The low flow of rivers and the colour of the grass has changed the landscape in the UK. Hosepipe bans are coming to the north and without sustained rainfall in the near future in the south, I can imagine that we will have them too.
The river above is normally raging over the weir but with the reduced flow the soundscape is changed as well as the landscape. I haven’t produced a soundscape again this week butContinue reading→
My walk this week follows on from one taken six weeks ago when the pink wildflowers in our local valley were rhododendrons – now the field of pink comes from rosebay willow herb.
You could argue about the name of the colour either in the willow herbs, thistles or the rhododendrons and foxgloves, but they all sit within a narrow range of pinks/mauves/purples in Cwm Dulais. The rowan tree (also known as mountain ash) brings a touch of orangeContinue reading→
My walk this week is a bit marshy, but not boggy! I hadn’t been down to our local salt marshes on the Loughor Estuary for a while and as the weather was unusually dry, it was an opportunity to see how things had changed as they undoubtedly would have done in some ways.
I never get tired of seeing this environment – it has the quality of peacefulness and tranquility when it is dry even with the motorway traffic in the background. The day was still with little or no movement other than the slow flow of the half full river as the tide receded. The subtle swirls of the current gave a gentle distortion to the reflected pattern of clouds, but there was unquestionable evidence in the form of gaping cracks that there had been slippage of the river bank as a result of high tides and fast flowing water.
A makeshift rusty barrier was constructed as an extension to the wooden fence that prevents cattle reaching an area where the marsh grasses give refuge and residence to some of the birds that enjoy this habitat. I disturbed what I think was a beautiful looking corncrake but wasn’t quick enough with my camera to get a shot of it.
Returning towards the starting point of my walk this week along Aberavon seafront in south Wales I followed the railings along the promenade and at the point where they turned a right angle ahead of me, I found an amazing mosaic of patterns created by them.
Walking with the Living Taff group, our mini expedition to find the two sources of the River Taff, or Afon Taf, on the slopes of Pen y Fan and Corn Du in the Brecon Beacons, we took a short cut across open grassland to the second and larger source of the river, the Taf Fawr.
“Fawr” meaning big, the source was indeed larger than the previous one round the other side of the mountain, but the river at this stage of its life is still quite small as you would expect.
Walking through the dry, scratchy, springy grass was a very pleasant sensation. We listened to the sound of our footsteps and thought about its texture and colour and the peacefulness of this part of our walk.
I managed to record a small snippet of this part of our walk and whilst the soft murmur of voices from the rest of the group is still in the background, there is also the gentle flow of this youngest stage of the river accompanied by the flow of a warm breeze through the grass and across the shoulder of the hill. We had enjoyed the skylarks too but at the point of recording, they had decided to keep quiet.
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The sheep and their lambs (and a goat) have a good view over the landscape from their vantage point near the top of the hill I’ve been climbing in my walk this week.
Whether looking north with the scene framed by ruins or south across the Loughor Estuary towards the Gower Peninsula, the animals here probably don’t care a jot for any view other than that of the grass on the other side of the fence.
Goppa Lamb and Sheep
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I was amazed at how peaceful this dewy Autumn morning walk was. As I climbed up Cefn Drum towards the electricity pylons the wind was almost non existent and I could hear all the other tiny noises of the landscape around me.
I enjoy listening to the sounds of the environment (any environment), but I also enjoy the occasional peace that you get on a day like this. If you listen to the 5 minute clip below, what do you hear? Listen out for the obvious things like the skylarks and other birds such as pheasant – do you also hear the dog in the distance or the similarly distant hammering as someone works somewhere over the other side of the valley.
The feint base in the sound clip is the motorway. It is the still air more than anything else that has kept this sound from travelling up the hill as it normally does. Air pressure and humidity also affect the way sound travels so on this particular day all atmospheric conditions must have been favourable to a quiet, peaceful hillside.
The marsh water beside the lake at Llyn Llech Owain in Carmarthenshire, Wales, was almost like glass when this shot was taken. The reflection of grass and clouds in its surface is only distorted by the slightest of movements on a cold Winter day.
Do you have a preference for the landscape or portrait crop?