A Pattern of Poo . . . sheep poo!

Here are the culprits enjoying a mid morning meal in the old St Teilo’s Churchyard down on the marshes on the Loughour Estuary.

Walking along the old footpath beside the River Loughor last Sunday morning, I followed one of the gullies made by the flooding tide – the marshes are tidal and the salt marsh lamb that is produced as a result is very tasty indeed!

The gullies fill regularly with the tide but not all the way to the top except at those times of year when the spring tides occur. This means that the upper part of the gullies tend to be shallower and the mud exposed for longer periods.

Not just the mud of course – the sheep poo as well! You may not agree with me, but at the time of my walk, I was fascinated by the patterns left in the gullies by the mixture of mud and sheep poo drying out in the sun – a kind of burst bubble effect. Go on, say it . . . “simple things amuse simple minds”, to which I would answer, “to each their own” or “live and let live”. Don’t think of it as poo, just as pattern.

Sheep in Churchyard

Pattern of Poo

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A Pair of Ponies

I regularly walk down on the marshes by the River Loughor near my home but do not often meet others doing so. The path is well worn, so there must be more people using it than I meet there.

Earlier this year the route of the footpath had to be changed slightly to take it a little further back from the river bank. The evidence of erosion can be seen in the photos of fences in yesterday’s post. The new route runs through a field or two near the old St Teilo’s Churchyard and the fields are normally empty of animals. Sometimes there are sheep there but on this occasion there were two new occupants. They seemed friendly and pleased to see me.

I just have one question about the piebald one – could he be described as dappled on this occasion? 😉

Ponies 3

Ponies 1

Ponies 2

Ponies 4

Ponies 5

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks, pay what you want and receive a download of this week’s featured StillWalks video “Troserch Woodland Walk“, click the image below to watch the sample.

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Troserch Woodland Walk (Part 1)

At last, here is the StillWalks video I have been working on – a little reminder of the recent Summer.  Sometimes I find that a walk can be split into two separate videos and that is the case on this occasion. This first part goes through the woods as the title suggests. The second one will have a different title and will be alongside the Morlais river which flows from the woodland down towards Llangennech and the Loughor Estuary.

Click the image to play the video.

Update – this video is now sample size and length only. Please see the post about the Donate button for further information.

Selected still photos from this video are now available on the StillWalks Photography website.

Warmer Days

These photos prove the time of year down on the marshes for the Old Churchyard Walk on the Loughor Estuary. The sheep scene looks as though it could be from ancient times!

Water droplets

Water Droplets

lazing around

Lazing Around

Meat on the Marshes

The walk from Coedbach Park across the marshes to the old St Teilo’s churchyard is one of my local favourites. You can see it in the Old Churchyard Walk. The marshes on the River Loughor are tidal and therefore salty.

I don’t know what this sheep thinks about it all and I can’t say that it is specifically a Salt Marsh sheep but it is one of the flock from the marshes.

Given the recent news about the mix up of meats – beef? horse? – people may be looking at other meats at the moment and I know the salt marsh lamb I have tasted is pretty good stuff. One place to get it is Gower Salt Marsh LambWhether it is meat or veg, I cannot recommend highly enough the taste of your own home grown or locally produced food.

Marsh Sheep

Marsh Sheep

Affected by Atmosphere

Walking out along the Loughor Estuary last Sunday morning, the weather was still but overcast and the sound of the M4 motorway was even more evident than usual. I love the marshes on the estuary and the old St Teilo’s churchyard, and I normally find that I suppress the sound of traffic in my head and listen instead to the birds, sheep, cattle and wind along with the sound of my footsteps in the grass or mud and the rustling of the reeds.

These are some of the sounds recorded in the StillWalks I have produced here. I did not do any sound recording on Sunday but I got a few shots of the area and thought about how much the sounds we hear are so unique to the time and place we are in. They are the result of things like the weather conditions before and during our visit as well as the activities of others, like driving along the motorway on a Sunday morning to go shopping or visit family or whatever. Twenty five years ago there was virtually no Sunday morning traffic on the M4 but even now the traffic sound can seem distant if the wind is in the right direction or other environmental aspects such as a high tide, rain or time of year change the conditions.

This is something we’ll be looking at on the Sights and Sounds of the Countryside project which you can find out about here or follow on Facebook.

The StillWalks website is offline at the moment due to malicious hackers but you can see 480p versions of two StillWalks from the Loughor Estuary on Vimeo – After the Tide and the Old Churchyard Walk. They will be available to buy in full HD when the site is back up and running.

Here are some photos of the Loughor Estuary and the marshes. Image prints can be purchase at PhotoBox.

IMG_5425 IMG_5427 IMG_5435 IMG_5443 IMG_5447 IMG_5451 IMG_5461 IMG_5466 IMG_5467

View from the Top

Last Sunday was a beautiful day here in South Wales which encouraged me to take a walk up Graig Fawr. The views over the surrounding countryside are uplifting . . . when the sun is out. Looking west you can see over to Carmarthenshire and looking south the view takes in the Loughor Estuary and the Gower Peninsula.

The wind was blowing and the Skylarks were singing and I needed to get to the top. Here are a few of the photos I took and also a sound clip of those Larks in the wind.

View from the Top

View from the Top

Loughor Estuary and the Gower

View from the Top 1Loughor Estuary and the Gower

Foxgloves and the Gower

Foxgloves and the Gower

You can hear those Skylarks in the wind here or you can play the clip below if you are already on the blog.