Bovine Greetings

Dorset cows

My walk from the past this week took me up one of the rolling hills of Dorset. At the top I was given a bovine greeting from a herd of very curious cows – not so curious to push up against the electric fence, I guess they had learned their lesson with that. Continue reading

Wildness Becalmed

The wind that produced the wildness in the growth of this tree was becalmed on this day of our holiday in Scotland. The wild hawthorn trees that take this form are wonderful descriptions of the weather and the bleak looking hill in the background are not a place you would wish to be in foul weather.

But this day was completely still and everything in the landscape and seascape held a tranquility and peace that for all we knew could have been the precursor to a storm.

calm-day-3

Autumnal Growth

Leaving one woodland and entering the next on my walk this week, I noted something of the variety of trees and their Autumnal growth. From red hawthorn berries to acorns, apples and brambles (blackberries). The brambles appeared early this year but it wasn’t too late to enjoy some of those I found on my walk in the woods at Stainton in north east England – the best were beautifully sweet and juicy!

hawthorn

Alpacas Looking On

Having crossed the first couple of fields on my walk this week with the Taste of Gower walkers at Weobley Castle, we came upon one with three very curious and stylish looking alpacas. I am familiar with the curiosity of alpacas from my visits to The Waterside, but these three were no less entertaining for that.

Alpacas

The Taste of Gower walks are well organised and usually have three walk leaders making sure that everyone is accounted for. As the organiser of the walks, Steve Lancey was sharing his lead with both mid-group and back markers and though trailing a bit at times in order to do some field recording, I managed to remain close to the slower members of the group.

Gates, Wind and Walking

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Sculpted by the Wind

This visual evidence of the prevailing wind on the South Gower coast with its effect on the hawthorn trees produces wonderful natural sculptures typical of Britain’s coastline.  There are probably not many trees like the hawthorn or blackthorn with their ability to survive and thrive in the rugged conditions that come with the Autumn and Winter seasons here.

That’s not say that we have particularly harsh winters, but they still have to cope with the strong winds and sea salty air and I know plenty of other species of tree that do not welcome this sort of situation at all. I love these trees and I also love the equally hardy whin or gorse and, in this case, their silhouette against the dark grey horizon line of sea and sky.

windblown hawthorn

windblown hawthorn

Whin at Three Cliffs Bay

Looking Ahead at Llys Nini

Last week I revisited the woodland at Llys Nini Animal Centre.

The centre is in Penllergaer, near Swansea and my first discovery of this woodland was through the StillWalks project “Sights and Sounds of the Countryside” – that was about 18 months ago.

Since then the woodland and the footpaths through it, have been developed further and there is more to see and hear there all the time. The first image below is of a team of volunteers planting hundreds of new trees – oak, ash, alder, hawthorn and many others.

The bespoke StillWalks video “Marching Feet, Crackling Leaves”, produced as part of the “Sights and Sounds of the Countryside” project, was made with StillWalks by the children of Pontlliw Primary School and features a (miraculously) dry day in Autumn.

Sounds from my walk there last week will be posted tomorrow.

Planting trees

Llys Nini Woodland

Llys Nini Woodland-3