A Well Kept Secret – Exploring Tennant Canal

The Tennant Canal at Jersey Marine is just a few miles from the centre of Swansea. The area is surrounded by works and roads, developments and housing, but before you reach any of those things, you would have to climb over the small hills that surround Pant-y-Sais Fen alongside which the canal flows.

This haven of (relative) peace and nature is like a well kept secret – if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t think to take a look. The M4 motorway twists past at one end and there is currently a major development for Swansea University being carried out on the seaward side. But the sound of this activity is not to be heard such is the noise absorbing effect of the topography along with trees and other vegetation. The wind in the reeds and the more noticeable and pleasurable sound.

Complementary images are posted on Instagram through the week and can also be seen on the sidebar of the StillWalks blog.

Tennant Canal Swansea

Pant-y-Sais Fen, Jersey Marine

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Pool of Sunlight – Moments of Magic

This is the kind of magical scene I would expect to see only in fantasy film. There are times in the real world when you’re in the right place at the right time and the real magic of the world is revealed. I have done virtually nothing to these photos other than take them!

Pool of sunlight

Pool of sunlight

Sounds of Swansea Bay Cycle Path

For all the years I have lived near Swansea, I have never walked the full length of the cycle/footpath from Swansea to Mumbles, just different parts of it at different times.

The path runs along the top of the beach from Swansea’s maritime quarter right round to Mumbles Lifeboat Station. On the other side is Oystermouth Road, a busy road along which tourists must drive as well as locals to reach the Gower Peninsula, one of Wales’ most popular areas and was designated as the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956.

Despite the proximity of Oystermouth Road, the sound clips I recorded recently might suggest that the road is much further away than it is. There was plenty of traffic on it at the time but the light breeze was blowing away from the cycle/footpath and so even for my iPhone, this was not the predominant sound.

Swansea Cycle Path 1

Swansea Bay Cycle Path

Swansea Bay Cycle Path

Swansea Bay Cycle Path

Footsteps on the Boardwalk

This week’s featured StillWalks video is “Winter Lakeside Walk”. It shows Llyn Llech Owain Country Park in Carmarthenshire, SW Wales. The video was produced last Winter. This year we have not had any cold weather (yet) and so I have not been able to enjoy the sound of my footsteps on the creaking boardwalk as it shifts on its struts in the frozen water in the marshes around the lake . . . but you can hear those sounds in this video.

You can use the Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Winter Lakeside Walk” which features Llyn Llech Owain Country Park in Carmartheshire. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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City Walk – Belfast Boxing Day

Heading for the 2014, I have picked out one of my earliest StillWalks videos to feature this week and will post some of the stills from it as well. These images are not currently available and are in fact screen shots from the HD video.

“City Walk” features Belfast, Northern Ireland on Boxing Day a few years ago. Belfast being the place I grew up, I have always loved it. Unfortunately I don’t get to visit very often these days.

These two shots are of the River Lagan and the scene is in walking distance of the City Centre!

City Walk - River Lagan

City Walk - River Lagan

You can use the Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “City Walk” which features Belfast, Northern Ireland on Boxing Day. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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Footpath Through the Woods – The Changing Season

The end of my walk through Cwm Green Woods brought me back to the clearing and car park where I heard so many pheasants earlier in the morning.

I started this week’s posts writing about the rolling out of Autumn across different areas. The leaves on the ground in the last photo of this post show the difference of change between one kind of tree and another, and the conditions of their immediate surroundings. Even within quite a small area, there can be significant difference.

The trees shown at the start of this series were just beginning to change colour whilst these ones, just a few hundred yards away, are well on their way through the season.

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Cwm Green Footpath-2

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Cwm Green Footpath-4

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Woodland Walk” which is from Penllergaer Woods near Swansea, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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A Pattern of Poo . . . sheep poo!

Here are the culprits enjoying a mid morning meal in the old St Teilo’s Churchyard down on the marshes on the Loughour Estuary.

Walking along the old footpath beside the River Loughor last Sunday morning, I followed one of the gullies made by the flooding tide – the marshes are tidal and the salt marsh lamb that is produced as a result is very tasty indeed!

The gullies fill regularly with the tide but not all the way to the top except at those times of year when the spring tides occur. This means that the upper part of the gullies tend to be shallower and the mud exposed for longer periods.

Not just the mud of course – the sheep poo as well! You may not agree with me, but at the time of my walk, I was fascinated by the patterns left in the gullies by the mixture of mud and sheep poo drying out in the sun – a kind of burst bubble effect. Go on, say it . . . “simple things amuse simple minds”, to which I would answer, “to each their own” or “live and let live”. Don’t think of it as poo, just as pattern.

Sheep in Churchyard

Pattern of Poo

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks, pay what you want and receive a download of this week’s featured StillWalks video “Troserch Woodland Walk“, click the image below to watch the sample.

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A Pair of Ponies

I regularly walk down on the marshes by the River Loughor near my home but do not often meet others doing so. The path is well worn, so there must be more people using it than I meet there.

Earlier this year the route of the footpath had to be changed slightly to take it a little further back from the river bank. The evidence of erosion can be seen in the photos of fences in yesterday’s post. The new route runs through a field or two near the old St Teilo’s Churchyard and the fields are normally empty of animals. Sometimes there are sheep there but on this occasion there were two new occupants. They seemed friendly and pleased to see me.

I just have one question about the piebald one – could he be described as dappled on this occasion? 😉

Ponies 3

Ponies 1

Ponies 2

Ponies 4

Ponies 5

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks, pay what you want and receive a download of this week’s featured StillWalks video “Troserch Woodland Walk“, click the image below to watch the sample.

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