Riverside Wildflowers

On my walk this week along the riverside footpath by the Tawe from Morfa it was Spring going on Summer and the flowers were out to prove it – all but the buddleia.

Approaching one of the footbridges across the river there were plenty of the ribwort in the image below. It is a wildflower I particularly like, partly because of good memories playing with them as a child, but particularly at this time of year when they are in flower.

wildflower - Ribwort plantain

Of course, all of the wildflowers are special in their own right, even the dandelion – when it’s not all over your garden lawn! Below there is also, wood violet, herb robert, cowslip and primroses all lining the footpath of the River Tawe. There is one more, but I will post that tomorrow!

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Riverside Trees and Buidlings

Trees and buildings, urban sounds and natural sounds, those are the defining features of my walk this week. The buildings were always there but were often well hidden by the trees.

buildings and trees

The birds were always there but they too were well hidden in the trees. People and dogs were evident as well but until writing this post I had not included them in the images I selected for any of my posts this week – what does that say about me?

There were walkers (adults and children), dog walkers, joggers and cyclists using the footpath and as can be seen in the one photo I have now included with people, they are very conscientious dog owners who have all cleared up after their dogs..

Walking the Dogs

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Under the Woodland Bridge

This was a first for me – viewing the railway into Swansea from underneath. For some reason it had not occurred to me that the Tawe riverside footpath would, at this location, inevitably pass under the railway.

There is something fascinating, even exciting, about the combination of natural and man made – wood, leaf, concrete and iron – the different (and similar) scales has as much to do with my fascination as the juxtaposed materials and textures.

Railway Bridge and trees

The reflection of the bridge in the waters of the river below provides a link between the hard functional materials of its construction and the more natural woodland lining the river.

Both the railway and the footpath were in use on this Sunday morning with plenty of walkers, joggers, children and dogs enjoying the woodland. However, I didn’t either see or hear a train during my walk.

Walking Conversations

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My Walk this Week – Morfa and the Tawe

My walk this week is an urban one, although the footpath I followed from Morfa and the home of the Swans at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, to the lake in the enterprise zone at Llansamlet, could in some places be mistaken for a more natural setting, if not rural.

Liberty Stadium at Morfa

It was a Sunday morning and although the length of the walk was only about 2.2 miles, it took me about 2 hours just to reach the lake at my halfway turning point. That is more because of field recording than photography but both played their part in slowing me down.

I’ll post some sound clips through the week but to start with, it was the structural patterns of stadium architecture and fence design that interested me.

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Weobley Walkers

Towards the end of our Taste of Gower circular walk at Weobley Castle on the Gower we had one last area of open field to cross before the incline back up to the castle.

My parents used to go on many walks with a group that called themselves jokingly “The Wobbly Walkers”. This was a reference to their average age I guess, but the group of walkers at Weobley Castle, which could perhaps be called the Weobley Walkers, has quite a wide age range, with people joining in from many different walking clubs and other community groups of people sometimes described as “hard to reach”.

The Taste of Gower programme of walks organised by Steve Lancey from the Gower Landscape Partnership and Mike Aspland, has done an excellent job of encouraging people to get out and explore a part of the Swansea area in South Wales that, though well known, can be hard to reach for some people. To this end there is also an excellent bus service that is specifically aimed at enabling access to this Area of Natural Beauty (AoNB) and its Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as well as encouraging walking, cycling, etc. in other areas of Swansea Bay.

Taste of Gower walkers

footpath incline

 

Walking and Talking

Having left the fields and re-entered the woodland on this Taste of Gower walk at Weobley Castle on north Gower, we encountered yet more gates. There were many more gates and stiles on this walk than I have shown and this can sometimes cause delays if the group of walkers is large, but on this occasion it did not seem to be a problem.

Of course it may have been an issue of which I was unaware, hanging back from the main group as I was and taking photos of the conversations ahead of me as well as the colours, textures and patterns of different gates and mossy walls.

Woebley Walk-24

The soundscape below features a number of the gates on this walk. They do not appear in the clip in real time, instead I have composed this piece to emphasise the different sounds of the gates on the walk – its as though they have their own language.

Weobley Gates

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Looking Up and Looking Down

Backwards and forwards, looking up and looking down, these photos from my walk this week up Pen y Fan with the Living Taff group, show how clearly defined the footpath is and the sort of surface it has. I understand that the laying of the path started in the 1990s as a result of the ground getting mashed up by so many people doing the climb.

Having already walked in the Brecon Beacons for a few years, I think it was about 1989 or 1990 that I first climbed these particular peaks – Corn Du and Pen y Fan. That was before they started laying the path and I remember being lucky enough to have chosen a time that allowed me to have the place almost to myself.

Corn Du in the Brecon Beacons

The last shot below shows just a fraction of the parked cars on the main route through the Beacons on the A470 near the Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre. There are other routes to climb these mountains but my favourite walks are further west by Fan Nedd and Fan Gyhirych.

Having complained about the crowds, I should say that I also think it is wonderful that so many people from all walks of life are keen to do this walk – it can only do them good, both physically and mentally and with hard wearing paths laid to protect the ground from so many feet, it is a win win situation.

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The Sound of a Gate

Descending from the top of the hill on my walk this week meant re-entering the mist. In fact the mist was descending with me and thinning as I walked. On arrival at the gate below I took the opportunity of recording my self walking through it.

gate

Some would hate this metallic sound but I find the various sounds that metal makes wonderful. Wooden gates are perhaps more oftenContinue reading