Llyn Llech Owain

My Walk this Week 239 – Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my StillWalks® followers and visitors. My walk this week is a hopeful one that takes you out of the woods and into the open.

The sound track for this short video was not going to be as it is. When recording the short clip in the woods at Llyn Llech Owain a helicopter flew overhead (as you can hear) – this prompted me to record a separate sound clip after it had passed.

However, it occurred to me that the helicopter might be considered symbolic of the past year in that it was likely to be an emergency flight taking someone to hospital. I doubt very much that we are out of the woods yet with the coronavirus. Even with the vaccine it will take time to immunise the population and we need to keep our fingers crossed that the vaccine will do the trick.

So out of the woods and into the open . . . Llyn Llech Owain is a local country park on one of those currently rare bright cold days, we and other families carefully kept socially distanced as we enjoyed the sounds of the geese on the lake, the peace of no traffic in the background, and the moon rising as the sun set (at the end of the video in the top left corner). 

Burry Inlet

My Walk this Week 236 – Coastal Path

My walk this week shows a small section of the coastal path along the Loughor Estuary and Burry Inlet in South Wales.

The soundscape for the still image video above was recorded separately and apart from trimming, I have done very little work on it. My walk started in a semi-industrial area where you can here the sounds of machinery as well as traffic. The traffic never disappears but does fade a little as the path approaches the edges of the estuary.

It was a bitterly cold morning as can be seen in the images below and my hands felt like they were going to drop off as I recorded and photographed the scene.

The quality of light excited me. Where there is a wide expanse of still water and a relatively even light in the sky, the two reflect and bounce off each other, creating subtle changes of colour and luminance that you do not see when the surface of the water is more broken or choppy. Or indeed, when the sky is more broken in its textures and with higher contrast in its areas of light and shade.

Mumbles lighthouse

My Walk this Week 233 – The Sea The Sea

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.

waves and wind

My Walk this Week 227 – Visual Wind and Audio Calm

My walk this week contains contradictions, wind in the visual but calm in the audio. Two walks really, both from Scotland – one where photos were taken and the other where sound recordings was done.

light and dark

The image above demonstrates a change in temperature while we were in Scotland, and of course that was preceded by wind. The strange rays of light sneaking through the cloud formation looks to me as though it might be an error in photo development, but this is a digital shot and anyway, I saw it with my own eyes, and it was weird. There’s nothing like nature to hold you in fascination and awe.

The effects of wind can be seen in the images below but the sound I recorded was from a cal walk along the shore, listening to the lapping of waves on the sand and amongst the rocks. So if the images leave you feeling flustered, hopefully the audio will keep you calm.

Perhaps it may be best on this occasion to look and listen separately – not something I usually prompt.

Calm Sea Soundscape

You might find using headphones worthwhile for this soundscape.

The curlew is perhaps the one natural element that is keeping its calm in the face of the wild wind and waves.

Scottish Sunsets-8

My Walk this Week 226 – Spectacular Sunsets

On my walk this week I want to share some of my favourite photos of spectacular sunsets from the two weeks I spent in Scotland. The videos I posted while there could not follow the ever changing light for more than a few moments and the atmosphere created by the setting sun on successive evenings was literally awesome.

Scottish Sunsets-3

From the pastel tints and shades looking in one direction to the drama of a fiery sky in another, the reflections on clouds above and water below never ceases to amaze me.

However, I couldn’t photograph one of the most impressive evening skies I have ever seen. I was driving home at the time and as we crossed the border into Wales the sunset was unbelievable, unrealistic even! Yet it was real and will be one that lives on in my memory – it was a good way to arrive back from a much needed and, in spite of Covid-19, much enjoyed holiday. And we were back just in time for another lockdown!

Evening Soundscape – Curlews Calling

A couple of the curlews calling in the soundscape above are from one of the videos I posted previously – the others were separately recorded and are a natural (and phenomenal, to my mind) part of the evening landscapes/seascapes in the photos.

Click the play button for the soundscape and then click the first image below to see the full images larger.

 

My Walk this Week 224 – Away with Peace and the Birds

My walk this week comes from Scotland and it is not so much a walk as a simple record of the stillness, peace and quiet we have been experiencing in this first week away.

Three short iPhone videos tell the story – listen out for the cries of curlews in the evening – there is nothing else like them.

 

Post and all videos/images created on my phone.

silhouettes

My Walk this Week 217 – An Evening on the Marshes

My walk this week is back on my local salt marshes where the evening was still and the midges were out in their millions.

I went down there for the sunset and then had my back turned, recording sound, when it actually dipped below the horizon.

It was a still evening and there were not many birds singing but as always in this environment, there are gates – specifically four, but there were more people using them than just myself. I have included four in the soundscape but had I included all the instances of use on this short walk there would have been the sound of at least ten!

I understand and accept that by now you may think me obsessed with gates, and you wouldn’t be far wrong. Aside from the individual audio characteristics they have which I enjoy, they are symbolic of so much. They are way markers, milestones, entrances and exits simultaneously, thresholds, limitations, invitations – and they come in so many designs!

There is a bird that appears in the recording at about 01:10 – it was in the woods at the edge of the marsh but I do not know what it is. If anyone can tell me, I would be pleased to know. The Covid-eased traffic is ever present on the motorway but I have focused more on the other sounds in the trees and on the marshes.

Marshes Evening Soundscape

The images below seem not to show on the WordPress Reader any more, though the audio player does, so if using the reader, please visit the website by clicking on the three vertical dots on the right of the blog name to bring up a menu allowing you to visit the post on the website.

Sunset Scotland

My Walk this Week 206 – I should have been here now

My walk this week is a re-post of one I made two years ago in the place we should have been now – SW Scotland. But due to the Covid-19 lock down, all holidays were cancelled and so we can only visit virtually.

The evening light in my selected shots of sunsets in SW Scotland show the changing scene from day to day from different viewpoints. Almost all the photos were taken on different evenings but it is easy to take many, many photographs throughout just one evening as the sun sinks down and the light and shade and colours change above in the sky and below in the bay.

Low tide and lowering sun

Fewer clouds this year might have meant less drama, but I don’t think that is ever the case in this place. The skyscape / landscape / seascape is always mesmerising and holds my attention,
in awe again and again at the yellows and reds, greens and blues, and on one occasion pink and grey. The peacefulness is unparalleled at times like these.

Evening Soundscape

This soundscape is not from the same post but is certainly from the same place.

NB The place we stay with these wonderful views is called High Tide. It has been in my family since my grandfather built it in 1937 and although it is currently closed due to Covid-19, we do accept bookings from people other than family and friends. Watch the website for updates on the situation with regards to booking.