Towards ending the year I am taking a walk through my records of approximately 150 walks through a local forest in the previous year (2015). Each day over the last two weeks of this year will represent the sights and sounds of one month during that time – on the two Sundays I will review the previous six months.
Today I am presenting a selection of images and a couple of sound clips from the forest in January 2015.
Sticking with the urban environment, my walk this week describes aspects of a different city centre to last week. This is Hereford City centre and as Hereford has a cathedral, it can legitimately be described as a city. Strange but true (sort of), though I certainly don’t have a problem with Swansea being called a city even if it does not have a cathedral. Actually that is a little simplistic so here is a Wiki article that will explain in more detail.
All photography for this week’s walk was done on my iPhone.
Hereford City Centre
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Since visiting various sections of Swansea Canal a couple of years ago, I have meant to return to the section which runs through Clydach, just a few miles from Swansea in South Wales. Finally getting a convenient opportunity, I took one of my cameras and my small recorder and though of my walk as a recce for a StillWalks production in the future.
My walk this week illustrates this recce walk – where necessary I used my iPhone with its wider angle lens.
The walk starts by the canal where it meets a loop of the River Tawe. However, the first shot below shows the water of the canal flowing into the Clydach river before it joins the Tawe on the other side of the canal and flows on down to Swansea.
My walk this week is in the same place as last week except that it is at night. I had expected that, during the New Year break, I would get the opportunity for a walk here. I had not expected it to be at night but what with all the seasonal activity, our visit was almost over before the chance arose for a short walk.
The footpath lights are only on one side of the lake, so the photos may get darker through the week and were taken on my iPhone.
Whatever you thought about my walk around this suburban lake during daytime, this night time walk is quite different. I wasn’t the only person out for a walk and judging from the sounds there was other local games activity too.
Night Walk Sample
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Overhead the sun and clouds were yet again proving the changeableness of the Welsh weather. This morning’s skyscape / landscape is another shot taken using the pano mode of my iPhone camera. I use this most often to widen the lens rather than give a long panoramic view which with this app results in bendy beaches and horizon lines.
Under foot the extent of moss growth also proves the level of dampness in this environment – a rotting fallen tree shows just a tiny bit of it.
The sound today comes courtesy of a Mistlethrush I think. I couldn’t get a good enough sight of it to prove its identity but from what I could see, I would say it was a Mistlethrush rather than a Songthrush.
The walks I have been taking each morning recently, include a range of environments – urban, coniferous forest, deciduous woods and open farm land.
Although I prefer the natural woodland environments on these walks, I also enjoy the faster, more even pace of walking through the (semi) urban area. Even in the woods there is still the background sound of traffic on the motorway – except at one point along the footpath where the sound from the motorway (see last photo) almost completely disappears and there is only the sound of individual vehicles occasionally passing on the road below.
The sounds as well as the plants and animals of these places are many and varied. The field recording I have posted below and in previous posts this week illustrate something of that variety.
There is an intrusion into the sound clip below. I was recording on my Edirol R09 and had forgotten to switch off my phone! So there is another element of the urban environment unintentionally included.
The conditions on this morning’s walk were darker than on the previous day. This did not stop me enjoying the walk just as much and the darker sky meant that this panorama shot taken on my iPhone needed very little adjustment in order to accurately represent the scene over the hill at the highest point of my walk.
Contrasting light can be one of the greatest challenges in photography, so if the purpose is to represent the scene as it was rather than creating a more dramatic view, then it is quite convenient to have more even light.
And so the drama today comes not from the scene but from a detail of the landscape. The scribbled twigs of the tree in the second image could represent a snapshot from a stormy, windy day. That is what the angles, textures and movement say to me in this picture, but in fact the weather was completely still without a breath of wind.
Another Carmarthenshire countryside walk I had recently took me along an old Roman road. The weather was still wet and I cannot imagine that Roman soldiers would have found the current state of their highway as easy to march along as it must have been in their time. The road surface at the start of the walk was good enough but as I progressed, it became more and more deeply rutted and like a river.
Complementary images to my walks this week can be found directly on Instagram or via the sidebar images on the StillWalks blog. Images displayed here and on Instagram are a mixture of iPhone and Canon DSLR photography.