My walk this week is another one from the past – a cold walk taken in the first week of December a few years ago and now reviewed with the envy of being able to get out regularly.
This is a walk route I have often posted about and one I never tire of, whatever the weather conditions. Cold, crisp and frosty, some of my favourite details of the walk are below along with the soundscape created at the time.Continue reading→
My walk this week took me to the lower slopes of Cefn Drum where evidence of all the rain we have had recently was clearly to be seen with muddy ruts filled with flowing water.
Starting with a familiar gate and cattle grid, I followed some disgruntled sheep up the track and under the pylons to negotiate a route around deep wet ruts and puddles reflecting the cloud patterns of a clearing sky.Continue reading→
On this walk I was following the wind and focused more on that than anything else. The soundscape below along with the images will hopefully help you to accompany me on this walk during that day of Storm Doris.
I ended the documentation of the walk at the weir on the Afon Dulais river where the roar of water collected by the river overnight overwhelmed any amount of noise the wind was making.
At the end of my walk this week I found myself cold again. Unlike the sheep in the shade of this frosty field, I did not have a thick wooly coat but a few hundred yards earlier I had been hot in the sunshine on top of the hill.
Listen to the soundscape for the walk below and take a look at the image sequence at the same time – I hope find it different to the last time I walked this route in the opposite direction just a few weeks ago.
The patterns I saw on my walk this week were wonderful. Both natural and man made, these objects were clear and crisp against the most significant aspect of the views – the blue sky. Whether it was the near fractal patterns of a bare tree or the electrical loops of power lines, the bright blue sky made them stand out and I was in awe at the complex beauty around me.
When I started out on my walk this week I though it promised to be a bright and sunny walk. The mist was already lifting from the valley and my expectations felt fairly well founded. This will be shown at one point to have been optimistic – keep watching through this week.
My photos start about half way up one of our local hills, Graig Fawr, but my full walk rises from a few metres above sea level to 276 metres (905 ft) at the trig point at the highest point.
The photo below, of the view over the Loughor estuary towards the Gower Peninsula, was taken from where the trees are in the first shot and includes the 11 arched railway bridge but not the intrusive red logo of Tesco which I had great pleasure in cropping out, though annoyance at having to do so.
The birds sounded as though they shared my optimism at the stage of my walk – listen below.
Graig Fawr Birds
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.
Sometimes I listen to “Ramblings” on BBC Radio 4. Clare Balding presents the in programme which she meets and converses with various people as part of a countryside walk. She does a good job of describing the scenery they walk through and the talk is always interesting. There is just one failing for me as a radio programme – there are never enough pauses to listen to the environmental sounds of the walk. They are there in the background but constantly over-layered with talk.
I like to listen to all of the sounds I encounter on a walk or in the case of a quiet walk, I like to listen to the lack of sound, the stillness.
The series of sound clips below last about 15 minutes and follow my walk this week. Starting in a Welsh country lane with autumn leaves all around, continuing up a local hill (Cefn Drum) to the cairn at the top and then back down again to the leafy lane. It was a very still and peaceful walk but there are plenty of sounds to listen to along the way.
I like to listen to other field recordists’ soundscapes as well – one I enjoy regularly is set in Paris (Sound Landscapes) but the sounds of the city are as fascinating to me as those of a natural landscape.
Click the play button below and listen to the soundscape of my walk this week while browsing through the sequence of images. It’s not a StillWalks video but I hope you can relax and enjoy it in the same way.
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.