Kenfig beach

My Walk this Week 152 – Sound of Sunny Seaside Larks

My walk this week is from the burrows and beach at Kenfig on the South Wales coast where, on a sunny Sunday, we heard the most beautiful sound of seaside larks rejoicing in the afternoon sunshine. Both they and the wonderful weather made for a very enjoyable walk through the dunes and down to the expansive beach and an ebb tide.

tree and lake

Heading first for Kenfig Pool, it seemed the water level was up from recent rain and to judge from the route we were forced to take to get to the beach, the recent storms had fulfilled their aim of dumping as much rain as possible in as short a time as possible. Continue reading

estuary expanse

My Walk this Week 132 – Another Walk Another Bay

My walk this week is from another bay not far from where I was walking last week and though it is quite different, it is just as expansive as the last one. Llanelli Bay on the Loughor Estuary in Wales provides just about as long a walk as you would like but I stuck to the eastern end of it thinking there might be fewer people there.

evidence of activity

Please understand that I am not desperate to get away from people (I like people really) but I also like my solitary walks. You will be ale to hear in my soundscape for this week (to be posted as usual on Friday) that if there were not crowds of people, the sounds of those that were there, particularly children and dogs, carried easily in across the mud flats and sand. Continue reading

ripples

Scottish Seas 3 – The Subtleties of Surface

The surface of the sea is constantly changing – colour, pattern, texture – it all depends, from moment to moment, on the changing conditions of light, wind, currents and the pull of the sun and moon.

surface colour

However rough or calm the sea is, the changing patterns on the surface of the water can hold my attention for a long time. The longer I look, the more subtleties I see and although there is an overall rhythm to the motion, that too changes gradually as the tide gently rises and falls against the rocks and seaweed – see the video below.

The longer you sit quietly, the less you are noticed byContinue reading

bumpy surface

Scottish Seas 1 – All Quiet on the South West Coast

From Scottish skies last week to Scottish seas this week and all is still and quiet – the gentle ripples on surface and sand reflect the warm breeze of an unusually warm Summer.

tidal ripple

No drama in the form of storms and crashing waves, just the peaceful lap of the gentlest of tides and the hot hazy light that so often disguised the horizon and prompted me, on occasion, to play with focus.Continue reading

Dark Mirror

Dark Still Mirror and Expanding Ripples

My walk this week took me under and over a number of structures spanning the Tennant Canal – railway track, vehicle track, road, motorway, footbridge and gantry. Underneath these the sound changed and the dark mirror that was the still water of the canal was broken by expanding ripples as drips dripped from the structures above.

expanding ripples

Walking over the gantry and footbridge gave me a slightly elevated view of the of the woodland reflections in the dark water. That does not mean the water was dark, in fact it was beautifully clear.Continue reading

Perspectives Viewpoints and Angles

As I proceeded further along the beach towards Port Talbot on my walk this week, I became more and more excited by the patterns I was seeing. I kept walking backwards and forwards and around in circles to view the patterns of ridges and ripples in the sand from different angles, enjoying them from different viewpoints and finding new perspectives. As I said earlier in the week, I may be becoming obsessed with sand as a natural art form.

Sand Patterns

Sand Patterns

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Patterns in the Sand

I think this is a sand piper!? The name would be appropriate if only for the patterns and colouring of its feathers reflecting as they do, the patters on the beach.

You can see both these birds and the sand patterns on many beaches – I could say any beach but it wouldn’t be true. The patterns of ripple and flow on any part of any beach may have a similar structure but they are all quite unique and dependent on the local surroundings, weather conditions and so much more.

One of the things that appears to influence the patterns on the beach in front of Crymlyn Burrows in Swansea Bay are the sand banks that have built up and no doubt change continually.

Sand Piper

Sand Piper

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Patterns of Natural Sand Art

The wind on my walk this week on the beach at Colwyn Bay had been going to town (so to speak and literally!) when it comes to creating patterns. Not just the wind of course – its take the combination of wind and sea to create these particular patterns. In the first image they appear to have been brushing each others hair while in the second there has been more apparent friction with the sand ripples developing a multitude of blisters

Rivers of Sand

Sand Hair

Sand and Tide

Sand Blisters

Definition of Pattern

If the Swansea Uni students using the new Bay Campus have the chance to enjoy the beach in front of them, they will find, as I did on my walk this week, that some of the sand of the beach is made up of what appears to be old coal dust. This is entirely possible of course, given the industrial history of the area.

beach with black sand or coal dust

What I enjoyed about this aspect of the beach was the contrast in colour betweenContinue reading