valuable to me at this time of tier 4 Covid-19 lockdown just before Christmas. This time at the end of this year is very different to the norm and I am increasingly wondering if the whole thing is a natural warning to us from the planet to wise up and stop being so selfish. An attempt to get through to all of us that we are just a small part of the entire ecosystem and universe. It will be ourselves that we destroy, not the planet, if we carry on disregarding the myriad interconnections we have with all else on Earth and the cosmos. We affect everything and everything affects us. No matter how small or large, our actions individually and collectively have consequences and we had better take note.

OK, that’s the lecture finished – see and hear the sights and sounds both here and around you and enjoy the end of this year as much as you can.

Troserch Woodland Walk

My Walk this Week 199 – Corona Confusion

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.

Woodland pond reflections

My Walk this Week 181 – Natural Benefits

My walk this week is one of the most enjoyable I have had lately – the benefits of natural elements within an urban landscape are not to be underestimated.

Coedbach Woods

Currently I am having to work 4 days/40 hours+ with a well known online supplier (needs must and all that) which means going out before dawn and getting in after dark while spending the whole working day indoors. As a means of compensating for this, I have started using my StillWalks videos at the end of the working day, before going home, and they definitely help.

So when I found myself on a bright sunny Sunday morning walking through the local countryside and woods, it felt so goodContinue reading

garden focus

My Walk this Week 172 – Wandering Round the Garden

My walk this week took me wandering round the garden on a bright August day.  I was sitting watching the birds flutter and fight over the feeder outside my studio where I was weaving and thinking about the similar aural textures of my activity and that of the birds.

sparrows fluttering

If you listen to the soundscape below you may understand what I mean, but it could just be my imagination. Being able to get out, or at least look at, the natural environments around me is essential to my wellbeing.Continue reading

lakeside

My Walk this Week 168 – Waterside Wildflowers

My walk this week takes a further look at wildflowers, this time they are around the lake at The Waterside. I admit I do not know either the common names or the Latin of most of the flowers, but that does not spoil my enjoyment of them one tiny little bit.

waterside wildflowers

Their beauty and the ecology associated with them is something I appreciate without knowing the details. I suspect the house martins speed-flying low across the surface of the lake, darting left, right, up and down to catch insects inContinue reading