new growth

Alternative Details – Route Taken or Root Taken

Having looked at some of the natural details on the short walk home with my niece (see previous post), we then started looking at some of the alternative details of our surroundings. The patterns created by dirt and moisture in the air and by the remains of roots on surfaces along our route.

remains of growth

This route took us past the dry crinkled textures of a brown beech hedge and onto a parking area where my niece said all she could see was cars and vans. So we took a closer lookContinue reading

Lichen

Lichen and a Dry Stone Wall

Sheltering unsuccessfully from the bitter winter wind by a dry stone wall on the Swansea uplands I took a moment to admire the lichen and thought about how it looks as though someone has illustrated it in pen and ink.

lichen on dry stone wall

I had been persuaded by a herd of cows to cut across the top of Mynydd Gelli instead of circumnavigating it at a lower contour.Continue reading

Mynydd Gelli winter view

My Walk this Week – A Sprinkling of Winter

We rarely get any snow in the small town where I live and so when I awoke to find a thin Winter sprinkling in the garden, I assumed that there would be more of it all around us on higher ground and I prepared to take a walk later in the morning.

Mynydd Gelli tree

So I was surprised to find naked trees and moorland when I set off up one of the hills in the lower reaches of the Mawr, the upland area just north of Swansea. No white blankets to be seen,Continue reading

Late afternoon

Witch Hazel in a Late Afternoon Landscape

The light was diminishing on my walk this week at the NBGW but the late afternoon still revealed some good views and wonderful details. One of my particular favourites in this respect was the Witch Hazel. The Botanic Garden of Wales has many of these and at this time of year they are blossoming with their beautifully coloured and wacky flowers – the colours make me think of the cocktail, Tequila Sunrise!

Witch Hazel

There was also a crooked oak tree that looked as though it was using one of its own fallen branches as a crooked walking stick to hold itself up. It reminded me of this old rhyme:Continue 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

fence perspective

My Walk this Week – An Angle on Nature and Construction

My walk this week was slightly unexpected. I had gone to explore the docks area in Swansea Bay but found no access due to gates and security fencing. However, as I moved on I found a footpath edging a part of Swansea University Bay Campus still under construction. On one side of the path I enjoyed the effect of perspective on the site fence, while on the other the textures I found in the bare nature of the season.

Winter nature

So while I had expected an industrial walk in the docks, instead I got a mixture of nature and man made construction. The nature was partly in the form of a bitterly cold wind for whichContinue reading

River Dulais bridge

Out of the Light and Into a Rhododendron Tunnel

Having risen towards the sunlight at the start of this walk, I then had to descend again, and in doing so took a route that led me through a natural tunnel rhododendron tunnel.

This is the final part of my walk this week and a slight change of format. I am no longer going to post a review of the walk each week so if you want top see the rest of the walk you will have to visit the two previous posts.

Rhododendron tunnel

The tunnel is dark but feels fabulous and the middle of it is the quietest section of the walk. While the images below cover only the last part of this walk, the soundscape is from the whole walk which starts and ends with the sounds of the Dulais River or Afon Dulais.Continue reading

valley fog

Sunlight, Sheep and Fog

Gaining the top of the hill on my walk this week from fog to sunlight, I was followed by a flock of hopeful sheep looking expectantly at me – I suspect the farmer was due or perhaps the sheep though he was overdue!

Goppa sheep

My route took me past familiar objects both natural and man made. The rhododendrons perhaps have an element of both – they are natural but not native to the UK and can take over a whole hillside as they have in this location.Continue reading

overhanging

Tree Ghoul in the Gloom

The darkness of my walk this week in the rain provided me with a creepy atmosphere from time to time. This tree was one of those  presenting itself as a ghoul in the gloom of the woodland as I climbed the footpath to Swiss Valley Reservoir.

Tree Ghoul in the Gloom

Even the more open areas of the valley floor were gloomy and what light there was created and aged effect on the subtly coloured branches of an orchard.Continue reading

river rapids

My Walk this Week – Rushing Through Swiss Valley

My walk this week, my first for 2018, shows the madly rushing water of the Afon Lliedi as it flows down from Swiss Valley Reservoir on a very wet and gloomy afternoon.

Swiss Valley

The rain was falling but you can only allow bad weather to stop you going out for so long before it becomes a necessity for both body and mind to free itself from the confines of buildings.Continue reading