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

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kissing gate 1

My Walk this Week 213 – Eight Gates

My walk this week revisits a walk with eight gates from two years ago. In fact there were nine gates on the walk but the gate to the old churchyard on my local marshes was open and so is not included in the soundscape below.

Churchyard gate

The old St Teilo’s churchyard is a fabulous place and the walk across the marshes, alongside the River Loughor is also a local route I enjoy immensely. I am sure many of you already know how much I enjoy the sound of gates and if you do too, then the soundscape below will not disappoint.

They are all included in my recording for this walk but appear at shorter intervals than in reality.

Marsh Gates Soundscape

 

If you can listen to the soundscape on headphones, you will hear more easily the subtleties of all the layers and textures of the place – but no worries if you can’t. In any case, listen out for the sounds of my feet brushing through different kinds of grass, the breeze blowing through the tall marsh grass (one of my favourite sounds), the various bird calls and warnings, the intricacies of nearby passing traffic, and of course the gates – each one has its own individual characteristics.

marsh wild flowers

My Walk this Week 210 – Covid Walk on the Salt Marsh

My walk this week on my local salt marsh, during the Covid lock down, was different to usual. In relative terms, the footpath felt as busy as the M4 motorway which seems to have returned almost to its normal level of traffic.

salt marsh crowds

If you look carefully at the image above you can see the “crowds” in the distance. Without wanting to be too sarcastic, I should mention that there were various other families, couples and individuals using the riverside footpath. As I am used to meeting no more than one other person at most, it felt crowded to me and I veered away from my intended destination of the “church(yard) on the marshes”.

Sound levels may be returning to pre-Covid-19 levels in this area but that includes the birds as well as everything else. Just as the ambient decibels increase, so does the bird song – and there is still the beautiful sound of the wind blowing through the tall marsh grass.

Marshes Covid Walk Soundscape

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trees and marsh grass

My Walk this Week 194 – The Marsh and Ciara

My walk this week is another to my local salt marsh, this time during the tail end of Storm Ciara and the wind that was probably worse in other parts of the UK. All the same, we weren’t tempted to venture out in the wild weather.

entering the salt marsh

When crossing the River Loughor on the motorway, I could see that the the tide was high and the marshes were getting there regular dose of salt. But by the time I got down there the sea had retreated and I was able to get to the river bank.

I loitered a bit amongst the trees at the edge of the marsh as the wind was strong and pretty cold and so the photographs I took focus mainly on that view point and some of the lichee details and tree textures around me.

Windy Marsh Soundscape

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The soundscape is a bit shorter than usual and perhaps the main feature of it is the sound of motorway traffic being blown strongly from the southwest. However, if you listen carefully, you will also hear the hissing rustles of the marsh grass which is a sound I love, though less because of the sound itself and more because of the marsh environment it conjures in my mind.

So click the play button to listen while viewing the images below – click the first one and then again to move forward through the carousel.

Loughor Estuary

My Walk this Week 193 – Estuary Atmosphere

My walk this week took me down to the Loughor Estuary which has its own unique atmosphere whatever the weather conditions.

Loughor Estuary

On this occasion it was dull and windy but no less enjoyable for that. If you like the wind, as I do, then this open, expansive land and waterscape is a good place to find it at a low elevation. The place can be spectacularly still and beautiful during a quiet sunset but I enjoy almost as much the cloud cover and wind here – a place that feels somewhat mystical in all conditions.

Lonely, harsh, wild, still, contemplative – all of these adjectives and more suit the place at different times.

Estuary Soundscape

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The soundscape follows me down a farm track, past early signs of Spring and a rushing stream to the open, wind blown estuary and salt marshes, under the railway bridge and out through the tall marsh grass by the river where I disturbed a pair of ducks but caught them fleeing on camera.

So click the play button to listen while viewing the images below – click the first one and then again to move forward through the carousel.

Sunrise

My Walk this Week 179 – Sunrise Along the Estuary

An early morning walk at sunrise isn’t so very early at this time of year and my walk this week along the Loughor Estuary ended up taking more of the day than I expected. It also fuelled my mind and the day ahead.

marsh grass at sunrise

We have had so much rain lately that a bright sunny morning was most welcome (as it is anytime in Wales). The sun rose over the fields and across the marshes as I walked towards the open estuary where I could enjoy the wide open space with the tide out and the sky reflecting on the still water left by the sea.Continue reading

blossom

My Walk this Week 157 – High Tide Deposits and Spring Growth

My walk this week follows high spring tides on my local marshes and looks at the deposits they left as well as the new wildflower and marsh grass growth coming through with Spring.

Bluebells en route

Bluebells en route

Spring tides occur twice a month every month, as do neap tides, not just in the Spring. The term “spring tide” is given to those tides that have the greatest difference in height between high and low tide, but the highest tidesContinue reading