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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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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My Walk this Week – Windy Day in Colwyn Bay

My walk this week takes me back a couple of months to a working visit to Colwyn Bay on the north coast of Wales. It was a fresh Spring day and the wind was blowing strong. I think the image below describes the conditions perfectly.

Whether or not I develop a StillWalks video from all the material I recorded on this short walk along the beach remains to be seen. If I do, it will not be one of the relaxing ones – more invigorating I think!

The off shore wind farm seen on the horizon of the first shot below is an interesting feature, sometimes there and sometimes not! Depending on the light (constantly changing on this particular day), the turbines can become almost completely invisible or present complex repeating patterns as they shine with reflected sunlight.

Running into the wind

Running into the wind

Windy Day in Colwyn Bay

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Nicholaston Farm Cafe – Reviewing the Walk

Always on the Taste of Gower walks there is a welcome cafe to be enjoyed at the end of the walk. Many of the walks have given me a first visit to the cafes associated with them and do an excellent job of persuading me and others to return in the knowledge that refreshments are available as well as beautiful views, wonderful habitats and enjoyable exercise. Nicholaston Farm Cafe was no exception and everybody enjoyed the fayre they provide.

The next walk will be next week on Friday 29th July and starts from Gower Heritage Centre – I’m looking forward to it!

Nicholaston Farm cafe

Nicholaston Farm Cafe

Listen to the walk soundscape below while viewing the image sequence, just click the play button and then the first thumbnail image.

Nicholaston Walk Soundscape

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Big Tor

On the Taste of Gower walk this week from Nicholaston Farm, before you get to Three Cliffs Bay, you skirt round the cliffs of Tor Bay.  The walk has its ups and downs as you might expect on this South Gower coastline but none of us were going to attempt the scramble up onto the top of Big Tor. Somebody was up there but it wasn’t one of our party.

Tor Bay cliffs

Another even more aerial viewpoint than this would be from the seat of a light aircraft . . . and someone was enjoying just that, as you can hear in the sound clip below. I like this clip with the inevitable clifftop wind and the faint voices of walkers and birds ahead of me. The airplane gradually approaches and flies overhead.

Clifftop and Aircraft

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My Walk this Week – Taste of Gower, Nicholaston Farm

My walk this week is the Taste of Gower walk from June. The walk starts at Nicholaston Farm and follows the footpath along the cliffs to Three Cliffs Bay. The walk was led by Steve Lancey who organised it for Gower Landscape Partnership and we had Helen and Charlotte from Gower Unearthed as guides and providers of information on aspects of the walk such as Pen y Crug burial chamber.

Oxwich Bay

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Return Route – Reviewing the Walk

Looking back on my walk this week with the Taste of Gower group at Llanmadoc, we were very lucky with the weather. We saw both sunshine and clouds over the beautiful open space of the beach at Whitford Point with the old Victorian lighthouse not quite clear of the tide. Having said that, one of the main reasons we have such a green and luscious land in Wales is the amount of rainfall we get. It is less predictable where it is going to fall these days and looking again at the dark clouds and sun bleached beach, that is why I say we were so lucky not to be rained on until the end of the walk.

Country lane

return route

My soundscape for this walk is about the same length as usual (around 4 mins) but I could easily have made it twice that length or more. I may decide to produce a StillWalks video from the photos and sounds I have collected on this walk but it will have to wait in line with the others I have not yet post produced.

Llanmadoc Walk Soundscape

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Bleached Beach

When walking with a group and trying to do some photography and field recording at the same time, it is easy to end up rushing a bit and, as in this instance, forget to adjust the camera setting for the scene I’m wanting to capture. More often than not this results in useless images, but sometimes you get a happy accident.

When I first looked at this photo I thought “Whoops but wow! That’s just what it felt like at the time!”

The over exposure produced a bleached, white hot effect and when the sun was out this broad exposed hazy seascape felt just like this. I have included  a more correct exposure of the scene in the gallery below so you can compare.

Bleached Beach

Bleached Beach

As can be seen from the “Pergyl – Danger” notice, the area used to be a firing range and people are advised  not to touch anything they find as it may explode. One of the walkie talkies for the group was dropped on the beach during the walk and could not be found – I hope it doesn’t cause a scare for the person who finds it.

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Magical Calm Before the Storm

I have said that the weather was kind to us on my walk this week. It can be seen here on the expansive beach at Whitford, that there was the potential to be caught by an impending storm. Fortunately the wind favoured us and took this huge bank of dark cloud off to the north east.

calm before the storm

calm before the storm

The scene felt other worldly with the calm humidity and the simplicity of the open space. The haze blurred the details of what land could be seen and the “canvas” was reduced to indistinct sea and sky in muted colours. The old Victorian iron built Whitford Lighthouse was an enticing object just out of reach in the water and a small flock of one of my favourite birds flew as if in slow motion along the length of shore, mixing their calls with the skylarks. It was magical!

Larks and Oystercatchers

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