holey tree

My Walk this Week 126 – Woodland Wonders

The wonders of the woodland, the lakes, the colours and the soundscape . . . and the textures and the bird life and the patterns and the fact that the rain held off for me on my walk this week around Gnoll Estate Country Park in Neath, South Wales – these are some of the things that I enjoyed about this walk.

Early Autumn colour

One thing I did not remember from previous visits (going back a few years) was the oak tree with a huge hole through its trunk. Clearly the park authorities felt it was a wonder worth preserving and have reinforced the natural structure with metal rods.Continue reading

stepping down

My Walk this Week 126 – Step Up To the Lake

I step up from one lake to another in this second stage of my walk this week  – and there is a third lake in Gnoll Park, plus a reservoir! This lake is the largest and features a wonderful cascade which, even when it is not flowing with water, makes an attractive feature.

stepping up

We are at the start of Autumn now and the colours are beginning to change. There are only hints of the season to be seen in my photos but they are there all the same, plus the temperature has dropped.

I restricted my walk to this larger lake becauseContinue reading

lower lake

My Walk this Week 126 – Gnoll Park

My walk this week is to a park I have not visited for a few years. Gnoll Country Park in Neath is a beautiful place with lakes, woodland, cascades, wildlife, wildflowers, history and a great community building.

shadow gate

Entering the park from the lower southern entrance was new for me and I got to see a part of the park I had not been round previously but no less enjoyable for that. I was taking the opportunity to walk here because I was in Neath anyway as I have lately been working on the website for a new gallery in the town – Queen Street Gallery. Continue reading

Queen Street Gallery

A New Centre of Art – Queen Street Gallery

Recently I have been involved in the Queen Street Gallery,  a new gallery and the first of its kind in Neath. The gallery widens the reach of art in the Swansea Bay area and includes well established as well as emerging Welsh and international artists in different fields of practice.

Queen Street Gallery

Queen Street Gallery opened in June and is proving a popular addition to the centre of Neath. Just down the road from the train station, it is an easy place to get to and has its latest exhibition opening tonight from 6 – 8pm (Friday 7th September 2018). Carole and Peter Evans have a retrospective exhibition of their painting – closely observed cameos of everyday life. Both Carole and Peter were born in Neath and both have exhibited throughout Wales, London and The Cotswolds.

Continue reading

A Change of Scene

Today is your last opportunity to watch this week’s featured StillWalks video, “Moss Wood Walk” from Gnoll Park in Neath, South Wales. You can see it at the bottom of this post.

Tomorrow the featured video will change to “After the Tide” which is from the marshes near my home and a walk I often enjoy. The photos below are not from the video but do feature some of the texture of the marshes in Autumn.

Marshes AtT

Marshes AtT

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 – “Moss Wood Walk” which is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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High Winds and High Seas

The strong winds in the UK last week brought with it the opportunity to do a bit of photography. Swansea Bay didn’t get the forecast storm as badly as other places but the winds were still high.

There was a mixture of light with the sun shining through the clouds from time to time and the next moment the atmosphere was murky to say the least. I have a number of shots to post from this event and I am starting today with two that illustrate the darkness of the weather.

The wind was wild and it was almost impossible to keep myself steady let alone the camera. I could have straightened the first image easily and did so to begin with. Then I realised that the angle of the shot helped to emphasise the wild conditions.

The second shot has been manipulated. There was very little colour in the scene anyway and I felt that giving it a sepia tinge helped this aspect of the atmosphere. To further help the photo feel more like my experience of the location, I also blurred the foreground and added grain.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out this week’s featured StillWalks video at the bottom of this post – “Moss Wood Walk” from Neath, South Wales. It will be there all week.

High Winds in Swansea Bay

High Winds in Swansea Bay

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 – “Moss Wood Walk” which is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Similarities or Differences – Moss Wood, Gnoll Park

Next week’s featured StillWalks video is another wood in Autumn. Today is your last opportunity to see the current featured video from Penllergare Woods in Swansea.

Moss Wood is not just another wood in Autumn! Every woodland features trees but when you start looking at the detail and listening to the sounds, you will soon discover that the fact that a wood contains trees, is just about the only thing about them that can be said to be similar.

The trees of a deciduous wood will drop their leaves in the same season and grow new ones similarly. However, considering last week’s posts about how the seasons roll out at different rates according to location, each wood will look and sound different at any point in time.

Both Penllergare Woods and Moss Wood in Gnoll Park, Neath, have a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees. Both have lakes and running water. In each, the leaves are turning and falling just now, and so you see similar colours. And so the similarities continue . . . and yet they are completely different.

The arrangement and prevalence of types of tree, the position and lay out of the streams, rivers and lakes – all are different. And so, inevitably, the atmosphere and sense of the two places are quite different. The weather conditions are similar in both woods as they are no more than 15 or 20 miles apart, but as the topography is different, so the sound of each place is different, and completely unique to the time and place from moment to moment.

Moss Wood Walk 1

Moss Wood Walk 2

Moss Wood Walk 3

Moss Wood Walk 4

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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Pink – Botanic Gardens, Swansea

More questions of identity – I knew the yellow flowers in yesterday’s post from the Botanic Gardens in Swansea, but I do not know any of these. I am sure I have seen them all before but do not know their names. Somebody help, please!

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

Botanic gardens, Swansea

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 – “Autumn Lakeside Walk” from Gnoll Park, Neath, South Wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Autumn Lakeside

Some advance images from next week’s featured StillWalks video – “Autumn Lakeside Walk” from Gnoll Park, Neath, South Wales.

This is the last day for this week’s featured video “Quarry Walk – Autumn Rain”. You can see this at the bottom of this post.

Gnoll Park Lake 1

Gnoll Park Lake 2

Gnoll Park Lake 3

Gnoll Park Lake 6

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. Click the image below to watch the video.

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Hot Shoe – Farrier Style

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I was doing some equestrian photography training at the weekend and for the purpose arranged to use a group lesson at Cimla Equestrian Centre in the hills above Neath.

I can’t show the photography the students did but I managed to get some of my own shots up in the stable yard at the end of the session and this is a quick taster of what I found – a gallery will go up tomorrow.

Farrier Fire

Fire, if not brimstone!

Cimla Landscape

Cimla Landscape