collapsing fence

My Walk this Week 131 – Wear and Tear – The Missing Post

Wear and tear is all around us all the time and at the turning point of my walk this week along the beach in Swansea Bay, the high, rusty sea wall that creates the harbour entrance is one of my favourite pieces of evidence of this.

This is the missing post from last week, the third of the posts for My Walk this Week 131 – I don’t know what happened but have just seen that the schedule time was missed!

rust spot

And the sea is one of the most powerful elements of erosion, wear and tear on the edges of landscape and it is so persistent and rhythmical in its insistence. Even on calm, bright days like this,Continue reading

red shattered rock

Coastal Curiosities 1 – Arranged and Sculpted Naturally

This week I am focusing on some of the coastal curiosities I found along my walks in Scotland last month. The wind and sea had been sculpting, as they naturally do, but people were also evident in the arrangements they left behind in the form of what appeared to me like a miniature straggling sea defence. A sea defence that was set higher on the beach than the highest tide level, at least for a few days, thus ensuring they would stay there for a while and allow me to photograph them in different lights.

miniature defences

The low sun in the evening also sculpted the appearance of the beach into a Martian landscape and the my daughter pointed me towards the Martian colours revealed in a rock formation split by erosion. This revealed a measure of timeContinue reading

Focus on rust

My Walk this Week – All A Bit Marshy

My walk this week is a bit marshy, but not boggy! I hadn’t been down to our local salt marshes on the Loughor Estuary for a while and as the weather was unusually dry,  it was an opportunity to see how things had changed as they undoubtedly would have done in some ways.

I never get tired of seeing this environment – it has the quality of peacefulness and tranquility when it is dry even with the motorway traffic in the background. The day was still with little or no movement other than the slow flow of the half full river as the tide receded. The subtle swirls of the current gave a gentle distortion to the reflected pattern of clouds, but there was unquestionable evidence in the form of gaping cracks that there had been slippage of the river bank as a result of high tides and fast flowing water.

A makeshift rusty barrier was constructed as an extension to the wooden fence that prevents cattle reaching an area where the marsh grasses give refuge and residence to some of the birds that enjoy this habitat. I disturbed what I think was a beautiful looking corncrake but wasn’t quick enough with my camera to get a shot of it.

 

Watching the river

Watching the River

The third of my local walks this week is along the banks of our main local river – the River Loughor. I fought my way across the marsh and through dense brambles and knotweed on one side to reach a point on the eastern bank I hadn’t stood at before.

Oak leaves and river

On finding I wasn’t able to get far along the river due to the brambles, I retraced my steps and crossed the bridge to explore along the western bank at another part of the river I had only seen before, but not walked along.Continue reading

strata triangles

Living Rocks

Living rocks – you can take that term any way you like!

Yellow lichen

If “living rocks” refers to rocks living, then I guess evolving might be a better term in that they are changing over time albeit slowly. But as an environment for growth Continue reading

Walking Towards the Sunlight

Down on the edge of the salt marsh as I walked towards the sunlight of a more open landscape I came across a couple of interesting features. The first were these (there were a cluster of them) earthy looking large boulder-like objects sitting at the edge of the slightly higher ground I stood on. I guess they were once part of that higher ground and the sea has simply eroded away all that once surrounded them.

Earthy marshland feature

Continue reading

Leaving the Cliffs Behind and Reviewing the Walk

Monknash footpath

leaving the cliffs behind

Although I said I didn’t do much field recording on this walk, I did manage to capture the sound of the wild wind there that day and if you listen carefully you will also hear the sound of a buoy bell ringing two or three times. The buoy floats just offshore and now and then was tossed roughly enough by the wind and waves to sound out faintly through the roar of wind and sea. Be warned – I have added the sound of the old fog horn to the end of this soundscape but there is an amusing ending to it if you care to listen.

Nash Point Soundscape

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Content of the Cliff

Nearing the end of my walk this week from Nash Point to Monknash on the South Wales cliff-lined coast I have arrived at the mouth of Nash Brook and a place where the cliff tops come down to beach level. Looking at the content of the cliff it is easy to see why they are no longer the towering structures I have been enjoying along the rest of the walk. Although the durability (or lack of) in the layers and blocks of the cliffs can be seen in the structures and curves in photos below, the geology seen in this first image is much softer and in part explains the small valley from which Nash Brook flows.

cliff texture

Round Stones in a Sea of Rectangles

One of the strangest things on my walk this week at the foot of the cliffs along the South Wales shore between Nash Point and Monknash, were the smooth round stones nestled in amongst the rectangular rocks of the wave platform pavement. I almost expected them to be polished to a shine in the same way that gem stones are made smooth and reflective for display. The wave action of tumbling the stones against the harder rocks of the pavement has produced a fascinating juxtaposition of forms. Speaking of which, having walked across such an expanse of wave platform, it was then a surprise to come upon a wide area of beautifully smooth sand!

Roundstones

Roundstones

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Layers and Layers – Rocky Strata

The cliffs at Cwm Nash and further along the South Wales coast on the Bristol Channel display some great geological features. It is a popular place to enjoy the breakers as well as the rocks but you have to be cautious about the continually eroding cliffs.

The evidence for this is strewn along the foot of the precipice in various sizes, from small rocks which would still do you some damage, to huge chunks of cliff that must way several tons!

Cwm Nash Cliffs

Cwm Nash Cliffs