Rock Design

Walking along the upper footpath on the western edge of Penllergare Valley Woods, you can find (if you look) an area dramatic rock faces towering above the woodland floor. My first photo today was taken on my iPhone and reveals the structure and patterns in the rock.

The structure in the rock is obviously natural, but whether it is natural that these patterns have been revealed, I cannot say. I wonder about it because so many features of the valley were designed by John Dillwyn Llewellyn during Victorian times and it is entirely possible that the drama of the feature was intended.

Either way, nature has entirely taken over now and although there are more rock faces to be seen than I have shown here, the more the season moves on, the more the greenery tries to hide them.

rock patterns

On this upper footpath the distant sounds of Swansea and other signs of man can be heard more easily in the background than on the sound clip I posted on Monday at the start of this week’s walk. That piece of field recording was made near the valley floor which is shielded from the urban influence.

But the sounds of an urban environment can come and go according to the lie of the land in your immediate surroundings. Sometimes the background soundscape can be hidden by features like this enclave of rocks, while at other times the rocks themselves may reflect those sounds back to you. So much depends on the atmospheric circumstances prevailing at the time of listening.

Penllergare Woodland Sounds

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Closing the Gate and Reviewing the Week 60

My walk this week followed a track up a local hill, Graig Fawr. It is my intention to produce a StillWalks video from the photos and field recording I did on the walk. Below is a selection of images from this weeks posts about this walk as well as a short soundscape of some aural aspects of the walk.

To see all the photos and I have posted about this walk, you will need to look at the individual posts.

gate

Graig Fawr Soundscape

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Observations On My Descent

The sun is back but it is not the only weather that is reflected on the back of this pony which is still wet from the recent snowfall.

Descending Graig Fawr on my return walk the rocks I photographed illustrate my new found knowledge of the geology of the area. Last week I posted photographs of rocks on Rhosilli Down at the end of the Gower Peninsula – and now I can post the photos below with a better understanding of why these show their strata pointing north, and those posted last week show theirs pointing south.

It all goes back 300 million years when the continents were getting squeezed . . . but if you want to know more I can recommend (again) the leaflets produced by Geraint Owen which are mostly available from local libraries or by visiting here and asking for them.

And if you are interested in knowing more still, I can recommend Jessica’s Nature Blog where she presents some wonderful photos and detailed information on the geology of areas of the Gower and Dorset.

pony

Walking with the Larks

As I climbed the hillside track up Graig Fawr I met more than sheep – one man descending from an earlier morning walk than mine.

I was not quick enough to photograph the hare or the skylarks – at least not well enough for my satisfaction – but I was able to record the larks that were flitting after each other across the bracken and occasionally soaring into the sky.

I know I posted a field recording of skylarks on Rhosilli Down last week, but how can one tire of such a beautiful sound. They were there with the crows(?) as I walked along, but however familiar I am with their song, I still have to stop from time to time and just listen to them, ignoring everything else.  Just thinking about them makes me happy 🙂

rock and sheep

Walking with the Larks

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Rocks in the Landscape

From this viewpoint on my walk over Rhosilli Down at the end of the Gower Peninsula, I wouldn’t need to do much by way of camouflage to hide the houses of Llangennith, as they already appear to fit so well with the rocks in the landscape.

I recently attended a talk at our local library by Geraint Owen of the geography department at Swansea University. It was a fascinating illustrated talk about the geology of our local area and so I now understand the reasons behind the forms of the rocks in the outcrops in the last couple of photos below.

I am not going to go into the details of this geology but Geraint and his associate Siwan Davies have developed a series of 10 wonderful walking leaflets featuring details of walks and the local geology. Unfortunately a direct link to the website currently reveals it to be under construction, but at least it gives contact details.

Llangennith from Rhosilli Down

There is a fair wind blowing in the sound clip below. The background sound of surf in the sea mingles with it but none of that stops the skylarks singing and there are not in my opinion, many sounds more uplifting than an lark.

Wind, Sea and Larks

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Rocks and Ripples

Viewing the rocks and sand ripples from above on my cliff walk at Rhosilli on the Gower peninsula revealed some fascinating patterns. I loved the complex textures of jagged rocks dotted with white gulls and the smoother flat patterns of wave platform structures seen on our way round to Fall Bay from the Worms Head.

The sand ripples may be a common pattern but I liked the subtle sunlight and shade. I thought it might be worth looking at it in black and white and in converting the image I also heightened the contrast quite a lot. The monochrome shot can be seen tomorrow on Leanne Cole’s Photography blog post Monochrome Madness 2-30. I can’t make up my mind which I prefer – subtle colour or contrasty monochrome.

rock patterns

wave platform rock patterns

sand ripples

monochrome sand ripples

Proportional Representation – Two Views

I don’t know what proportion (if any) of the people of Mumbles would go for proportional representation if it were available in the forthcoming May election in the UK. Disregarding politics, below is another take (or two) on the term that is more akin to  cropping in photography.

It was a dreary day when I took these photos but, for me, that is no reason not to take them. The range of textures in the scene is what interests me most, from the finer grain of the concrete in the sea wall to the lumpy rocks and stones on the foreshore, to the fuzzy grey textures of the trees on the hill. All of this interspersed with the softer green moss on the wall and the sand separating the stones on the beach. And then there are the patterns and colours of buildings and people stretched across the centre of the frame.

At least it wasn’t raining!

Mumbles Promenade

Mumbles Sea Wall