Waves of Stone

Having first visited Nash Point Lighthouse on my walk this week, we actually started our circular walk at site of the StillWalks production “Breakers Walk”. From there we walked along the cliff tops back towards the Nash Point. The tide was out and the view over the wave platforms of this stretch of the South Wales coast were incredible. The patterns of those waves of stone were so clear – it was as though time had frozen still and allowed the structures to form in an instant.

Waves of Stone

Waves of Stone

wave platform

 

Nash Point footpath

Descent to Nash Point

Natural Patterns

Almost back at Nicholaston Farm on the Taste of Gower walk from June, the footpath moves away from the cliffs and runs through this natural tunnel. Looking around me in this more enclosed environment I naturally discovered more details rather than the open vistas of clifftop views. The shots I have chosen below demonstrate natural structure in the tunnel, natural texture in the crinkled petals of the wildflower and natural pattern on the underside of some path side plants.

natural tunnel

natural tunnel

wildflower pattern

Natural Pattern

Natural Pattern

 

Underfoot

Moving up from the beach at Whitford Point my walk this week with the Taste of Gower walkers meandered through the woods to continue this circular walk from Llanmadoc on the northern tip of the Gower Peninsula.

The ground underfoot was now mostly a soft carpet of pine needles and so for those walking barefoot (just one, not me), the transition from the sand of the beach would have been a relatively comfortable one. I was tempted to go barefoot myself, remembering the experience being described by Nan Shepherd and Robert MacFarlane in their books as one which puts you in contact with the ground (literally) in a way that walking in boots cannot, however sensitive and sympathetic you are to the land.

woodland path

Woodland Footpath

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Rock Design

Walking along the upper footpath on the western edge of Penllergare Valley Woods, you can find (if you look) an area dramatic rock faces towering above the woodland floor. My first photo today was taken on my iPhone and reveals the structure and patterns in the rock.

The structure in the rock is obviously natural, but whether it is natural that these patterns have been revealed, I cannot say. I wonder about it because so many features of the valley were designed by John Dillwyn Llewellyn during Victorian times and it is entirely possible that the drama of the feature was intended.

Either way, nature has entirely taken over now and although there are more rock faces to be seen than I have shown here, the more the season moves on, the more the greenery tries to hide them.

rock patterns

On this upper footpath the distant sounds of Swansea and other signs of man can be heard more easily in the background than on the sound clip I posted on Monday at the start of this week’s walk. That piece of field recording was made near the valley floor which is shielded from the urban influence.

But the sounds of an urban environment can come and go according to the lie of the land in your immediate surroundings. Sometimes the background soundscape can be hidden by features like this enclave of rocks, while at other times the rocks themselves may reflect those sounds back to you. So much depends on the atmospheric circumstances prevailing at the time of listening.

Penllergare Woodland Sounds

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The Sound of Water

In any Welsh woodland you are unlikely to be far from the sound of running water – or any other part of Wales for that matter, woodland or not. Penllergare Valley Woods is no exception and on my walk this week, I could have recorded any number of water sounds.

The sound from the stretch of river seen below was quite gentle but it is by no means always like this.

Penllergaer Woods-15

River Sound

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My Walk this Week – Woodland Wander

My walk this week takes me back to Penllergare Valley Woods. I have produced StillWalks videos of all four seasons here but that is no reason not to take another look. In this walk the conditions are inevitably different and as well as that, further work has been done in the park by The Penllergare Trust volunteers.

I don’t remember this arbour and arch being here perviously and of course, the next time I visit, it will have grown more and changed again.

willow arbour in the making

I wil  be posting just one or two sound clips from the woods through this week, but I have a soundscape for the walk to post on Sunday with the walk review.

Penllergare Woodland Sounds

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Nature Taking Over

We are nearly at the time of year when it seems to me that as I walk or drive around both urban and rural areas, nature is about to pounce. The roadside and footpath plants are just laying in wait for the right moment to leap out and claim back the world that is theirs.

The evidence is starting to show – the living greenery pushing through the fence below only needs a second or two in the greater scheme of things to utterly take over the man made structure designed to hold things back, keep things in or out.

Fence growth

If you need more proof, then look at the wild garlic in the patch of riverside woodland below . . . and this is nothing in comparison to some other areas of woodland garlic I have seen.

During a recent drive on the Gower to help with a litter pick at Horton, I passed through the area of rolling woodland near Parkmill – I could not believe my eyes (or my nose) but I am sorry to say that it is a difficult place to stop your car when en route to another destination, so I did not get any photographs. I will have to put this in my diary for my next trip and make sure I have the time stop.

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