Silence in the Woods

The woods at this stage of my walk round Lower Lliw Reservoir are not silent as you will hear in the sound clip below. However, with there being no wind, much of the background sound that is often there, is missing. This changes the acoustics of the woodland environment entirely and the soft plop of ice and snow dripping into the reservoir can be clearly heard along with the hollow reverberation of someone’s voice and the raucous call of a crow.

The scene was magical, not least because of the crooked wooden fence that lines the twisting footpath and the soft crunch of my footsteps in the snow.

ice droplet

Peaceful Background

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

winter footpath

crooked fence

The Waterside and Reviewing the Week 56

Heading home from my day at The Waterside, I was surprised and delighted to be driving across the Welsh hills and into a fantastic sunset. The colour, light and shade typified the mixed weather from the start of the day to the end.

The soundscape below may not fit perfectly with the sequence of photos if you listen and view them at the same time, but it is not meant to be StillWalks video but hopefully it will help to give you a better sense of that beautiful, secluded South Wales valley.

The Waterside-27

The Waterside Soundscape

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

Still with the Stillness

Walking on round the corner, away from the turbulence of flowing water in yesterday’s post, I arrived back in a place of stillness. The water was still flowing fast at the overflow to the lake at The Waterside, but the surface was smooth and the ripples clear – no leaping froth and foam here, even if it was just a few yards away.

This was a good place to end my walk and return to the warmth of the lakeside cabins for a coffee and a delicious bite to eat. Until the next First Friday (if not before), thanks very much to Sue and Steve Heatherington at The Waterside.

The full walk sequence and a soundscape will be on tomorrow’s post.

Flowing Ripples

 

Looking Down at the Sky

When I drove over to The Waterside – Felindre I had an expectation of taking this walk, but on arrival it was pouring rain. I thought, “I must get my recording kit out and capture the sound of the rain on the cabin decking and the lake surface“. However, by the time I was set up and ready to go outdoors, the rain stopped! Strangely, it did not rain again that day.

There were clouds in the sky as can be seen in the images below, but it was also quiet and calm, at least from time to time, and so the surface of the water was unbroken by anything other than very gentle ripples.

That is one of the exciting things about The Waterside – the weather being unpredictable means that the views and the sounds, the whole atmosphere of this small, South Wales valley, can change constantly throughout a day. Having the optional warmth of the log burner in the comfort of the cabin means that you can always view the scene from a dry place. But if you have come equipped for wet weather (as we must do in this part of the world), then the rain need not stop you enjoying everything else the valley offers.

Tomorrow (Friday) StillWalks will be at The Waterside running presentations  about the StillWalks package for businesses and organisations. If anyone is interested in coming along to this regular open day at The Waterside, please check out the website above and contact us in advance.

sky reflection

Peace at The Waterside

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

Peace and Pylons

I was amazed at how peaceful this dewy Autumn morning walk was. As I climbed up Cefn Drum towards the electricity pylons the wind was almost non existent and I could hear all the other tiny noises of the landscape around me.

I enjoy listening to the sounds of the environment (any environment), but I also enjoy the occasional peace that you get on a day like this. If you listen to the 5 minute clip below, what do you hear? Listen out for the obvious things like the skylarks and other birds such as pheasant – do you also hear the dog in the distance or the similarly distant hammering as someone works somewhere over the other side of the valley.

The feint base in the sound clip is the motorway. It is the still air more than anything else that has kept this sound from travelling up the hill as it normally does. Air pressure and humidity also affect the way sound travels so on this particular day all atmospheric conditions must have been favourable to a quiet, peaceful hillside.

Pylons

Cefn Drum 2

pylons

This monochrome version of the pylon image can also be seen on Leanne Cole’s Photography blog post Monochrome Madness MM 2-33.

dew on grass

Swan, Lake

The subtle colours of the late afternoon sunset reflected in the water of this urban lake in Middlesbrough accompanied by the slow, calm meanderings of the swan and its reflection belie how cold it was at the time.

Earlier photos from this location showed the apparent confusion of some of the birds walking on water with the ice part melted just below the surface. The sunny day had caused this part thaw, but as the sun dipped below the horizon the low temperatures returned rapidly.

sunset swan

swan

Liquid Gold

There has been no temperature adjustment or colour cast put on these images. whatever you do the liquid gold stays gold, it’s just the carat that changes!

Obviously I am exaggerating but it is true that I had no desire to make changes. The photos capture something of the beauty and peace that I enjoyed on a late afternoon Winter walk around this Middlesbrough lake. The Coots had found an area without ice and as I walked I was in continual awe at the ever changing light.

Lake Sunset-7

Lake Sunset-10

A Well Kept Secret – Exploring Tennant Canal

The Tennant Canal at Jersey Marine is just a few miles from the centre of Swansea. The area is surrounded by works and roads, developments and housing, but before you reach any of those things, you would have to climb over the small hills that surround Pant-y-Sais Fen alongside which the canal flows.

This haven of (relative) peace and nature is like a well kept secret – if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t think to take a look. The M4 motorway twists past at one end and there is currently a major development for Swansea University being carried out on the seaward side. But the sound of this activity is not to be heard such is the noise absorbing effect of the topography along with trees and other vegetation. The wind in the reeds and the more noticeable and pleasurable sound.

Complementary images are posted on Instagram through the week and can also be seen on the sidebar of the StillWalks blog.

Tennant Canal Swansea

Pant-y-Sais Fen, Jersey Marine

Tennant Canal-3

Pointing the Way

I stopped on top of the hills on my way home recently,  just because it is a place worth stopping. The sights and sounds, the peace and tranquility (on a warm quiet day) of the Mawr area in the county of Swansea . . .

signpost