My walk this week is in Cally Gardens in Scotland where it is all about the plants. We have been visiting this nursery garden for many years and used to enjoy hearing and learning about Michael Wickendon’s plant expeditions and explorations around the world. Sadly Michael died on one of those expeditions a few years ago but the garden has been take over since then by Kevin Hughes and he is clearly developing and maintaining the plants and garden in a similar vein to its past.
My walk this week gave me a much needed break down on the salt marsh and old church yard. Even though it was first thing in the morning, I needed to start the day with the calming influence of solitude in a space I find calming (in spite of the nearby motorway).
I was sitting behind the churchyard wall in an effective audio shelter from the traffic sounds and enjoying the peace of the slow moving river and the sunshine on the marsh grass. As I sat there, gradually I became more aware of some of the details of my surroundings, some of which was evidence of the tidal influence on the marshland – a crab! Some seaweed!
The video* (see note below) demonstrates quite well the different levels of background traffic and wind sounds that I tend not to listen to, instead focusing on the bird sounds – in this case some distant geese flying overhead.
I am sure I must have posted images similar to those below in the past but with each visit to the marshes and old churchyard, it feels like I am experiencing the place afresh. I have looked at the various headstones many times, but somehow those half buried (or almost completely buried) children’s headstones seem to have sunk a little further down, staying close to the long decayed body beneath.
Time passes and everything gradually changes. Whether it be weathered iron growing rust and deepening its pitted surface or the slump of what was once the footpath as it subsides into the river with slow erosion.
The video in this post can also be viewed in 4K resolution on Vimeo. If you have a large screen and a good internet connection you might feel like you could almost crawl in amongst those marsh grasses. Make sure the quality is set to 4K and expand the video to full screen.
My walk this week looks at the loss of a small forest and the enjoyment of local woods. To be fair the conifer forest that is now gone was originally planted with the intention of harvesting the lumber and the area is being replanted with native deciduous trees. All the same, the change was and still is a bit of a shock to the senses.
The day was still and quiet but as always there was the background sound of traffic. However, as I was not listening to the traffic but instead enjoying the stillness and the birds, I decided to filter out that more urban ambience from the video above.
The intimacy of the Autumn – Winter woodland with its wet leaves and moss plus the curious observers of my audio visual activities is something I have missed recently as the last time I was here was back in August.
My walk this week is more of a wander on Cefn Drum, one of our local hills. Being a sunny Sunday afternoon, the hillside was busy with 4 or 5 other people gently strolling along the labyrinth of footpaths, so I didn’t hang around long and beat a retreat back down the hollow way seen in my last post.
The video includes flowing water again, but this is a sound it can be hard not to hear in Wales, especially at this time of year. And once again the video is also my soundscape for this week and indeed it includes separately recorded sound as well as that recorded as video.
My walk started well before the gate to the mountain (we say mountain but really it is a hill rising to about 750 feet), but a gate is a good starting point, a threshold, whatever rusty state it may be in.
My walk on the hillside ended with another battered aged gate, one with a different perspective, at least from the angle I photographed it.
My walk this week is green and luscious and through something of a swamp! It is one I have only done once before and that was during an icy winter, so I wanted to compare and contrast the two seasons.
I don’t think I need to say much about the differences as they can be seen in the galleries below, but one of the most interesting to me is the is the water surface in the swamp/pond. In winter it was covered in thick, dark, opaque ice with a dusting of snow while on this more recent walk it is covered in thousands of catkins and algae.
The soundscapes are different as well, and again, I don’t think I need say much. The strange “groaning” sound in the Spring soundscape may be a distant goods train as there is a railway track nearby, but I cannot be certain.
Gorseinon Walk Soundscape and Images
The soundscape media player does not show on the WordPress Reader, please visit the website to listen to the soundscape and view the images at the same time.
My walk this week is from the archives with memories of North Wales and a windy visit to Colwyn Bay.
Some were taking advantage of the wind in a colourful way and the sky just wanted to join in by throwing out a rainbow to accompany the wind surfing paraglider, while other like myself were getting rather more battered by it. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable walk and thrilling to be entertained by those men and their “flying machines”.
The patterns and colours of sand and wind, rust and fencing, waves and water effects in what appears to have been a changeable day are a good reminder of the experience. The soundscape also serves as an excellent transportation device to take me back there with the images – I can almost feel and smell the sea spray!
My walk this week didn’t take me far – just into the garden to look at some of the details of change at this time of year. There is more than the plant life in the colours, textures and patterns there as well. Continue reading→
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.
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→