Columns and Context

I like the arrangement of these lighting columns in Cardiff Bay but to put them properly in context you need to look at the wider picture at the bottom of this post.

I thought the dark lump on the glass discs in the second image was something nasty but on closer inspection, it looks like it is a lump of moss . . . so that’s one for the Moss Appreciation Society!

Cardiff Columns

Cardiff Bay Architecture-14

Cardiff Columns

Mossy Monster

Alien monsters seem to be a feature of forests where old fallen trees grow a thick covering of moss over their ever shortening broken branches. This is certainly not the first time I have found a many tentacled creature like this in the woods.

mossy woodland monster

50 Years and Getting Back to Nature

The moss covered steps in the image below never really had a chance not without the intervention of man. Nature and the tree have been taking their course for 50 years and will not let puny things like concrete get in their way.

There are many different reasons for managing woodland. Whether it be to gain resources for one use or another, or to ensure the ecology of the woodland stays mixed and allows a variety of plants and animals. Either way, we manage woodland for ourselves, not for the woodland or the wildlife.

Left to its own devices, in time a woodland may become a monoculture. Given the sort of time that nature considers a millisecond, but we think of as millennia, who knows what would happen?

If you leave it alone, nature will do just fine by itself. The fact of the matter is, of course, that we are here on the planet and we need to live side by side with the rest of the creatures and plants. For me the key to all our survival is to live side by side and not to try and take over or rule over the natural planet (or ourselves for that matter).

Lifting the path

Talking about the Sweet Chestnut

Dai Morris talking about a Sweet Chestnut tree, one amongst many varieties being planted and managed at Coeden Fach woodland near Swansea, South Wales.

This week’s featured StillWalks video is from the south west of Scotland. This medium resolution full length version will be here all week and will then revert to the sample.

The video above is in 480p quality. You can use the Donate button below to pay however much you want and receive a high quality (720HD) download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Coastal Walk – Spring” which features part of the Galloway coastline in Scotland. Click the image above to watch the video. DVD Collections are also available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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The Grain of Woodland Details

Starting with a close up, this first photograph is a very close crop of the second shot. I particularly liked the grain effect of the exposure with a very high ISO. It seemed to suit the atmosphere of the dark place in those ancient woods by Cwm Green on the Gower Peninsula.

Most of my photography in these woods needed a high ISO as much of this environment was quite dark. Whilst I have both a monopod and a tripod, when carrying the field recorder and mic as well as kit bag and two cameras, it is just not practical to take a tripod as well and on this occasion I had not included the monopod.

However, as I say above, I think the graininess of some of the shots I took are very appropriate for the subject matter and I would be happy, as with this first shot, to emphasise it.

Cwm Green Seed Heads

Cwm Green Seed Heads

Cwm Green Seed Heads

Cwm Green Moss

Cwm Green Moss and Ferns

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Woodland Walk” which is from Penllergaer Woods near Swansea, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Fungi Challenge

Walking in the woods the other day revealed a range of fungi, but I am no expert in the identification of the various species. Can anyone name all these fungi?

All photos taken on my iPhone 4S.

IMG_5847 IMG_5863 IMG_5865IMG_5871 IMG_5873IMG_5877 IMG_5883 IMG_5885 IMG_5887

Light is Everything

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.

Moss Garden

Moss Garden

moss

moss

Peristomes

Ghostly Tree

Ghostly Tree

Old Fences

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.

old fence

Succumbing to time and the rain

old fence

Hanging Around

fence post garden

Fence Post Garden