Sheep en route

My Walk this Week 177 – Cefn Drum and Its Birdsong

My walk this week took me to the lower slopes of Cefn Drum where evidence of all the rain we have had recently was clearly to be seen with muddy ruts filled with flowing water.

Looking up the valley

Starting with a familiar gate and cattle grid, I followed some disgruntled sheep up the track and under the pylons to negotiate a route around deep wet ruts and puddles reflecting the cloud patterns of a clearing sky.Continue reading

Bluebells by the river

My Walk this Week 156 – Springtime Hill

My walk this week follows an uphill route I have climbed many times in the past but on a sunny Springtime morning felt really fresh and new. Atop the hill the view was very hazy for me and the crow below and I could see across to the far side of the valley and area of woodland that is being harvested for its conifers. My walks through those woods will never be the same again and while I knew that some day the trees would be felled, I feel very sad about it.

Crow with a view

The sunlight and life of this walk on Goppa Hill had no sadness to it and as I walked up the hollow way I was surprised to meet a goat which I thought had a somewhat “knowing” smile on its face. What it knew I cannot say but he appeared to be welcoming enough to a stranger and let me pass on by to say hello to a group of playful young cows in the field above.Continue reading

new bracken

Rhododendrons Valley

Mauve and violet Rhododendrons used to almost fill one of our local valleys and although they were cut back significantly some years ago, my walk this week proves they are still there, and in much greater abundance than is shown in my photographs.

Rhododendron valley

The whole side of the valley used to be a mass of bright purple at this time of year and was a phenomenon to behold. I know rhododendrons are not native to Wales or the UK but, unlike Japanese Knotweed or Himalayan Balsam, I don’t generally have any issue with them, thoughContinue reading

bracken detail

The Density of Bracken

The density of the bracken on the steep hillside down which I was climbing cautiously, is common on the open commons of the Welsh landscape. While bright green in the Spring and Summer, it changes the hills to bright red in the Autumn when the light is right.

Beneath the bracken

We are having August weather this year as if we were already in Autumn and the bracken is now beginning to change colour. However, it was still bright and thick on this walk back at the end of June. My poor knees were aching from the steep descent (I much prefer climbing) and I had to sit down to give them a break half way down the slope. Continue reading

Welsh landscape

My Walk this Week – Cwmdu Walk Part 3

My walk this week shows the third and final section of my walk near Cwmdu which lies between the Brecon Beacons and The Black Mountains in Wales. The route, shortened due to lack of time as a result of StillWalks production work along the way, provided me with a steep descent back to the valley floor.

steep hillside footpath

Although the footpath was dry, it was still slippery with stones as will be evident in the soundscape to be posted later in the week. The hillside being steep meant that I had some great views Continue reading

Stepping Stones and Wind in Pylons

stepping stones

Descending on my walk this week into the base of the valley, proof of other (helpful) walkers is evident from the arrangement of  stepping stones through an expansive puddle. From here I climbed up a steep hillside track to arrive on the opposite side of the valley and a return to the double rows of electricity pylons.

Continue reading

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

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