My Walk this Week – Misty Mountains

On this first day of my walk this week the mountain mist does not come down to this level – the sun was even shining at times. I had hoped for reasonable weather for my StillWalks production walk up Mynydd Rugog, a mountain just south of Cadair Idris and overlooking Tal-y-Llyn in the mountains north of Aberystwyth in Wales.

gate

A style of gate

There had been a lot of rain over the previous couple of days and the rivers running through the forest were in spate.

Mountain Woodland Wind and Water

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Big Tor

On the Taste of Gower walk this week from Nicholaston Farm, before you get to Three Cliffs Bay, you skirt round the cliffs of Tor Bay.  The walk has its ups and downs as you might expect on this South Gower coastline but none of us were going to attempt the scramble up onto the top of Big Tor. Somebody was up there but it wasn’t one of our party.

Tor Bay cliffs

Another even more aerial viewpoint than this would be from the seat of a light aircraft . . . and someone was enjoying just that, as you can hear in the sound clip below. I like this clip with the inevitable clifftop wind and the faint voices of walkers and birds ahead of me. The airplane gradually approaches and flies overhead.

Clifftop and Aircraft

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Scratching the Surface

My walk this week followed the route of one of the geology walks described by Geraint Owen in Scratching the Surface leaflets. Geraint led a group of about 12 of us but we only managed to complete half the distance. The information he delivered at various stopping points along the footpath up Cefn Drum was fascinating and as a result slowed our progress.

Twyn Tile

Twyn Tyle from Cefn Drum

Had we continued on from the summit of Cefn Drum we would have reached the end of Twyn Tyle in the image above. The pattern of scars seen along the slopes of of the hill are old mine workings – closer shots can be seen below.

The full walk is estimated to take about 4 hours but when you take into account the interest of walkers in listening to the walk leader talking about the lie of the land and the make up of the ground beneath your feet, more time needs to be allowed. None of had brought a packed lunch so we decided to descend again and arrange a new date to complete the full circuit.

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Rocky Details of the Landscape

My walks up Cefn Drum, Cwm Dulais and Graig Fawr are some of my favourite local routes. The opportunity to find out from an expert about the geology of the area was not one to be missed. The landscape is beautiful at any time of year and just now it is particularly green.

Looking at the landscape as we walked up the side of Cefn Drum the colour of the non native rhododendrons was passed but similar colours were showing themselves in the foxgloves.

Cwm Dulais landscape

Cwm Dulais landscape

Our next stop on the walk allowed Geraint to show us more plant fossils and also a visitor to the area in the form of a rock that had been brought here from the Gower Peninsula not by truck but by glacier.

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Bright Yellow Buttercups – Reviewing the Walk

My walk this week started with the birth of an alpaca – a Spring / early Summertime event that was reflected in all that surrounded me on this walk, including these bright yellow buttercups on the banks of the lake at The Waterside. A place I will be visiting again next week so I guess I will get to see how the little ‘un is getting on and may even meet another newborn from what I have heard.

buttercups in the valley

buttercups in the valley

Listen to the soundscape and take a loo at the image sequence at the same time

The Waterside Walk Soundscape

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Wildflowers Down by The Waterside

While the drama of a new alpaca being born was going on “back at the ranch” (see yesterday’s post), I was enjoying a very peaceful stroll around the lake at The Waterside. While there is so much growth during this time of year, the specific time cycle of development is slightly different for each plant and many wildflowers and this will vary further according to the conditions from year to year and location to location.

So we see here in this hidden South Wales valley the foxgloves in full bloom but the thistle flowers just coming through, the dandelions seeding and the bullrushes getting ready to disperse their seed. There seems to be so much going on – as I have said in previous posts, nature has pounced!

Bullrushes by the lake

Bullrushes by the lake

Lakeside Birds

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Enjoying the Waterfall

There are people hidden in this first photo today from my walk this week at Penllergare Valley Woods – you can just see them near the centre of the image. They are enjoying the area on the river where the waterfall from the lake flows over the rock arrangement constructed by John Dillwyn Llewellyn back in the 19th century when he was developing the original valley gardens.

Penllergaer Woods-8

The colour of the rhododendrons in this image is accompanied by foxgloves below, and then there is the beautiful yellow of buttercups in a marshy looking meadow displaying the lushness of the environment at this time of year.

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