My walk this week comes from the break I had last month and explores the edge of land and sea with rough rocks and calm waters along with the sounds of coastal and mud-loving birds.
I set out along the country lanes of the south west Scottish coast, enjoying the backdrop of the Galloway hills and the textural details of the verges. From a broad beach, empty except for myself and a solitary crow, Continue reading→
My walk this week follows part of the South Gower coastal footpath along which we found so many different wildflowers. The day was bright and breezy and the sea twinkled in the sunlight as it crashed against the rugged rocks of the cliffs below us.
Proof of the prevailing wind can be seen in the sculpted and stunted hawthorn tree standing on its own. The hillside was a forest of gorse growing thickly andContinue reading→
My walk this week is another early morning one – the moon was setting as I left the house and as I climbed up hill, the sun was just beginning to show its colours reflected on the clouds. I was on this hill, Cefn Drum, last week but on this occasion I was walking in the opposite direction and returned along its opposite side, looking down on Cwm Dulais.
The day promised to be brighter than last week but the clouds kept intervening and the light kept changing accordingly. It was still a beautiful walk and I had not covered part of the route before. Having always looked at the rocky ridge of Twyn Tyle from the far side of the valley,Continue reading→
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.
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→
Looking at more pics from my archive of a walk on Rhossili Down four years ago takes me to the top of the Down where I met some Gower ponies as well as other people. The ponies are wild and there are many of them all over the Gower Peninsula moors and marshes. Strictly speaking, they must be (legally) owned by somebody these day but I’m not sure that makes any difference to anyone.
I have left out many of the photographs I took that day only because the fifteen I have picked for my posts this week do a good job of feeding my memory and are sufficient to describe the place on a day like this one was – sun shining blindingly with a wind blowing up from the sea with the ridge of the Down providing an occasional and welcome respite from the bluster of it.Continue reading→
I’m not sure that I can truthfully say that this clump of thrift, on the edge of rocks looking out over the sea, is actually growing. The year has been so dry and they are clearly past their colourful flowering stage . . . but still I find them very attractive!
The shoreline has as much to enjoy by way of plants as the coast has just a few yards inland. The fact that they all have a slightly different annual cycle to their growth patterns makes them that much more interesting.Continue reading→
A calm, hazy, hot day and the stone buoys that mark the entrance to a small disused harbour reflect in the water and a gull appears in contemplation of its quiet surroundings.
Like the gull, I too sit in contemplation of the scene and objects around me – stopping from time to time on all my walks to look and listen and absorb the sights and sounds, the textures, patterns and colours of the environment and feel the connections I have to all that is there.
Whether the connection is slow and seemingly timeless, as in the wrinkles and folds seen in the surfaces of rocks, or quicker, like the more immediate ripples of the water blown by the breeze, pushed and pulled by the sun and moon along with Earth itself (see Tides), the influence on me of these interconnections is sometimes obvious and noticeable, sometimes utterly imperceptible, but there nonetheless.
Imperceptible or not, I am aware that they exist and enjoy contemplating, or perhaps imagining, the ties that hold me (rather than bind me) to the intricacies of the planet and all that exists and lives upon it.
This week I am focusing on some of the coastal curiosities I found along my walks in Scotland last month. The wind and sea had been sculpting, as they naturally do, but people were also evident in the arrangements they left behind in the form of what appeared to me like a miniature straggling sea defence. A sea defence that was set higher on the beach than the highest tide level, at least for a few days, thus ensuring they would stay there for a while and allow me to photograph them in different lights.
The low sun in the evening also sculpted the appearance of the beach into a Martian landscape and the my daughter pointed me towards the Martian colours revealed in a rock formation split by erosion. This revealed a measure of timeContinue reading→
The silhouettes of stacked and jagged rocks and dark hills give a realistic impression of the scene they describe, but it is an impression. The camera (without any filters) provides more contrast than is there in reality and there have been occasions when I have increased that contrast further in order to provide a better sense of what the scene felt like.
The Impressionists did a similar thing in painting scenes that, while not perhaps accurately or photographically depicted, gave a more accurate impression or sense of life. Photorealism in paintingContinue reading→
My walk this week reveals another area of the South Gower coast I had not visited before – Pwlldu (or Pwll Du). Approaching the bay from Bishopston Valley meant I couldn’t see the sea until I was on top of the huge bank of stones originally deposited there as waste from quarrying nearby.
Having taken longer than expected to navigate the rough terrain and muddy footpath in Bishopston Valley, we sat down on the stones in the sunshine fro eat our sandwiches before exploring the bay a little and throwing stones into the lagoon which has formed at the mouth of Bishopston Pill as a result of the banks of stones. Details about these unusual banks of stone can be found on Jessica’s Nature Blog.
Is there a creature in that dark lagoon creating those expanding ripples or is it just the effect of our splashing stones?