Evening Landscape – Reviewing the Walk

This evening landscape at the end of my walk this week in Penclawdd on the North Gower coast was not really very late in the day – just after 4pm. The days seem so short at this time of day, but I must try to remember those further north who, if you go far enough north, see no real sunlight at all through the day. I cannot imagine what that is like.

evening landscape

The sounds of this walk include many of the activities of the place, both man-made and natural. It was good to find myself hidden from the traffic and industry so easily by such a low lying shield of land as I walked at the edge of the salt marsh.

Enjoy the sounds along with selected images from my walk below.

Penclawdd Walk Soundscape

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Seat with an Evening View

It was very cold (for Wales) on this Winter afternoon walk and I didn’t sit on this perfectly placed seat, but I did enjoy the last of the light. I know I posted shots of this sky at a slightly earlier stage of its cycle yesterday, so please excuse me, but I could not resist posting again as the light faded and the colours deepened.

I met my friend David Wibberly – Photographer just after taking these photos and he was commenting on the bad light for photography. I explained that as my intention is to try to present what you would see and hear on a walk, whenever it is taken, the issue of light is something I just have to deal with.

Penclawdd seat

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Stones in Circles and the Textures of Grass

These stones arranged in circles at Three Cliffs Bay on South Gower have been there as long as I can remember (which is not necessarily all that long!), but I don’t think they go back to neolithic times. People’s footsteps have worn the ground down over time as they walk around the pattern and if it is a construction of modern times, then it is perhaps remarkable that it has remained without damage or rearrangement for so long. Is this a sign of our respect for our ancient past, even though it may be an installation of modern times, or do we just like and respond to the pattern and texture of the arrangement.

And thinking of textures and patterns, I was taken with the grasses growing alongside Pennard Pill as it twists down the valley to the bay. The subtly changing flow of the grasses in the wind, their hues of blues, yellows and greens and the dots of white and buff grass seeds and flowers remind me of the circles of stones, at least when viewed in monochrome.

stone circles

Stones in Circles

Those changing textures and patterns can also be perceived in sound. The clip below presents the susurrus (there’s that word again) of my footsteps, firstly in soft sand and then through flickering, tickering grasses as my feet brush through them on my way to catch up with the other walkers.

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Stepping Out and Susurrus at Three Cliffs Bay

As we were stepping out across the stepping stones at Three Cliffs Bay on this Taste of Gower circular walk fro the Gower Heritage Centre, I noted the different ambient sound.

It may be expected that the sound of the sea will be different to that of a woodland but the susurration of the wind in trees is not so very different to that of a gentle sea as it washes distantly over a sandy beach. It is different though – the open space seems to me to be one of the greatest influencing factors and with eyes closed or not knowing where you are, these different ambient sounds would give you a pretty good clue as to your surroundings.

The next Taste of Gower walk will be tomorrow 26/08/17 – details here.

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

If you ignore the sound of footsteps in the sound clips below, perhaps you will agree that the word susurrus could be used to describe the background ambience of both soundscapes. According to the dictionary I could also have used the word to describe what I called the murmur of voices as the walking group disappeared off into the distance in previous posts on my walk this week, but personally I prefer the onomatopoeia of “murmur” for voices and “susurrus” for the wind or sea. What do you think?

Sound of the Sea

Walking in the Woods

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Gateway on Gower

Leaving the woodland by a kissing gate on my walk this week held the Taste of Gower group of walkers up enough for me to catch up with them . . . momentarily! It wasn’t long before their conversation became a murmur in the distance and the quietening ambience took over in this area between the woodland and the sea of the Bristol Channel.

The next Taste of Gower walk will be this coming Friday 26/08/17 – details here.

kissing gate

Quietening Ambience

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Overview of Cliffs

The Taste of Gower walk in June stayed on the cliff tops rather than descending to the bays and we found a good spot to rest and get an overview of the cliffs at Three Cliffs Bay. We were lucky with the weather and although it wasn’t bright sunshine all morning, it was a great deal better than we had last year when we approached this bay from the other side. You can see these same cliffs from the other side on that day here.

Three Cliffs

The sound on this day was quite different to that of last year as well if you care to compare, there is also a sound clip on the post linked to above.

Summer Crickets

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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

 

Taste of Gower Walk – Weobly Castle

StillWalks will be present at the Taste of Gower Walk organised by the Gower Landscapes Partnership at Weobly Castle on the Gower this morning at 10.30. This will be followed by a talk at the Greyhound Inn by a guest speaker – The Special Life on Gower – Discover the  special species and habitats that make Gower a unique ecological site and what is being done to help them from increasing external pressures and threats.

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

My Walk this Week 22- Rhosilli Down

My walk this week features a walk I did exactly a year ago to the week and took me up onto Rhosilli Down at the end of the Gower Peninsula in South Wales. It was one of those increasingly rare days in February when the sun shines, albeit through a haze, the weight of which changed with the wind throughout the day.

The track leading up from the village of Rhosilli to the top of the ridge overlooking the bay is quite steep. Whilst ascending this was not a problem, descending it again at the end of the day was most definitely an issue – one which my knees complained about bitterly and had me inching down from the down at a snail’s pace.

The walk, however, was most enjoyable and although I did not find the time in 2015 to post produce this as a StillWalks video, I hope to do so this year and in the meantime bring  a sample of the place to my posts throughout this week.

Rhosilli Down