River rapids

My Walk this Week 190 – River Ely

My walk this week was a short one by the River Ely on the edge of Cardiff and slotted in between the rain and meetings. The profusion of recent rain was showing its effect on the river, though I am sure this is nothing compared to other areas of the country.

Natural casualties

The sights and sounds of the river rushing and gurgling along during lunchtime break in a nearby school (you can hear the children in the playground) was intermittently overlaid by the speeding by of  local and intercity trains.Continue reading

bullrush

Nature on the Banks of an Inland Marina

I was slightly surprised on my walk this week in Northampton to find a marina – Northampton is land locked and not far off the centre of England. However, this inland marina was not for sailing and motor boats, it was for canal boats and there were plenty of them.

River Nene lock gate

The photo above shows one of the locks on the River Nene. I thought the sepia treatment of the image added some character to what was otherwise a fairly ordinary feature. What I really enjoyed about these water ways wasContinue 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

Campus Evening – Reviewing the Walk

At the end of my walk this week it is still only 4:20 pm but the last remaining light in the sky is all but gone. In the shade of York University campus it is completely gone and lights are reflecting on the dark surface of the campus lake around which I have been walking. There was no ice on the lake but it felt bitterly cold at the time – however, this may have been because I kept stopping to take in the sights and record the sounds.

The soundscape is below along with a selected sequence of images from my walk.

Geese at sunset

York Uni night lights

Continue reading

Nature and Power Patterns Against a Blue Sky

The patterns I saw on my walk this week were wonderful. Both natural and man made, these objects were clear and crisp against the most significant aspect of the views – the blue sky. Whether it was the near fractal patterns of a bare tree or the electrical loops of power lines, the bright blue sky made them stand out and I was in awe at the complex beauty around me.

tree against blue sky

Willow Wall

Returning from the wildflower garden to the children garden on my walk this week at Kunsthuis Gallery I explored one of its features. The willow tunnel entrance to this natural / man-made “dwelling” was too enticing not to do so. Bending down to child height I entered the dome shaped structure and enjoyed the changed and semi-secretive space with its growing willow walls and willow roof creating patterns and textures as it changed the sunlight from above.

willow wall

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Under the Woodland Bridge

This was a first for me – viewing the railway into Swansea from underneath. For some reason it had not occurred to me that the Tawe riverside footpath would, at this location, inevitably pass under the railway.

There is something fascinating, even exciting, about the combination of natural and man made – wood, leaf, concrete and iron – the different (and similar) scales has as much to do with my fascination as the juxtaposed materials and textures.

Railway Bridge and trees

The reflection of the bridge in the waters of the river below provides a link between the hard functional materials of its construction and the more natural woodland lining the river.

Both the railway and the footpath were in use on this Sunday morning with plenty of walkers, joggers, children and dogs enjoying the woodland. However, I didn’t either see or hear a train during my walk.

Walking Conversations

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Abstract Islands

Looking at this suburban lake as I walk around its periphery, I find myself thinking about the interventions that man has made in the interests of maintaining a dialogue between human and natural environment.

The fishing platforms that jut out into the water at the lakeside have a straightforward function, but the mid lake platform on which the gulls are resting is more abstract. I don’t know what it has been constructed from but with little or no vegetation forming a part of it, there is no disguising the man made materials. It seems to be a welcome haven for the birds at any rate.

My third photo today shows the patterns of construction materials of an outlet in the lake that I guess must be required as the streams feeding the lake doesn’t appear to have any other natural continuation point.

Hemlington Lake

Gulls at rest

Hemlington Lake outlet