Downhill Through the Woods

Returning to the car on my recce walk this week took me through a section of pinewoods and is not the planned return route for the production walk I hope to do next week. See the event on the website for details of the walk if you are going to be in the area.

Lledr Valley Forest

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The Route to Come

These three photos were taken at the end of my recce walk in the Lledr Valley in Snowdonia, North Wales. They were all taken on my iPhone but I can’t remember why! I processed the second shot in monochrome because it seemed to better represent the wildness of the place as I perceived it in the worsening weather.

Lledr Valley, Snowdonia

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Tunnel of Light and Shade, Pattern and Texture

As I descend from my hill walk this week, this tunnel of light and shade is full of pattern and texture. The light and shade itself creates some great patterns and shapes, but they are also very obviously present in the structure of a mossy wall and the peeling bark of a birch tree.

More images from this walk can be seen on Instagram and/or the StillWalks Facebook page and Twitter.

Goppa-23

Silence in the Woods

The woods at this stage of my walk round Lower Lliw Reservoir are not silent as you will hear in the sound clip below. However, with there being no wind, much of the background sound that is often there, is missing. This changes the acoustics of the woodland environment entirely and the soft plop of ice and snow dripping into the reservoir can be clearly heard along with the hollow reverberation of someone’s voice and the raucous call of a crow.

The scene was magical, not least because of the crooked wooden fence that lines the twisting footpath and the soft crunch of my footsteps in the snow.

ice droplet

Peaceful Background

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

winter footpath

crooked fence

Clinging to the Cliffs

Approaching the steep descent to Rhosilli from up on Rhosilli Down and towards the end of my walk this week on the Gower Peninsula, my knees had just about had enough for the day.

The views had been and still were spectacular but the height I had to climb down from can be seen in the footpath photo below. That is not the path that I would follow as that one descends right down to the beach and Rhosilli itself is at the top of the cliffs from which that path clings. However, the way for me would still be steep and my knees had decided to complain.

I postponed the inevitable and took some more shots of the wall and fence near the start of the downhill track and the distant threatening weather (see tomorrow). Finally, though, I plucked up the courage and began literally inching my way painfully down the slope. My only other option would have been to call for a helicopter and things weren’t so bad to tempt me to suffer that embarrassment.

I reached the bottom eventually and after returning home, spent the next couple of days with my feet up! This is not something that often happens to me but for whatever reason, occasionally my knees protest. Certainly I have always preferred ascent to descent.

Cliff footpath

The wind was quite calm at this point on my walk and so the sound clip below is mostly the continuous motion of the sea. The sound is not rhythmical as you might expect of waves, but it is quite distinct from the sound of the wind.

Sound of the Sea

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

 

In the Glare of the Sun

My return walk along Rhosilli Down meant heading into the sun. This is far from ideal in photographic terms, but as one of the purposes of a StillWalks video is to illustrate the walk taken whatever the time of day or direction the walk is taking, the only answer, photographically speaking, is to deal with it.

The photos taken obviously don’t have to be taken into the sun but if they are, as  in the first shot below, the almost blinding haze from the sun is simply a true illustration of the real view of the walk at that point. Photographers will gather from this that I am not a huge fan of lens filters. That’s not to say they aren’t useful sometimes, but on this occasion the glare is what I was  wanting to represent.

The kind of light the sun was giving at this point of my walk was white and glaring from virtually every angle and even directing the camera down towards the beach from high above had its issues. The height of the Down above Rhosilli Bay, however, can easily be seen when you pick out the tiny people walking on the beach.

track

Walking Under the Radar

Considering that the old WWII radar station on Rhosilli Down is in ruins, I was definitely walking under the radar when I reached this point on my walk this week. The light and shade on the old slabs of concrete made for some interesting abstract patterns in the landscape.

old radar station