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

trees silhouette

The Moon and A Mirror

I think the shot below is probably my favourite from my walk this week down on our local marshes during the sunset and moon rise. The flat water of the high tide filling the river and reflecting the fading light and lunar crescent like a mirror was so peaceful and calming.

The soundscape for the walk also reflected the evening peace, even with the backdrop of motorway traffic. The birds sang and along with the bubbling of a small stream flowing into the river, they allowed me to ignore the trundle of tyres on tarmac. The soundscape is in three sections – Continue reading

evening reflection

An Evening with Marsh Grass

The tall marsh grass I enjoyed so much on my walk this week was enhanced by the beautiful evening light and the high tide which flows far up the River Loughor from the estuary. On this evening the level was perfect for a walk – not so high as to cover the surrounding marshes, but high enough to make the river brimful.

Riverside Marsh Grass

The result is a smooth mirror in the middle of the landscape, one that reflects all above and around it – the colours of the sunset and the riverside grasses. The surface was broken onlyContinue reading

Old Buddleia flower

A Space Between – Edgelands of Industry and Nature

My walk this week has been through a space between, a space on the edge of both nature and industry – and nature, of course, wins every time and in so many ways.

return route

Looking at the evidence of man is perhaps not the best way to finish my posts on this walk but there are other elements to the landscape apart from the old tyres and wires. The profusion of old Buddleia bushes will soonContinue reading

Red water grasses

Fluffy, Furry and Fuzzy – New Edgeland Growth

The edgeland of Newport which I was exploring on my walk this week were partly coloured by industry, but Spring knows no bounds and prompts all plant life to new growth at this time of year.

Spring growth?

And so, looking away from some of the other aspects of this liminal industrial space, I took a closer look at some of the different wasteland plants that were coming to life around me. The buds and seed heads were fluffy, furry and fuzzy as they set out for the sun against the red earth and water of the ponds in this abandoned area of the Newport Levels.

I never did get to the official Newport Wetlands but was very happy to see this less cared for environment where there was plenty of evidence of man but no man to be seen.

Red Wetland

My Walk this Week – Edgelands and Old Reens

My walk this week is through the edgelands of Newport, South East Wales (UK). It took me towards what promised to be Newport Wetlands, according to the footpath sign post. I hadn’t gone there for this purpose but found myself frustrated in another errand and in need of an escape from the pressures of the day.

old wetland reen

I’d looked to see if there were any nearby walks in a natural environment. What I found was a wild space between industries that promised at least the potential to check out the reensContinue 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

water freeze

My Walk this Week – Icy Textures

My walk this week is another cold one around the lake at The Waterside – Felindre. It was very icy and the range of textures within that ice was fascinating. We had been led to believe there would be snow but as you can see, the forecasts were wrong for this little pocket of the country and a light dusting was all we got.

The Waterside in Winter

This was another short walk as my hands felt as though they would fall off with the cold and it was only a new pair of gloves knitted by my daughter that allowed me take the photos. Taking a close look at the various ice formations revealedContinue reading

River grass

Reflecting On the Salt Marsh Landscape

Reflecting on my walk this week on the landscape of my local salt marsh I am happy that I took the walk when I did as I suspect this open landscape would have been even more cold in our recent weather than the walk I took at the tail end of Storm Emma (that will be next weeks posts).

Remains of last year

My focus on this walk has been more about the details than the open space and those details have mainly been the marsh grass and one or two of the features within it, such as the fences. I love some of the individual “marks” in this landscape – the spiky reflection of marsh grass in the river, the spiky barbs of a sinking fence, the spiky flicks of individual grass blades amongst the busy textures their stems, the crusty lichen covered surface of thin branches and the twirly wiggle of an old bit of rosebay willow herb from last year.

The audio element was there as well of course andContinue reading

Marsh Grasses

A Focus on Marsh Grass

One of the things I like most about  my walk this week on my local salt marsh is the marsh grass. It’s not the only thing I focus on when there, but using the camera to look at different aspects of the grass by adjusting the focal length allows me to investigate some of its different textures and patterns.

Marsh grass

The two images below with the fence half hidden amongst the grasses are ones that each have a different depth of field and which I like for different reasons. The one with the fence and background grasses blurred gives me a better sense of being there while the other seems to me to be more diagrammatic, though I like the complex texture it presents.  You may see them differently, but neither of them are realistic insofar as the camera lens cannot see in the way our eyes do but only recreate a sense of a place which we, ultimately, respond to according to our individual perception. Perhaps, if you are unfamiliar with this kind of landscape feature, the images may mean nothing to you. Our connection and response to the things around us, images included, is strongly influenced by our own experiences.