Landscape overview

My Walk this Week 158 – Uphill from The Waterside

My walk this week is a welcome return to my friends Sue and Steve at The Waterside in a nearby Welsh valley where they have a beautiful lake and a fascinating herd of alpacas. I wanted to climb uphill from the lakeside to get more of an overview of the valley and the landscape around it. On this particular morning I had spent my time doing admin and taking a break in such a relaxing location was just what I needed.

bluebells on the hillside

Hillside by The Waterside

So after an enjoyable lunch on the First Friday open day in May I took myself off to look at the bluebells and blossom of the hill on the far side of the lake. The sun shone intermittently and Continue reading

Kenfig beach

My Walk this Week 152 – Sound of Sunny Seaside Larks

My walk this week is from the burrows and beach at Kenfig on the South Wales coast where, on a sunny Sunday, we heard the most beautiful sound of seaside larks rejoicing in the afternoon sunshine. Both they and the wonderful weather made for a very enjoyable walk through the dunes and down to the expansive beach and an ebb tide.

tree and lake

Heading first for Kenfig Pool, it seemed the water level was up from recent rain and to judge from the route we were forced to take to get to the beach, the recent storms had fulfilled their aim of dumping as much rain as possible in as short a time as possible. Continue reading

Colourful landscape

My Walk this Week 137 – Quiet Quarry Walk

My walk this week takes place at first light in an old, quiet quarry and its surrounding landscape. The rocks were black with the wet weather and to begin with the atmosphere felt quite oppressive. However, things lightened and brightened as I ascended to the upper edge of the quarry and into a very mossy woodland.
black quarry rock

The soundscape down in the dark confines of the quarry was still and my footsteps echoed in the amphitheatre of hewn rock, the small birds chirped and the crows cawed. Once I arrived at the top edge of the steep, dark slabs and could look over the Welsh landscape,Continue reading

Autumn pine

My Walk this Week 133 – Autumn Woodland

My walk this week is through a section of the forest in Penllergaer Valley Woods near Swansea in South Wales. I was keen to find a moment in our currently wet weather to see the colours that I know exist here at this time of year. Being a valley means you get to see the and hear the woodland from different vantage points with overviews of the slopes of yellowing trees as well as the closer details around the footpaths.

The soundscape is different in the depths of the valley to that on its upper edges – this is partly because, down below, you are sheltered from the background sound of traffic on the motorway. But the sound of birds is still masked somewhat by the waterfall at this time of year when it is raging and thundering down from the lake.

I hope that you will click the play button below and listen to the soundscape while viewing the images in sequence – perhaps the sound will help to bring the images to life and bring you closer to my own experience of the walk.

Autumn Woodland Soundscape

holey tree

My Walk this Week 126 – Woodland Wonders

The wonders of the woodland, the lakes, the colours and the soundscape . . . and the textures and the bird life and the patterns and the fact that the rain held off for me on my walk this week around Gnoll Estate Country Park in Neath, South Wales – these are some of the things that I enjoyed about this walk.

Early Autumn colour

One thing I did not remember from previous visits (going back a few years) was the oak tree with a huge hole through its trunk. Clearly the park authorities felt it was a wonder worth preserving and have reinforced the natural structure with metal rods.Continue reading

Waterside Wander

My walk this week was more of a lazy wander. The warm sunshine and the relaxed atmosphere at the Welsh Valley Alpacas Open Day prompted a meander more than a walk and that is what we did (see the two previous posts for this week).

ribwort

Returning from the top of the valley at The Waterside – Felindre we first met some of the male alpacas with their new shorn hair-dos. Then, sitting on a perfectly placed bench, I soaked up the atmosphere and photographed (yet again) one of my favourite wildflowers,Continue reading

lake surface

Waterside and Woodland

Just realised I put the wrong date in on this post so it’s a little later in the day than usual – hope you all missed it!

Following the lakeside on my walk this week at The Waterside – Felindre, where we also enjoyed Welsh Valley Alpacas, we spotted some of the other fauna to be found there, namely a host of little tadpoles and fish.

woodland alley

From the waterside we climbed up into the woods where we enjoyed the bluebells still covering the sun-dappled glades and the alley-ways of trees. The carpet of needles was soft underfoot and, away from the crowd of people visiting the alpacas,Continue reading

Welsh Valley Alpacas

My Walk this Week – Welsh Valley Alpacas

My walk this week includes alpacas! My friends Steve and Sue Heatherington run Welsh Valley Alpacas and, as the name suggests, they are situated in a Welsh valley. The alpacas are wonderful creatures and the valley is beautiful.

Alpaca close-up

I cannot tell you the names of those featured here but Sue and Steve know every one of the 39 (approx) alpacas individually by name and character. They are fascinating animals but not the only ones in the valley. The family of geese have been watched closely from when they started looking for a suitable nesting site toContinue reading

Uplands landscape

Punctuated By Ice at The Waterside

My walk this week has been around the lake at The Waterside – Felindre and seems to have been punctuated by ice. Indeed, the whole language and grammar of the posts has been dictated by the freezing icy conditions.

Icy Punctuation

Influenced as I am by the things I see and hear around me, I look at the light and shade, the patterns and textures, and I wonder what it would feel like to touch, to run my fingers along some of the surfaces of frozen water, hard ground lightly dusted with snow or old reeds and rushes from last year as they poke through the semi opaque sometimes mushy lookingContinue reading

Icy grass skirt

Clothes of Ice

The top end of the lake round which I walked last week seemed to be wearing a range of icy clothes. I suppose I might be forcing it a bit, but the idea came to mind when I took the shot below and thought this rock in the stream had a flouncy skirt look about it.

Flouncy ice

And then I saw the submerged half frozen grass at the edge of the silt pond and thought “Wow! What great effect.”

The last two shots in this short sequence are clearly not references to clothing,Continue reading