Kenfig beach

My Walk this Week 152 – Sound of Sunny Seaside Larks

My walk this week is from the burrows and beach at Kenfig on the South Wales coast where, on a sunny Sunday, we heard the most beautiful sound of seaside larks rejoicing in the afternoon sunshine. Both they and the wonderful weather made for a very enjoyable walk through the dunes and down to the expansive beach and an ebb tide.

tree and lake

Heading first for Kenfig Pool, it seemed the water level was up from recent rain and to judge from the route we were forced to take to get to the beach, the recent storms had fulfilled their aim of dumping as much rain as possible in as short a time as possible. Continue reading

Distant Gower from The Mawr

My Walk this Week 141 – Exploring Down from The Mawr

On my walk this week I went exploring a footpath I have passed on top of The Mawr on many occasions but never stopped for a closer look – until now.

Woodland ravine path

Looking across to the Gower Peninsula in the distance, I stood and enjoyed the wind as it gently swirled around me and brought the sound of skylarks to my ears. Setting off down an old moss covered farm track, it wasn’t longContinue reading

Soaring – Reviewing the Walk for the Old Mill Foundation

Rhossili hang gliding

While the day was calm for our memorial for walk leader Mike Aspland and to raise funds for the Old Mill Foundation cancer hospice, there was enough lift for the soaring of hang gliders to take place in this popular spot for the activity – Rhossili Down at the end of the Gower Peninsula. If you would like to donate to the Old Mill Foundation, please visit their website and click the “Donate” button.Continue reading

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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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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Walking with the Larks

As I climbed the hillside track up Graig Fawr I met more than sheep – one man descending from an earlier morning walk than mine.

I was not quick enough to photograph the hare or the skylarks – at least not well enough for my satisfaction – but I was able to record the larks that were flitting after each other across the bracken and occasionally soaring into the sky.

I know I posted a field recording of skylarks on Rhosilli Down last week, but how can one tire of such a beautiful sound. They were there with the crows(?) as I walked along, but however familiar I am with their song, I still have to stop from time to time and just listen to them, ignoring everything else.  Just thinking about them makes me happy 🙂

rock and sheep

Walking with the Larks

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Rocks in the Landscape

From this viewpoint on my walk over Rhosilli Down at the end of the Gower Peninsula, I wouldn’t need to do much by way of camouflage to hide the houses of Llangennith, as they already appear to fit so well with the rocks in the landscape.

I recently attended a talk at our local library by Geraint Owen of the geography department at Swansea University. It was a fascinating illustrated talk about the geology of our local area and so I now understand the reasons behind the forms of the rocks in the outcrops in the last couple of photos below.

I am not going to go into the details of this geology but Geraint and his associate Siwan Davies have developed a series of 10 wonderful walking leaflets featuring details of walks and the local geology. Unfortunately a direct link to the website currently reveals it to be under construction, but at least it gives contact details.

Llangennith from Rhosilli Down

There is a fair wind blowing in the sound clip below. The background sound of surf in the sea mingles with it but none of that stops the skylarks singing and there are not in my opinion, many sounds more uplifting than an lark.

Wind, Sea and Larks

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Quality Walks

Misty Walk is a new stillWalk which was actually produced at the end of last winter. There are several more StillWalks in the pipeline but it has proved difficult this last year to complete the post production on these. This is largely because of the project work I have been doing – see Projects.

I have uploaded two versions of the Misty Walk to the Winter Walks page. Both are high quality but one is in HD (720p) and the other is small scale at 480 x 270 pixels. (see also below).

StillWalks should be viewed, if possible in full screen mode and these videos will show the difference between the two versions. The HD button is in the top right of the first video and the full screen button is on the bottom right of each video.

It was supposed to be a dry, sunny day for this production but it turned out otherwise! This misty walk is on Ryer’s down on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales and was very enjoyable and atmospheric (small scale). Walk location

Beautiful Brecon Beacons

Yr Allt, Fan Nedd and Fan Gyhirych are all on a walk I have done in the Brecon Beacons frequently in the past. That past is a long time ago now though and so when I took a day up there recently with my friend Mark, it seemed even better than my memory allowed.

Walking for pleasure was the main reasoning behind the trip but photos and sounds clips taken on the day can be considered a recce for a StillWalks production day later in the Summer.

Skylark – I actually managed to get a half decent photo of one of the many Skylarks up there and some of the sights and sounds from the day can be listened to and seen below. To view more of the photos, visit Flickr. If you can’t see the sound clips, click here to go to the blog.

Shadows on Yr Allt

Shadows on Yr Allt

Pen y Fan in the distance

Pen y Fan in the distance

On the side of Fan Nedd

On the side of Fan Nedd

Old Fencing

Old Fencing

Bog Cotton

Bog Cotton

Maen Llia standing stone

Maen Llia standing stone

View from the Top

Last Sunday was a beautiful day here in South Wales which encouraged me to take a walk up Graig Fawr. The views over the surrounding countryside are uplifting . . . when the sun is out. Looking west you can see over to Carmarthenshire and looking south the view takes in the Loughor Estuary and the Gower Peninsula.

The wind was blowing and the Skylarks were singing and I needed to get to the top. Here are a few of the photos I took and also a sound clip of those Larks in the wind.

View from the Top

View from the Top

Loughor Estuary and the Gower

View from the Top 1Loughor Estuary and the Gower

Foxgloves and the Gower

Foxgloves and the Gower

You can hear those Skylarks in the wind here or you can play the clip below if you are already on the blog.