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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Effect of Focus

Almost back to my car parked on the seafront next to Swansea’s docks and SA1 area, my walk this week leaves the boats and buildings of the Maritime Quarter behind and ends in the dunes.

Looking out to the Tawe river mouth and dock entrance I couldn’t decide which photo to post out of these first two. I like them both – the first for the clear pattern and tapering shapes of the sea wall with the blurred foreground. The other I like for its crisp focus on the grasses in the foreground with the blurred sea wall in the distance.

Of course the answer was to post both! Which one do you prefer?

Tawe river mouth

dune grass and Tawe river mouth

wildflowers and Tawe river mouth

My Walk this Week – Bay Campus

My walk this week took me round Swansea University’s new Bay Campus on the seafront along the eastern approach to Swansea. It was a sunny(ish) Saturday morning and the place was fairly quiet. As I strolled through the large open spaces between the buildings I thought “this is very nice and new in the sunshine, but they’re not going to like it much when the bad weather blows in!”

The Great Hall, Swansea University Bay CampusI started my photography of the walk on the seaward side of the campus and found, down on the beach looking out across Continue reading

View from Llansteffan Castle

Welcome to Day One

Hello to everyone, existing and new visitors to the new StillWalks blog. Thank you for visiting anew and thank you for relocating with me if you are already a follower.

Insert your email to the subscription box in the side bar on the right to receive StillWalks images and sound clips on blog posts every morning – it’s a great way to start the day (or end it!).

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Things should look very much the same on the blog and hopefully our migration here will be seamless. However, other aspects of the website have changed and there is now a new StillWalks package to which you can sign up or register an interest. To find out more about “Walking The StillWalks Way”, click the link to view a short presentation.

My Walk this Week continues

Meanwhile, back on my walk this week at Llansteffan Castle in Carmarthenshire, I thought I would start with a photo from the beginning of the walk because the view from the castle allows you to see into the distance, albeit hazy, and of course this is what I have been trying to do with StillWalks – see into the future.

Following on from yesterday’s post, a more detailed look at the stonework of Llansteffan Castle reveals all sorts of fascinating patterns, textures and colours. I’m not sure what is going on in with the surface patterns on the last shot, but it looks as though it may be additional to the actual stone itself.