My Walk this Week 214 – Park Positive

My walk this week is in Singleton Park, Swansea and took advantage of the slight relaxation in the Covid-19 lockdown measures. Whether it was right or not to do this with regard to the coronavirus pandemic, it was a very positive thing to do for the sake of my mental wellbeing.

Sheltering under the trees from the rain I took advantage of the pause in our walk and snapped a shot or two, including the crushed wild garlic that was giving off a wonderfully powerful scent.

Once the sun reappeared the clover shone like jewels in the open grassland of this expansive urban park. While the botanic garden was closed due to the difficulty of distancing, the rest of the park-scape caused no problems in this respect and everyone there respected the social distancing advice.

In the smaller Brynmill Park on our return, this was a little more problematic, but people mostly did what they could to maintain a distance and the lake there is a popular attraction.

Park-scape Sound Clip

I have not called the audio above a soundscape because recording on my iPhone as I was and that not taking well to the wind, I did not capture as much sound as I would have liked.

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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.

new growth, June 2020

My Walk this Week 212 – Back Through the Park Again

My walk this week revisits a walk taken in our local park in June two years ago. There have been some changes to the park in that time, but I was focusing on the natural growth then, just as I do now.

playground

The last two photos in the sequence below were in fact taken in April and then June this year and show the stump of a tree in the middle of the footpath through the woods. The stump of the cut tree clearly refused to die and the photo from June demonstrates its determination to live and thrive again.

The recording I made two years ago, of a song thrush in the woods has not lost any of its beauty for me, so although I do not have a soundscape from June this year, I have enjoyed listening to this again and I hope you will too.

Song Thrush in the Woods

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view from the path

My Walk this Week 211 – Straight Along the Cycle Path

My walk this week is straight along a local cycle path that I have not walked along in the current season for a few years.

Gorseinon Cycle Path

I used to walk this path every weekend during school term time when my daughter was in dance classes nearby. Whether raining or sunny, the walk is a beautiful one and twice the length I walked of it this time as I waited for my car in a local garage.

As with my previous walk on the marshes last week, the path was busy with walkers and cyclists – everyone taking advantage of the good weather and some going for a play about in a secluded pool in the local river. You can hear the laughter and voices of youngsters enjoying themselves in the soundscape below.

Cycle Path Soundscape

All photos were taken on my iPhone and also the sound recording, which suffered a bit from the breeze.

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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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Pink rose

My Walk this Week 209 – This Time Last Year

My walk this week is from this time last year when I was visiting Sunbury Walled Garden and gallery because this year I was due to have an exhibition of my audio interactive tapestry weaving. Hopefully the exhibition will happen next year instead. You can see some of my work towards this here.

A glimpse of the garden

The interactive aspect of the work was to have been tactile! While the work will still be textural – both weaving and audio – I am now having to think in a different way about how the interaction may be achieved as multiple people touching the same art works may be a problem. This may not be the result or legacy of the Coronavirus lock down but I have to consider that it may be a likely result of the pandemic and our need to maintain a social distance from each other the the things we interact with.

I may even need to consider the degree of interactivity I can provide through proximity sensors! While this changes some important aspects of my art work, I am gradually beginning to see it as an interesting challenge rather than being frustrated by it. Either way, texture will always be important to me and my work, both visually and aurally, so . . . watch this space (as they say) and in the meantime enjoy Sunbury Walled Garden.

Sunbury Gardens Soundscape

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swamp pond surface

My Walk this Week 208 – Compare and Contrast

My walk this week is green and luscious and through something of a swamp! It is one I have only done once before and that was during an icy winter, so I wanted to compare and contrast the two seasons.

green walk

I don’t think I need to say much about the differences as they can be seen in the galleries below, but one of the most interesting to me is the is the water surface in the swamp/pond. In winter it was covered in thick, dark, opaque ice with a dusting of snow while on this more recent walk it is covered in thousands of catkins and algae.

The soundscapes are different as well, and again, I don’t think I need say much. The strange “groaning” sound in the Spring soundscape may be a distant goods train as there is a railway track nearby, but I cannot be certain.

Gorseinon Walk Soundscape and Images

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Winter Walk Soundscape and Images

estuary vista

My Walk this Week 207 – Cefn Drum Lower Slopes

My walk this week is a warm Springtime walk to the lower slopes of Cefn Drum (pronounced Kevn Drim). I didn’t have time to go further but it was still a most enjoyable and much needed relaxing and therapeutic hour.

country lane

The weather is cooler now (my walk was taken two weeks ago) but the road verges are still looking as beautiful as ever. I have a suspicion that the County Council has delayed much of the cutting and trimming they do each year – either that or the climate over the past year has, for all its ups and downs, produced a bumper crop of wildflowers . . .

. . . or perhaps nature is just taking full advantage of not so many humans being around as a result of the Covid-19 lock down!

The birds were singing, the insects buzzing and true to their name, the mayflies were flying above the river in unbelievable numbers. You’ll have to trust me on that one because, unfortunately, I didn’t get a photograph.

Cefn Drum Soundscape

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