Focusing minds, making connections

My walk this week is follows the lakeside at The Waterside, a place ideal for focusing your mind, making connections and reflecting on the discoveries that can be made there. Discoveries may be as straightforward as observations of the nature in this hidden Welsh valley – more likely they will be deeper still than that.

Whether I am simply amused by the alpacas or excited by the play of light on water in either rain or shine, the conversations I have here are always valuable. Being away from the normal working environment (however much I like my studio) and coming to a place where new and different connections can be seen and made all around me, helps to bring clarity to my mind. I look forward to my next visit on 1st July, another First Friday event.

Focusing minds, making connections

Focusing minds, making connections

I produced the first 4k version of a StillWalks video and I can’t wait to see it on The Waterside’s 55″ UHD screen!

Distant Voices Across the Water

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.

What’s going on here then? Who are you?

Surprised alpacas! They weren’t expecting me and I didn’t have a familiar face so I guess surprise should be expected. Or maybe I was wearing my hat – I’m told they don’t like hats.

Having crossed the footbridge to the western side of the lake at The Waterside I was entertained by some of the alpacas that are kept here (Welsh Valley Alpacas) and reminded of their fluffy faces by the bullrushes revealing their fluffy seeds on the lakeside.

Alpaca - mid chew!

Alpaca – mid chew!

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.

Sensory Perception at the Lakeside

Nearing the end or turning point of my walk this week, I emerged from the riverside woodland footpath at the Enterprise Park near Llansamlet in Swansea. This zone has grown over the years and one of its main characteristics is that you are almost forced to take the car from place within the zone.

However, despite the sound of passing traffic (below), once I had crossed the road I was able to enjoy the lake that forms a central feature in the area. As in any urban area, there is always the background sound of city activity and traffic, but the lake here forms an essential and effective oasis from all that.

Lakeside

We need these oases in modern urban living, but it is not just a matter of them existing. We need to make sure we use them as they were intended and enjoy the natural benefits they can bring on a regular basis.

Walking around a lake or park, down a tree-lined street, along a river, we are offered the opportunity to not just exercise of our limbs, but also to exercise our sensory perception. Looking and/or listening is possible for almost everyone and in my experience is well worth it.

Passing Traffic

Lakeside Ambience

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.

Stepping Down to The Waterside

The first part of my short walk around the old reservoir, now a lake at The Waterside, was wet underfoot – hardly surprising given all the rain we have had this winter. The dampness is, of course, ideal conditions for moss to grow and these steps down the the lakeside are covered in the stuff.

But I love these steps and the fact that they are being taken over by nature to the point where, from certain angles, they are so well camouflaged as to be almost completely hidden. The rise above the lake from which the steps descend gives an excellent opportunity to enjoy reflections in the water.

On Friday this week (5th Feb) StillWalks will be at The Waterside running presentations  about the StillWalks package for businesses and organisations. If anyone is interested in coming along to this regular open day at The Waterside, please check out the website above and contact us in advance.

steps to lake

Wet Footsteps

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

 

 

 

Suburban Lakeside Soundscape and Reviewing the Week 52

While my walk this week has not appeared very wintry, the photos were taken and the sound recorded in January and though there is no ice or snow to be seen, it seems that mild winters are now a feature of the seasons in many parts of Britain.

I hope you have enjoyed the first of my walks in 2016 and I look forward to posting many more this year.

Hemlington Lake

Try listening to the soundscape of the walk while viewing the images in sequence – click the play button and then the first thumbnail below.

Suburban Lakeside Soundscape Sample

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

Abstract Islands

Looking at this suburban lake as I walk around its periphery, I find myself thinking about the interventions that man has made in the interests of maintaining a dialogue between human and natural environment.

The fishing platforms that jut out into the water at the lakeside have a straightforward function, but the mid lake platform on which the gulls are resting is more abstract. I don’t know what it has been constructed from but with little or no vegetation forming a part of it, there is no disguising the man made materials. It seems to be a welcome haven for the birds at any rate.

My third photo today shows the patterns of construction materials of an outlet in the lake that I guess must be required as the streams feeding the lake doesn’t appear to have any other natural continuation point.

Hemlington Lake

Gulls at rest

Hemlington Lake outlet

Feathered Friends – Lakeside Residents

Walking round this suburban lake during the winter months can be very entertaining for many reasons. The main performers providing the entertainment are of course our feathered friends, the local avian residents. The variety of birds here may be common but are of no less interest for that.

Judging by the shot below it seems that size is relevant, with the small gulls waiting patiently and hopefully for a share of the fare on offer.

Swans

The entertainment is not only in the shape, colour and behaviour of the birds – it also comes in the form of sound. Listen to the sound clip below for a taste of the calls and conversations in the bird community at the lakeside.

Suburban Lakeside Birds

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.