My Walk this Week – City Centre Walk

Sticking with the urban environment, my walk this week describes aspects of a different city centre to last week. This is Hereford City centre and as Hereford has a cathedral, it can legitimately be described as a city. Strange but true (sort of), though I certainly don’t have a problem with Swansea being called a city even if it does not have a cathedral. Actually that is a little simplistic so here is a Wiki article that will explain in more detail.

All photography for this week’s walk was done on my iPhone.

Hereford City Centre

Hereford City Centre

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My Walk this Week – Street Recce

My walk this week is along a short street near the centre of town. It could be any street with mostly businesses lining each side in what were once houses. There is plenty of traffic but as I have claimed with StillWalks, there is as much to listen to and hear in an urban setting as there is in a rural one.

The sounds may be different, and it could be argued less attractive, but focusing my attention on different aspects of the soundscape allowed me to hear and see things that I would often pass over unnoticed – colours, patterns, textures to be both seen and heard.

So my walk this week is an exploration of an everyday urban location with the intention of familiarising my self to some of the visual and aural details in preparation for a full StillWalks production walk in the future.

Street Walk-1

The sound clip below is a bit longer than those I normally post through the week but on this occasion it seemed appropriate. There are many layers of of activities, starting  with the sound of me closing the car boot and progressing from the car park onto the street. The sound of a drill as I round a corner is also associated with a smell for me – as I returned to the carpark later on, passing this same spot the pungent smell of sealant was powerful and made me pass by quickly.

Street Walk – Clip 1

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My Walk this Week – The Geology of Cwm Dulais

My walk this week was organised by our local library with Geraint Owen, a geographer from Swansea University (UWTSD). Geraint gave an excellent talk at the library a few months ago and so when the opportunity came up to join him on his geology walk route for Cwm Dulais I didn’t hesitate to sign up.

The image below may not seem to have much to do with geology but there is a relationship here. I first have to admit to loving bog cotton as a plant and so when we came across it there was no way I was going to pass it by. However, in geological terms the plant is there because as its name suggests, the ground was boggy. Now wind back time several million years and consider the fact that bogs make peat which when compressed over millennia turn into coal . . . and that brings me to the starting point of our walk – the old Cefn Drum and Graig Merthyr colliery location in Cwm Dulais.

Bog cotton

Bog cotton

The start of my walk was a solitary one as I walked up the valley to meet the rest of the group near the site of the old colliery. The waste heap is no longer there now but is spread across the hillside of Cefn Drum. We scrambled about on this looking for evidence of ancient plant life in the stones and coal that now makes up a casual track used by motorbikes. It was higher up the hillside that we came a upon the bog cotton.

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My Walk this Week – Back at The Waterside with a Newborn Alpaca

My walk this week started with a couple of surprises! There was more than tadpoles to see and on my arrival at The Waterside Firstly I was unexpectedly met by a couple of horses, but more of them later in the week.

The real excitement came when just before setting out on a walk round the lake with my camera and sound kit, Steve ran over to tell everyone that a new arrival in the form of an alpaca was on its way.

tadpoles

Tadpoles

It was difficult to know how long the delivery was going to take but it wasn’t going to be immediate so rather than hang around in a small crowd of spectators, I set off round the lake. I was back in time to see the new alpaca just after its birth. You can see it staggering around its mother in the video clip and photos below. Introducing newborn Caleb!

 

My Walk this Week – River Tawe

My walk this week is another urban walk – in fact it is downstream of last weeks walk along the banks of the River Tawe. This time I am at the mouth of the river and looking around part of Swansea Maritime Quarter and SA1 area.

My starting point is the weir at the entrance to the marina. To its left (looking inland) there is one of two busy locks used by a wide range of vessels, but I was more interested in the patterns of water falling over the weir at different points.

weir water

In some places the water is very churned up following its descent over a structure of steps while further across the river the water is at first perfectly smooth as it falls over the curved surface of the weir. Further over again, where there appear to be rocks embedded in the curve of the weir, the water patterns begin to ripple and the froth on the lower surface of water appears to start climbing the back up the weir.

Weir Water

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My Walk this Week – Morfa and the Tawe

My walk this week is an urban one, although the footpath I followed from Morfa and the home of the Swans at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, to the lake in the enterprise zone at Llansamlet, could in some places be mistaken for a more natural setting, if not rural.

Liberty Stadium at Morfa

It was a Sunday morning and although the length of the walk was only about 2.2 miles, it took me about 2 hours just to reach the lake at my halfway turning point. That is more because of field recording than photography but both played their part in slowing me down.

I’ll post some sound clips through the week but to start with, it was the structural patterns of stadium architecture and fence design that interested me.

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My Walk this Week – Taste of Gower 16-1

My walk this week follows the first of the Taste of Gower walks for 2016 organised by Gower Landscapes Partnership. The same walk was done last year but this time round I have recorded the full walk and will present it here throughout this week.

The walk was circular, starting at Weobley Castle and farm where not only did we have the chance to look round the castle, we also got to see the lambing shed – there was a lot of bleating!

The weather was very good and the views across the salt marshes of Loughor Estuary and Burry Inlet were excellent.

Weobley Castle

Seemingly the sheep know to go in and out with the tide and it is the mixture of grasses and herbs that grow on the marshes that give the salt marsh lamb its unique taste.

Lambing Shed

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My Walk this Week – The Taff and Pen y Fan

 

My walk this week is from a recent sunny Sunday morning when I met up with the Living Taff group for an exploration of the two sources of the River Taff. The river runs from the Brecon Beacons down to Cardiff on the south eastern coast of Wales. It has two sources which meet at Merthyr Tydfil – one of them rises from the earth just below Pen y Fan, the highest peak of the Brecon Beacons while the other starts a little lower and on the western slopes of Corn Du.

Looking west from Corn Du

Pen y Fan and Corn Du are popular places these days, and if the weather is good on a Sunday, the footpaths up these slopes can get very crowded. The photographs below only show a handful of the ascending crowd – it became very much busier later on!

My first photo today shows a view looking west from Corn Du with the others showing its slopes and the flat summit that walkers are heading for before continuing to Pen y Fan.