My walk this week is in Cally Gardens in Scotland where it is all about the plants. We have been visiting this nursery garden for many years and used to enjoy hearing and learning about Michael Wickendon’s plant expeditions and explorations around the world. Sadly Michael died on one of those expeditions a few years ago but the garden has been take over since then by Kevin Hughes and he is clearly developing and maintaining the plants and garden in a similar vein to its past.
My walk this week takes me from valley floor to forest interior and looking through the trees. The forest is a lot smaller now than it used to be, but it is still a place I love and no matter how often I visit, I always find something new about.
On this occasion I ventured into the interior and realised that others had been before me when I discovered a narrow warn path through the trees as a parallel alternative to negotiating the muddy, flooded track that until now had been my usual route.
Check out the image sequence as well as my view through the trees in the video below.
On my walk this week I had an altered view of my surroundings and the differences can be seen in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th images below.
I had been to the ophthalmologist for an eye check up following laser treatment and, as always, they put drops in my eyes to open the pupils as wide as possible. The result of this is that a lot more light gets in and this can be difficult to cope with. But I had my sunglasses with me so that when I went for a walk in the park afterwards the sunny day was not a problem but I had to rely on my iPhone to set itself correctly for the photos I took.
The photos below are what the camera saw except for numbers two and three. No.2 is an approximation of what I could see through my shades and No.3 is what I would have seen without the shades.
Sight, however, is not needed for sound and so I was able to capture snippets of conversation, the birds and the children, with only a small distortion from the wind which I was able to deal with in post production.
I must say that it was frustrating not to be able to see properly on my walk but that did not stop me focusing on some of the things I find interesting there – the “Whomping willow”, the shrub hugging the balustrade, the textures, if not the colours (which were distorted), and it’s good to see the effects of light and shade in the photos, albeit after the fact so to speak.
My walk this week was a much needed one towards the end of the day – a day on which I had spent all my time on the computer.
It is the sounds enjoyed on this walk that are most important to me but the images and video give a visual context to it as well.
The robin and the blackbird seem to be having a conversation – and the sheep have something to say too.
The walk took me up a familiar footpath where I noticed things I hadn’t really paid attention to previously – such as the arboreal elbow of a tree or the integration of another tree and old build wall. Perhaps I should describe this as a take over of man-made by natural.
And from my elevation with views I descended a steep track to the valley floor and the river I have so often featured here.
Click the play button for the sound file and then the first image to view the images in sequence.
On my walk this week I was mesmerised by the susurration of the sea, the sea. It was the light and colour that really caught my eye, but when looking at its gentle, repetitive movements and listening to its rhythmical shush and liquid intricacies I couldn’t help but be enamoured of the full expanse of Swansea Bay at high tide.
Still using my iPhone I am frustrated by the effect even a slight breeze has on its microphones – but the distortion in the audio in this video is not what is in my memory.
Being in Mumbles to run an errand with my daughter (Hannah Duncan Creations), we took the opportunity to walk along the seafront to the pier. The sunlight caught the outcrops of rock, made islands by the high tide, on which the lighthouse is built and the sharp edge made me think of the shot of Catalina Apple used for the operating system of that name. Looking at that system image afterwards, I was less convinced of any similarity.
I only took a few photographs and short video clips but the walk was a very enjoyable and welcome break from the darkness the seemingly interminable rain brings. It’s not so much the rain I dislike as the lack of light that comes with it.
My walk this week is through my local Coedbach Park and I was disregarding the weather as I set out. Autumn has typically mixed weather but regardless of this, my head as well as my body needs to get out for a walk as regularly as possible.
So when the sun came out around lunchtime I thought Aha! This is a good opportunity for a walk. Of course by the time I had changed my shoes and got a coat on, the sky was darkening again, but I didn’t let that put me off and carried on out the door.
I reached the park before the first drops fell and fortunately I had brought an umbrella but even so I felt it advisable to stand under a tree and wait.
In the short video above, which also acts as my soundscape for this week, I start out in the oak woods where the magnificent trees, undergrowth and footpaths do the best job of calming any turmoil I may be feeling inside. The stress and mental congestion that is there for any number of reasons, but not least our current Covid-19 lockdown and all that goes with that, is handled admirably by nature and the elements, even the rain.
And after the rain comes the sunlight and as I wandered on down towards the salt marshes, the River Loughor was at just the right level to provide me with a beautiful reflection of the sky as the sun pushed through aa little gap in the clouds.
My walk this week repeats the route along the cycle path I posted about a few weeks ago, but to my surprise there were more differences on the walk than I expected.
I thought it would be a challenge to present a different post about the same place so soon, but it seems my lack of a sense of time extends beyond the delay in writing this post (I have been a day behind in my head all week) to a perception that less time has passed since I last walked this path.
The wild flowers in bloom now, compared to those a few weeks ago, demonstrate the fast pace of natural changes at this time of year. While I enjoyed the patterns and textures of my last walk there a month ago, it is wonderful to see the rosebay willow herb and other wild flowers come back into colour.
Cycle Path Soundscape
The photos and sound were again recorded on my iPhone and due its sensitivity to wind, the soundscape above is shorter than my usual. Hopefully you will still enjoy it while looking through the images.
The pool in the river is empty of children this time but shows that idyllic spot on a Summer day where, on my last walk there, you could hear the sheiks of laughter from local youngsters making the most of a hot day and ignoring the Covid-19 lock down advice on social distancing.
My walk this week is in Singleton Park, Swansea and took advantage of the slight relaxation in the Covid-19 lockdown measures. Whether it was right or not to do this with regard to the coronavirus pandemic, it was a very positive thing to do for the sake of my mental wellbeing.
Sheltering under the trees from the rain I took advantage of the pause in our walk and snapped a shot or two, including the crushed wild garlic that was giving off a wonderfully powerful scent.
Once the sun reappeared the clover shone like jewels in the open grassland of this expansive urban park. While the botanic garden was closed due to the difficulty of distancing, the rest of the park-scape caused no problems in this respect and everyone there respected the social distancing advice.
In the smaller Brynmill Park on our return, this was a little more problematic, but people mostly did what they could to maintain a distance and the lake there is a popular attraction.
Park-scape Sound Clip
I have not called the audio above a soundscape because recording on my iPhone as I was and that not taking well to the wind, I did not capture as much sound as I would have liked.
The media player does not show on the WordPress Reader, so please visit the website to listen to the sound clip and view the images at the same time.