Last week I was up on top of Mynydd y Graig in the Mawr ward of Swansea. It is up above the Lliw reservoirs into which the River Lliw flows. It was very windy up there but the views are great and the sound of the Skylarks lifts the heart every time.
We did not have Winter this year where I live – last Winter, however, was different.
Having said that, his new StillWalks video is obviously from last Winter. I have only just completed it and would like to present it as this week’s featured video before the we are completely out of the season that never happened.
This featured StillWalks video will be available on this blog all week and will then revert to a small sample version. The video features Lower Lliw Reservoir near Swansea, South Wales.
The video above is in 480p quality. You can use the Donate button in the sidebar on the right to pay however much you want and receive a high quality (720HD) download of this week’s featured StillWalks video. Click the image above to watch the video. DVD Collections are also available to order in the StillWalks Shop.
Swansea Countryside Connections Team, through which StillWalks ran the Sights and Sounds of the Countryside project, put on a number of events throughout the year for those living in eligible rural wards in Swansea. It was one of their dawn chorus walks where I first met Helen Grey and it was she, along with Tim Orrell, who was leading the Nature Detective Walk along the Gower Way from Felindre to Lower Lliw Reservoir last Wednesday evening. See the photos below.
As this was the route taken by the Sights and Sounds project on the production day for the Felindre Families group, I thought it would be good to go along – and indeed it was! I discovered what the funny lumps and bumps are in the first field we crossed. We found a very old ash tree with branches twisting and twining round each other, reflecting its age. We saw Deadly Nightshade amongst other plants and flowers, a badger set, mole holes, young Hazelnuts, whin, thistles, ducks, etc., etc.
“Helen, you will have to remind me of that last little yellow flower I asked you about. I cannot remember it it now!”
Click here (Countryside Connections Events) to see what other Countryside Connections events are coming up.
Following the recent StillWalks project exhibition, “Sights and Sounds of the Countryside”, I was delivering some the display screens back to Felindre Primary School who had generously loaned them for the purpose.
Being a beautiful, sunny day and quite different to the weather we had on the project production days, I was tempted to walk some way along the footpath we had taken up to Lliw Reservoir. It is a part of the Gower Way and the photo below shows the start of the walk.
I would love, over time, to produce more StillWalks along here and at Lliw Reservoirs in different seasons. All I have to do is find the time or someone to pay for it!
These and more photos can be seen and purchased at StillWalks PhotoShelter.
Sunlight or cloud, rain or mist – the weather conditions influence, no, create the available light for photography.
A few weeks ago I was at Lliw Valley Reservoirs in the rain and took some photos on my iPhone 4s of what I described as “fence post gardens”. I posted them on the Moss Appreciation Society Facebook page with the comment that I would have to go back on a dry day to photograph them properly. The response from one group member was that moss likes, and is perhaps, at its best in the rain.
The sun was shining when I was up there last week and following my interview with BBC Radio Wales I proceeded to take some photos of the same “fence post gardens” with my Canon 550D. It was difficult to say the least! Sunlight can be very dramatic – usually in the early morning or evening, but it can also be a major problem depending on the subject matter.
I have picked out four photos that I think are not too bad from those I took on the day but it seems I am going to have to wait for a more overcast day or go there at sunrise to get some decent shots of this subject.
Getting to know the subject is also important whatever medium you are working with, and I think that it was not just the light conditions that gave me a problem. It was also time and the need to figure out the best angles. Next time I will go better informed.
Update (22/03/2013) According to a friend of my sister –
“The second photo has some lichens in as well as moss- the silvery flattish ones at the front which may be a Paramelia – and probably the red and silvey grey one – also a brown cupped one in the middle- these last 2 will be Cladonia species.”
Lliw Valley in the rain – the last of my images this week on this subject, these photos seem to prove the resilience of wood over metal.
The first two along with a number of others taken recently, can also be seen on the Ambiguity of Fences blog. Other Fence Post Garden images from Lliw Valley can be seen on Facebook at the Moss Appreciation Society.
The sound of a Song Thrush singing in the rain in Lliw Valley – what more can I say!
This week I have some sample shots to show from my production day at Lliw Valley Lower Reservoir. A new StillWalk will eventually be published and I look forward to giving you the sound as well as the images.
I really enjoyed doing the work but was thoroughly exhausted by the end.