11 arched bridge

My Walk this Week 251 – Estuary Circuit

My walk this week is a circular one with the circuit including the Loughor Estuary and salt marsh on my doorstep and also an old quarry which for many years has been a neglected nature reserve.

The space of the estuary was as enjoyable as ever and although it cannot be heard in the video below, I can say that I heard curlews calling as well as the range of other birds enjoying the watery habitat of the river and marsh.

As my walk extended my route took me past an old quarry that I have only tried exploring once before. On that occasion, later in the year, the tangle of brambles made it impossible to get more than a few metres into the neglected reserve. However, those same brambles are not so thick just now and although it was still a bit of a fight to make any progress, I was able to get a better idea of what the place is like.

Quarry reflections

My Walk this Week 244 – Old Quarry

My walk this week took me to an old quarry which looks quite different now to what it did when I first saw it about 36 years ago. What was once mostly water has filled out with a thick array of different trees and shrubs.

The way up there was muddy and the river was flowing fast with all the recent rain. The quarry water, however, was still and quiet and I enjoyed the peaceful reflections of the plants that now almost completely hide the rock face of the quarry walls.

I was reminded by the blackened stones of a camp fire of my youth and the enjoyable times I had with friends in just such wild places as this in Northern Ireland. However, we never left the mess of cans and plastic bottles that are to be found in this place. I have managed to avoid them in my photographs but I am sorry to say that the thoughtlessness of those enjoying themselves round the camp fire here today, was very clearly in evidence.

Somehow, we need to change the misconception by some that there is no connection between us and our environment (natural or man-made). Our interconnections with it are everywhere all the time – we affect it and it affects us. There now, I have said my piece as concisely as I can. I do not want to be political on this blog in any way but this is partly what StillWalks® is about – perception, appreciation and understanding of the world around us.

frilly fungi

My Walk this Week 237 – Detail and Nuance

My walk this week returns to some detail and nuance from this time two years ago – which tells you I have run short of time this week!

The image above seems an appropriate one for the time of year but it is not any association with Christmas decorations that interests me, but rather the natural outline the holly leaves have. Is it a lightening of the pigment in the leaf or simply the effect of light on its edges. Does nature have a sense of design?

It’s all in the detail they say (whoever they are) – I prefer to think of the detail as nuance. But nuance is only apparent when you look at, or listen to, the details. The changing frequencies of the quarry ambience and the flow of the river in the soundscape below or the patterns and textures of the various foliage and frilly fungi in the images.

These are a selection of the photos I took in this place two years ago and it looks and sounds as though that year was as wet as this one. Now I want to go back there and look again, not to compare but simply to enjoy the privacy of the space and the secrets it holds.

Old Quarry Soundscape

Play the soundscape and click through the carousel of images as you listen.

bare branches

My Walk this Week 138 – Another Quarry Walk Through Time

My walk this week is to another quarry but one that is quite different from that which I explored last week. The rock is not black this time but the sides are steep and I cannot imagine how the writer of the graffiti, still to be faintly seen near the top of the quarry face, got up there. Nor can I make out what is written as time and weather has done its work and taken most of it away.

Dantwyn Quarry

It is 35 years since I first explored this place in my local countryside and I guess the plants and trees have grown up since then. I certainly remember it being more open back then, whereas now the small footpath leading through to the pool at the foot of the rock face is kept open only by a few dog walkers and young people playing on bikes, sitting round a bonfire or perhaps writing some more graffiti.

Dantwyn Quarry Soundscape

Continue reading

Colourful landscape

My Walk this Week 137 – Quiet Quarry Walk

My walk this week takes place at first light in an old, quiet quarry and its surrounding landscape. The rocks were black with the wet weather and to begin with the atmosphere felt quite oppressive. However, things lightened and brightened as I ascended to the upper edge of the quarry and into a very mossy woodland.
black quarry rock

The soundscape down in the dark confines of the quarry was still and my footsteps echoed in the amphitheatre of hewn rock, the small birds chirped and the crows cawed. Once I arrived at the top edge of the steep, dark slabs and could look over the Welsh landscape,Continue reading

Autumn Rain

As we move into Autumn and the rain returns, along with it comes a change of colour. This week’s featured StillWalks video is “Quarry Walk – Autumn Rain”. It features an old quarry in Carmarthenshire, South Wales.

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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Last week’s featured video will revert to a sample length low resolution video but you can still buy it through the website walk under the Autumn Walks page.