ducks enjoying the rain

And The Rain Began to Fall

Near the end of my walk this week we approached the double walled kitchen garden of the National Botanic Garden of Wales and as we walked through it towards the hothouse and the butterflies, the rain began to fall. Not too heavy at first so I was able to get a couple more photos before going inside, but while we enjoyed looking at the few large butterflies fluttering around at this time of year, the rain really started coming down and the noise of stair rods hitting the glass roof was noticeable to say the least.

the rain came down

So we took more time in the hothouse than perhaps we might have done but our wait for the rain to subside was futile and we eventually put up our hoods and ventured out towards the entrance and car park. The ducks seemed happy enough!

The sound clip below does not relate to this and I realise in writing this that my habit of posting a soundscape at the end of the week has a flaw. If I only have a sound clip rather than an edited soundscape, then the sound will only be from one particular part of my walk and give no sense of progression or change of environment or conditions. So the clip below should have been posted at the beginning of the week when we were inside the Great Glass House (so I have posted it there now as well as below). It was busy with people and birds all enjoying Mothers Day – mothers perhaps because it was Mothers day and a visit to the NBGW on what was a nice day at the time included a craft fair and the birds because their were plenty of crumbs to be had around the cafe area.

Cascade

Swiss Valley Water – Reviewing the Walk

My walk this week up to Swiss Valley Reservoir was a very wet one, but also a very enjoyable one despite the amount of water (except for the fact that my umbrella kept collapsing on me!).

Please note:  I need to let you know  that my weekly posts are going to change slightly – from here on there will be no post on Saturday. I am cutting My Weekly Walk posts to Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the soundscape for the walks being posted on the Friday. Further cuts may be necessary in the future.

Swiss Valley Reservoir

I took the walk later in the day than expected and in combination with the wet weather, this meant it was another walk that started out dark and became darker and darker as I followed the riverside footpath up the ravine.  By the time I reached the reservoir (not very far) the scene was as you see it in the image above.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

Pwll Du beach

Our Gower Project Walk 2 – Pwll Du Bay, Wet and Dry

The second stage of the second of the Our Gower project walks brought us out from the muddy woodland of Bishopston Valley to the unique beach of Pwll Du. It is unique because of its deposit of stones build up over decades of limestone quarrying in the 19th century. Below the stones is a normal sandy beach and wet or dry, it is a very attractive South Gower cove.

Walking on stones

The first day I walked this route with a school, it was wet. Like the mysteriousness of the valley woods, there was atmosphere in the bay as well. The sea fret contributed to this along with the huge piles of stonesContinue reading

upright moss

Bishopston Valley Details and No Rain

This walk for the “Our Gower” project extends beyond Bishopston Valley to the beach at Pwll Du, but I thought I would present some of the details of the valley which, with the dry weather of the second project day in the valley, allowed us to explore and photograph more easily.

Fungi community

We also recorded some of the sounds of the thickly wooded valley and made notes about the atmosphere of the place – how it made us feel, what its colours and textures were like and something of the history and geography of the environment. For instance, Guzzle HoleContinue reading

Ash walking staffs

My Walk this Week – Our Gower Project Walk 2, Bishopston Valley

The second of the schools I walked with on the Our Gower project had no more luck with the weather than when we walked out on the marshes (see last weeks posts) – if anything, it was worse!

Bishopston Valley

Bishopston Valley on South Gower is home to some wonderful ancient woodland . . . and when it is wet, it is also home to a great deal of mud. Despite the wet conditions (or perhaps because of them) everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. As well as Wellington boots, everyone had been givenContinue reading

Across the marshes

Project Walk 1 – Returning to Weobley Castle

After exploring and recording their reaction to the salt marshes on this project walk, we all returned to Weobley Castle to eat our sandwiches in the dry before setting off for another Gower environment.

Weobley Castle

The views from the castle across the marshes are excellent and if the mist and rain were wet, they also added a timeless atmosphere to the place. Though some were more wet than others, everyone was happy to carry on.

Project Marsh Walk Soundscape

muddy marsh track

My Walk this Week – Our Gower Project Walk 1, Salt Marsh

My walk this week follows on from the project recce walk I posted about at the end of September. That was the recce – for the real walk we had to change the route as the ground underfoot had become non-negotiable for walking with a group following high tides and wet weather.

Salt Marshes

And the wet weather was a big part of the walk experience for the pupils we were taking out to experience the wonderful expanse of the salt marshes of the Loughor Estuary and Burry Inlet on the North Gower coast in Wales. Starting at Weobley Castle where they produce the delicious salt marsh lamb, everyone donned the wellington boots provided for them.Continue reading

Ouse riverside walk

My Walk this Week – Wet One by the Ouse

My walk this week is a wet one by the River Ouse in York where I have been travelling on a few occasions lately. It is strange being in York after Wales because there are no hills in York at all – I suspect that is why there are so many cyclists there.

York Millennium Bridge

No hills may be what cyclists prefer but for me, I like a good hill or mountain to climb and I found the only way to work a head of steam was to put on a marching pace. I think if I lived there I might take up running (or cycling I suppose!). Continue reading