patchwork landscape

My Walk this Week 142 – Circular Hill Walk

For my walk this week I started out early, when it was still quite dark, but this circular hill walk was really very enjoyable, even though the sun never managed to break through and the whole day was dim.

Early morning light

The day was just beginning for birds and builders alike and these start-of-the-day sounds accompanied me as I climbed Graig Fawr. Up on top the wind took over and gently buffeted me as I looked through the grasses and old brown bracken to the Loughor EstuaryContinue reading

Closing the Gate and Reviewing the Week 60

My walk this week followed a track up a local hill, Graig Fawr. It is my intention to produce a StillWalks video from the photos and field recording I did on the walk. Below is a selection of images from this weeks posts about this walk as well as a short soundscape of some aural aspects of the walk.

To see all the photos and I have posted about this walk, you will need to look at the individual posts.

gate

Graig Fawr Soundscape

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.

Observations On My Descent

The sun is back but it is not the only weather that is reflected on the back of this pony which is still wet from the recent snowfall.

Descending Graig Fawr on my return walk the rocks I photographed illustrate my new found knowledge of the geology of the area. Last week I posted photographs of rocks on Rhosilli Down at the end of the Gower Peninsula – and now I can post the photos below with a better understanding of why these show their strata pointing north, and those posted last week show theirs pointing south.

It all goes back 300 million years when the continents were getting squeezed . . . but if you want to know more I can recommend (again) the leaflets produced by Geraint Owen which are mostly available from local libraries or by visiting here and asking for them.

And if you are interested in knowing more still, I can recommend Jessica’s Nature Blog where she presents some wonderful photos and detailed information on the geology of areas of the Gower and Dorset.

pony

Walking with the Larks

As I climbed the hillside track up Graig Fawr I met more than sheep – one man descending from an earlier morning walk than mine.

I was not quick enough to photograph the hare or the skylarks – at least not well enough for my satisfaction – but I was able to record the larks that were flitting after each other across the bracken and occasionally soaring into the sky.

I know I posted a field recording of skylarks on Rhosilli Down last week, but how can one tire of such a beautiful sound. They were there with the crows(?) as I walked along, but however familiar I am with their song, I still have to stop from time to time and just listen to them, ignoring everything else.  Just thinking about them makes me happy 🙂

rock and sheep

Walking with the Larks

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.

Icons of the Hill and some Pronunciation

Graig Fawr (pronounced Grige (with both “g”s hard) and Vower (as in power) and translates from the Welsh, more or less, as “big rock”)) . . . and before I forget, Happy St David’s Day from Wales 🙂

My walk up Graig Fawr soon brought me to a few things that seem to me to typify this particular area of my local uplands, the western edge of The Mawr (remember the “Fawr” pronunciation), the upland area north of Swansea.

One is the solitary tree and another is the bracken. There are large areas of bracken on the side of Graig Fawr and its companion hill, Cefn Drum (pronounced with a hard “C” and the “f” as a “v” and Drum is pronounced Drim). The colours and textures of the bracken are always there and now and then you will spot a single small tree growing out of its midst.

I have taken a number of photographs of these “icons” in different conditions and certainly the light is always different, but today the bracken had a particularly strong red tinge to its brown in some areas where it lay with the morning frost gradually thawing.

bare Graig Fawr tree

bracken

And then there was this water system manhole! I am not sure what the underground workings of this system are, but this access point with the slab of concrete and a glass jar laying on top of it and the concrete signage made me think of a grave with its headstone and the last flowers that were left in a jar, now disappeared.

Graig Fawr manhole

My Walk this Week 23 – Hill Walk

When I started out on my walk this week I though it promised to be a bright and sunny walk. The mist was already lifting from the valley and my expectations felt fairly well founded. This will be shown at one point to have been optimistic – keep watching through this week.

My photos start about half way up one of our local hills, Graig Fawr, but my full walk rises from a few metres above sea level to 276 metres (905 ft) at the trig point at the highest point.

The photo below, of the view over the Loughor estuary towards the Gower Peninsula, was taken from where the trees are in the first shot and includes the 11 arched railway bridge but not the intrusive red logo of Tesco which I had great pleasure in cropping out, though annoyance at having to do so.

Graig Fawr Walk

The birds sounded as though they shared my optimism at the stage of my walk – listen below.

Graig Fawr Birds

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.

Autumn Leaf and Reviewing the Week 41

It seems the sweet chestnut is one of the trees that sheds its leaves earliest in Autumn. This one is on its way but the stage I like these leaves best, after they have fallen, is probably into the Spring when they have been lying on the ground for months and have gone thin and papery. Their structure breaks down and their colour becomes pale, almost bleached. I have photographed them like this in the past and you can see the results in one of my previous posts here.

autumn leaf

Event, Horizon – Sunrise

I don’t think this can be described as an event horizon, but it is definitely an event taking place on the horizon! Of course the actual light in the sky at this point (as in the previous post) is greater than is shown here but the photographs being somewhat underexposed represent more accurately the sense of drama, the emotion of the event as it happens in real life.

The horizon is that of Cefn Drum, one side of Cwmdulais, the small river valley just to the east and a tributary of the river Loughor. Cefn Drum and its neighbour Graig Fawr are two more walks I would count among my favourites in this area.

sunrise

Sunrise