After the Flood – A New StillWalks Video

This winter in the UK brought wind and rain.

Again and again and again! We may now be coming out of that wild and windy season but many people are still suffering from the effects of all that water or fallen trees. I am sorry for those people but also glad we were not included amongst them.

StillWalks featured videos are back again this week with “City River Walk – After the Flood”. The city is York, the river is the Ouse and the time is April 2012. The Ouse regularly floods as a result of rain falling higher up the course of the river. I assume that the residents and businesses situated alongside it the river bank are suitably prepared for these events and have systems in place to deal with it.

However, it is when the unexpected occurs that tried and tested systems are put to the test and this Winter they were certainly tried and tested everywhere in the UK. Some systems were satisfactory . . . others were not!

This new StillWalks video will be here to view all week and will then be changed to sample length. I hope you enjoy it and comments are welcome.

You can use the Donate button below to help pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “City River Walk – After the Flood” which features York and the River Ouse. Click the image above to watch the video. DVD Collections are also available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

Paypal button

The Male of the Species – Catkins at Llys Nini

These male Hazel Catkins are looking for a mate.

I suspect that these catkins have been hanging around at Llys Nini Animal Center woodland area for a little while as the weather in the UK this winter has been confusing to say the least!

Hazel Catkins

Hazel Catkins detail

Twisted Details – Oak Trees After Autumn

Zooming in from the Welsh landscape overview in my previous post, I can reveal some of the twisted details of our local park. The oak trees of Coedbach Park in Pontarddulais, are wonderful in all seasons, but when the leaves are gone they truly reveal their twisted, crooked forms.

Twisted Oak Trees

Photo taken on my iPhone 5c. Click the photo to enlarge.

This week’s featured StillWalks video started out as an experiment to see if I could produce an acceptable video using only my iPhone 4s to take the photos and record the sound. Here is the result – Forest Walk – Summer”

You can use the Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Forest Walk – Summer” which is at Fforest, Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

Paypal button

Footpath Through the Woods – The Changing Season

The end of my walk through Cwm Green Woods brought me back to the clearing and car park where I heard so many pheasants earlier in the morning.

I started this week’s posts writing about the rolling out of Autumn across different areas. The leaves on the ground in the last photo of this post show the difference of change between one kind of tree and another, and the conditions of their immediate surroundings. Even within quite a small area, there can be significant difference.

The trees shown at the start of this series were just beginning to change colour whilst these ones, just a few hundred yards away, are well on their way through the season.

Cwm Green Footpath-1

Cwm Green Footpath-2

Cwm Green Footpath-3

Cwm Green Footpath-4

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Woodland Walk” which is from Penllergaer Woods near Swansea, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

Paypal button

Mushrooms – In the Order of Autumn

Autumn is here and posting this image of a mushroom may be appropriate within the order of the seasons, but it was not the first of my varied activities last weekend. In fact, this photo was taken mid week and the mushroom, which was convex in shape last weekend, has now moved on to its concave form that comes relatively quickly for fungi.

Mushroom hunting was the first of my activities last Sunday. The walk through our local woods was organised by the Friends of Coedbach Park and led by Steve Protheroe of Swansea Parks Dept. It was a real eye opener to anyone with an interest but little or no experience. The number and range of mushrooms was unexpected and made for a very gratifying event.

Visit the StillWalks Flickr Photostream to see the other mushrooms we found. Unfortunately, the mushrooms are not yet identified in the image names – Steve, the expert, is currently away – but as soon as I am able, I will update that to provide both common and latin names for each one.

Honey Fungus in Coedbach Park

Autumn Bracken in Coedbach Park

Autumn Bracken in Coedbach Park

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video. Click the image below to watch the video.

Paypal button

Soggy Seeds

The woodland at Ynystawe through which I was walking last weekend really was wet! The day was nice but the rain from previous days had had its effect on the plants at the end of Summer.

The colours of flowers are on their way out and we have not yet reached that stage of Autumn that brings so much colour again in the leaves. But there is still pattern and texture and light (perhaps less of the light) – you just have to look around you 🙂

Ynystawe-9 Ynystawe-10 Ynystawe-12 Ynystawe-14

Ynystawe-15 Ynystawe-17

A Walk in the Spring

If all has gone to plan, this is where I should have been at 5 AM this morning!

I checked that the Bluebells had not finished their stint for this Spring and looked at the weather forecast. All seemed good for an early morning start for a new StillWalks production at Penllergaer Woods on the outskirts of Swansea.

Spring has been very late this year and so even though we are heading towards Summer (fingers crossed), some of the trade marks of the season are still around us. I have produced StillWalks here in both Autumn and Winter and so when I have them for all the seasons, it will be good to review them all together.

Penllergaer Bluebells
. . . and this is where I had breakfast.


Favourite Locations

Penllergaer Woods

Penllergaer Woods in Autumn

The locations of the StillWalks I produce are many and varied – from woodland to coast, townscape to park, I enjoy them all. Pre-production recce walks can sometimes be the most interesting as that is the time of initial discovery if the place is new to me. Production days, however, are the time to look and listen really closely.

Some of the places I have enjoyed most are: Penllergaer Woods, samples of which can be seen in – the Autumn Walks, Woodland Walk 1 and Woodland Walk 2 in Winter Walks. Also the old St Teilo’s Churchyard down on the marshes near where I live can be seen in the Old Churchyard Walk from Summer Walks and Carrick Shore in SW Scotland – Coastal Walk Evening in Spring Walks. One more is on the Swansea cycle route – Abertawe Walk from the Autumn Walks.

Pennlergaer Woods in Winter

Pennlergaer Woods in Winter

M4 Traffic – Pennlergaer and the old churchyard, are both close to the M4 motorway, which is busy at all times. In Penllergaer I find the gradual absorption of the sound of traffic, by the trees and their foliage, as you go deeper into the woods, very attractive. Perhaps it is the contrast of the two adjacent environments that creates a better sense of release from one and welcoming of the other.

On the other hand, I love the walk down to and around the old St Teilo’s Churchyard and you cannot get away from the M4 traffic in this place. I find I “filter out” a lot of the sound from the road and just listen to the birds that can easily pierce the sound of the cars and trucks.  The sound recorder does not ignore the traffic of course, but, as I do it subconsciously on location, I feel justified in filtering out some (but not all) of the background road sounds when editing.

StillWalks Works for Me – I tend to use them when I need to take a few minutes out of the working day, relax and focus my mind on something other than work. I also use them at times of stress – this is often when waiting for an approaching event such as a meeting. I use them occasionally at the end of the day too, when I need to wind down before going to sleep.

On the Move – If I am on the move and, therefore, watching a StillWalk on my iPhone, the screen may be small but with headphones plugged in and the video filling the screen, I find I easily “move” into the space of the StillWalk. At all times of viewing on a computer screen, I would always watch the StillWalk in full screen mode and I try to prompt others to do this. Not only do you see more, but full screen view also prevents many other distractions and helps promote your relaxation and enjoyment of the StillWalk.

Still Watching . . . I may have to add one of the latest StillWalks to my favourites list – Moss Wood Walk in the Autumn Walks. This is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South Wales and I have just watched full screen in full HD . . .

Week 6 – Marshwood Birds – Anyone interested in following my weekly recording and photos from this project can find the recordings on SoundCloud and the images on Flickr.

On the Move

On the Move, Swansea to York