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.

Squall

Herded by Cows and a Squall

At the start of my walk this week I mentioned my caution regarding cows and how I cut off across the top of the hill to avoid them. But they were having none of that and following a sudden squall of hailstones I was persuaded yet again to take an alternative route back down the hill.

cows

The fast changing weather provided me with a range of lighting effects and I found myself blinded by the light one moment and then wowed by the hailing clouds over Swansea Bay the next. It was still very cold and although this wasn’t a long walk,Continue reading

Lichen

Lichen and a Dry Stone Wall

Sheltering unsuccessfully from the bitter winter wind by a dry stone wall on the Swansea uplands I took a moment to admire the lichen and thought about how it looks as though someone has illustrated it in pen and ink.

lichen on dry stone wall

I had been persuaded by a herd of cows to cut across the top of Mynydd Gelli instead of circumnavigating it at a lower contour.Continue reading

Mynydd Gelli winter view

My Walk this Week – A Sprinkling of Winter

We rarely get any snow in the small town where I live and so when I awoke to find a thin Winter sprinkling in the garden, I assumed that there would be more of it all around us on higher ground and I prepared to take a walk later in the morning.

Mynydd Gelli tree

So I was surprised to find naked trees and moorland when I set off up one of the hills in the lower reaches of the Mawr, the upland area just north of Swansea. No white blankets to be seen,Continue reading

Late afternoon

Witch Hazel in a Late Afternoon Landscape

The light was diminishing on my walk this week at the NBGW but the late afternoon still revealed some good views and wonderful details. One of my particular favourites in this respect was the Witch Hazel. The Botanic Garden of Wales has many of these and at this time of year they are blossoming with their beautifully coloured and wacky flowers – the colours make me think of the cocktail, Tequila Sunrise!

Witch Hazel

There was also a crooked oak tree that looked as though it was using one of its own fallen branches as a crooked walking stick to hold itself up. It reminded me of this old rhyme:Continue reading

NBGW Country Seat

Looking and Listening Seats for the Landscape

The attractively designed benches situated along my walk this week at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) are ideal facilities for looking at and listening to the surrounding landscape.

NBGW Landscape 2

At the moment I am focusing on the looking rather than the listening. It wasn’t actually raining on the walk but the ground was very wet from recent weather . . . as were the seats. Everything in fact, looked Continue reading

NBGW lake

My Walk this Week – Landscape Ageing and Restoration

My walk this week is from the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), though it turned out not to be the walk we had expected as the Pont Felin Gat woodland was closed off to the public for clearance / restoration work. The images show one of the existing lakes in the gardens as well as the site of another lake from the past. This is being restored but in the meantime the landscape of tree stumps creates some fascinating patterns, textures and colours.

So we followed the “blue” walk instead and climbed past old farm buildings which also look in need of restoration. Again, the colours, patterns and textures revealedContinue reading

Grass in the Bay

Natural and Man-Made

My walk this week took me through Swansea University’s Bay Campus to the open view it has of the expansive Swansea Bay. The combination of the natural and man-made had a number of crossover points – one of these was how cold it was with the wind chill coming off the sea, exposed as I was both in the open and amongst the buildings.

Beach Perspective

Other overlaps of the natural and man made came in the birdlife and young trees planted around the buildings, the moat-like sea defences (I suspect that, one day, these will not be enough), the rusting structure of an old disused outlet pipe onto the beach, and the industrial view looking east to Port Talbot.Continue reading

River Dulais bridge

Out of the Light and Into a Rhododendron Tunnel

Having risen towards the sunlight at the start of this walk, I then had to descend again, and in doing so took a route that led me through a natural tunnel rhododendron tunnel.

This is the final part of my walk this week and a slight change of format. I am no longer going to post a review of the walk each week so if you want top see the rest of the walk you will have to visit the two previous posts.

Rhododendron tunnel

The tunnel is dark but feels fabulous and the middle of it is the quietest section of the walk. While the images below cover only the last part of this walk, the soundscape is from the whole walk which starts and ends with the sounds of the Dulais River or Afon Dulais.Continue reading

April - Woodland

April To May – Reviewing the Second Quarter

For this first week of 2018 I have picked out some of my preferred shots taken on the many walks I enjoyed last year. Today I am looking at a few of my favoured photos from April to June 2017 and if you want to see more of them, just select the posts from the monthly archive on the blog page.