beech nut opening

My Walk this Week 127 – A Seed in Time

The seed in question on my walk this week is a beech nut – perhaps I should say hundreds of beech nuts as the forest floor was covered in them.

spiky Autumn detail

Whoops! I have been rightly corrected about them being beech nuts – in fact they are sweet chestnuts . . . but there were lots of beechnuts in the woods as well so maybe I can be forgiven šŸ˜‰

There are seemingly many more squirrels this year as well, so how many beech nuts go on, or grow on, to become new trees may be in part a result of the the number consumed by the local wildlife.

Ouse Walk gate

Millennium Footpath

It turned out that my walk this week was along the Millennium Footpath – another one! If “millennium” means one thousand (as in years), then I think there must be a millennium of “Millennium Footpaths” in Britain and probably many more around the world. This one is alongside the River Ouse as it flows out of York in the North East England.

River Ouse footpath

I suspect that this footpath was already here and frequently used before the turn of the century. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with giving that or any other name to a walking route, as anything that encourages people to walk and enjoy their surroundings is good in my book.Continue reading

Tree Arrangement

Dorset tree arrangement

Found on my walk this week in 2012, this arrangement of trees on top a Dorset hill seemed ancient andĀ magical. I enjoy the formal espalier arrangements of trees that we often create with fruit trees and I like the formal pattern of tree avenues in France, but this is something different again and seems like very typically English.Continue reading

Seeds in the Breeze

Still with the Thistles – the closer you look, the more detail you see. These Thistle seeds on a cobweb stayed just steady enough in a lull in theĀ breeze to allow me to capture their minute tendrils.

Thistle seeds

thistle seeds

Going to Seed

Thistles – another irresistible subject for photography!

These photos were taken on my Canon 550D with a Canon 70-300mm IS USM lens. However, it is also important for me to keep developing my skills with iPhone photography or iPhonography as it is often my phone camera that I have with me when out walking.

With so much to see, I wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity, yet at the same time, it is not practical to always have heavy camera slung over your shoulder.

thistle

Thistles

Playing Soldiers and Marking Time – Pembrey Seed Heads

We used to have games of “soldiers” with these Ribwort Plantains when we were young – trying in turn to knock the head off each others “soldier”. Perhaps decapitate would be a more accurate term!

And of course everyone tells the time by the Dandelion seed head – what other way is there to do it?

Plantain

Dandelion

Seed Collecting in Bishops Wood

Following my photo session and field recording (see yesterday’s post) at Cwm Green on the Gower where I heard so many small and large aircraft enjoying a sunny Saturday morning, I went along to Bishops Wood to pay a visit to the seed collecting group which had been organised by Swansea’s Countryside Connections team.

Bishops Wood is just above Caswell Bay on the South Gower coast. I used to walk there regularly but had not been for some time. Both the woods and the bay are beautiful and popular spots on the Gower and as I was in the area, it was no hardship to call by.

On Sunday morning I went on the mushroom and toadstool hunt arranged by the Friends of Coedbach Park in Pontarddulais and in the afternoon we went for a walk along the Millennium Coastal park footpath at Llanelli in Carmarthenshire.

An active weekend all in all and one that has provided me with plenty of material for both blog and StillWalks production!

Bishops Wood Seed Head

Bishops Wood Seed Head

Caswell Bay, Gower

You can use the newĀ DonateĀ button below to help StillWalks, pay what you want and receive a download of this week’s featured StillWalks video.Ā Sticking with the Gower, this weeks featured video is from Rhosilli by the Worm’s Head right at the end of the Gower Peninsula. Click the image below to watch the sample.

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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 šŸ™‚

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

Ynystawe-15 Ynystawe-17

A Countryside Connections Walk

Visit the StillWalks websiteĀ for videosĀ and more

Swansea Countryside Connections Team, through which StillWalks ran the Sights and Sounds of the Countryside project, put on a number of events throughout the year for those living in eligible rural wards in Swansea. It was one of their dawn chorus walks where I first met Helen Grey and it was she, along with Tim Orrell, who was leading the Nature Detective Walk along the Gower Way from Felindre to Lower Lliw Reservoir last Wednesday evening. See the photos below.

As this was the route taken by the Sights and Sounds project on the production day for the Felindre Families group, I thought it would be good to go along – and indeed it was! I discovered what the funny lumps and bumps are in the first field we crossed. We found a very old ash tree with branches twisting and twining round each other, reflecting its age. We saw Deadly Nightshade amongst other plants and flowers, a badger set, mole holes, young Hazelnuts, whin, thistles, ducks, etc., etc.

“Helen, you will have to remind me of that last little yellow flower I asked you about. I cannot remember it it now!”

Click here (Countryside Connections Events) to see what other Countryside Connections events are coming up.