Stepping Out and Susurrus at Three Cliffs Bay

As we were stepping out across the stepping stones at Three Cliffs Bay on this Taste of Gower circular walk fro the Gower Heritage Centre, I noted the different ambient sound.

It may be expected that the sound of the sea will be different to that of a woodland but the susurration of the wind in trees is not so very different to that of a gentle sea as it washes distantly over a sandy beach. It is different though – the open space seems to me to be one of the greatest influencing factors and with eyes closed or not knowing where you are, these different ambient sounds would give you a pretty good clue as to your surroundings.

The next Taste of Gower walk will be tomorrow 26/08/17 – details here.

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

If you ignore the sound of footsteps in the sound clips below, perhaps you will agree that the word susurrus could be used to describe the background ambience of both soundscapes. According to the dictionary I could also have used the word to describe what I called the murmur of voices as the walking group disappeared off into the distance in previous posts on my walk this week, but personally I prefer the onomatopoeia of “murmur” for voices and “susurrus” for the wind or sea. What do you think?

Sound of the Sea

Walking in the Woods

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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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Leaving the Beach and Reviewing the Walk

Reviewing my walk this week I realise that the railway line running across this bridge separates not only the beach from the town, but also something of the wind as well. The beach at Colwyn Bay in North Wales is a wide open expanse across which the wind can blow unimpeded until it reaches the railway embankment above the promenade. However, this barrier does not run the full length of the bay by any means and so I imagine, like Swansea’s seafront in the south of the country, the sand gets blown far into the streets nearby.

The soundscape below illustrates the point at which the wind starts blowing – just as I cross the road to the promenade at the pedestrian crossing. My favourite sound in this soundscape is towards the end – the rhythmic rattle of metal on metal in the wind before I return to the road.

Leaving the beach

Leaving the beach

Colwyn Bay Soundscape

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Dark Sea and Weathered Fence

With the wild wind and dark sea on my walk along the beach at Colwyn Bay this week, it was with some relief that I finally passed alongside the safety fence around the dilapidated pier and up off the beach. In fact the weather was exhilarating, all the more so because it didn’t rain and wasn’t so rough as to make it too difficult to contend with.

Dark Sea and Weathered Fence

Dark Sea and Weathered Fence

Colwyn Bay Wind Clatter

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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

Tilting at the Wind

No tilting at windmills here – just tilting at the wind as I nearly get blown off my feet. The power of the wind and the sea is not imaginary and it is remarkable that the youngest member of the family looking out to the horizon in the second image below isn’t being rolled up the beach like the foam of the waves.

On the gentle incline of Colwyn Bay beach the waves may not be very big, but that doesn’t mean the weather is any less wild. A number of the photos I took that day had an horizon line in danger of falling off the edge but whilst it is easy enough to correct this, leaving the first image below as it is helped to emphasise the nature of that environment at that time.

Wild and Windy

Tilting to the Wind

Looking out to sea

Looking out to sea

Sea foam

Sea foam

 

 

Paragliders – Colours in the Sky

It was a perfect day for my walk this week at Colwyn Bay . . . if you like the wind! There are those that will take full advantage of the wind every time, such as paragliders. I spotted these two the moment I stepped onto the seafront and as I walked towards them, it was difficult to pay attention to the rest of my surroundings. The mesmerising entertainment of their aerial acrobatics was quite a distraction.

Paraglider and rainbow

Colours in the Sky

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