Over the next six weeks “My Walk this Week” will be describing selected walks I have taken in the past. For this week I am looking back at a walk I called Ditch Hikers Walk and produced as a StillWalks video. The walk is located at Skanda Vale in Carmarthenshire and does not feature an elephant, Continue reading→
A FREE StillWalks video sensory perception session at The Waterside Felindre.
You’ll be able to develop your natural connections with the world along with Alastair Duncan who will be demonstrating the benefits of using the calming StillWalks video resource and helping you to become more aware by starting to fine tune your visual and aural skills.
Woodland wandering on my walk this week at The Waterside-Felindre was like doing some “forest bathing”. This is something I have been aware of for some time now but the term is not one that I like very much – to me it sounds a little bit corny (no offence intended to forest bathers, or tree huggers for that matter). Whatever the name given, there is no doubt in my mind about the benefits of walking in woodland but I can imagine it would not suit everybody.Continue reading→
On weekdays in January the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) is free to enter and so we took a mid week opportunity of some clear weather to visit. We have been many, many times over the years since it opened in 2000 and always enjoy the developing growth and changing arrangements of plants, borders and other features such as the bug hotels.
There is a lot to see and explore there even in the middle of winter and on this occasion we were surprised by the current entertainment of butterflies in the hot house.
Having covered the first half of the year of my walks in a local forest month by month and keeping to the format of posts I have been using for a year now (I think that will change next year), today I am looking back over the past week’s posts and selecting two images from each month/post. To head them up I have chosen one from April with the sun peeking through the trees.
I like to think that I would spot different details or snippets of my surroundings regardless of the photographic blinker provided by a camera. But I also think that using a camera over the years has helped me to put a mental frame around aspects of my local environment that has allowed me more easily to focus on certain details.
On my walk this week along Aberavon seafront I took many photos, both detail shots and wide angle. Thinking of using them and my field recordings for a StillWalks video of this time and place, it was important for me to view the bigger picture as well as the details. The “bigger picture” shots below reveal that the sea fret that had lifted a little for a while, had descended again to mask the details in the distance.
My walk this week is a local circular walk and anyone living in the area should recognise just from the glimpse of the road sign in the first image, exactly where it is. The walk is a very enjoyable one that provides both exertion on the climb uphill and peace and tranquility in the valley return.
As with my StillWalks videos I have not identified where the walk is to anyone who doesn’t already know it because the location is not relevant. It is the sights and sounds and the signs of the season that I enjoy on my walks and in that respect this first post for my walk this week are the walls alongside the footpath that were of particular interest to me.
Nearing the end of my walk this week and one of the eastern exits to Roath Park in Cardiff, I am struck by the classic pose set by this cormorant. There are many, many birds of many different species in Roath Park but determining the variety of any specific bird is somewhat of a challenge to me. So I think this is a cormorant and the other avian profile in the images below I think is a Yellow Legged Gull in its first year . . . but don’t quote me on it. The swans I know are swans but what variety of swan I could not say.
Not being able to identify many of the creatures, avian or otherwise, or much of the plant life I see around me in any given environment, does not reduce or hamper my enjoyment and appreciation of that environment, either natural or urban. The naming and labelling of things has its advantages when it comes to communication and understanding but for the purposes of StillWalks and my own personal enjoyment of my surroundings and the benefits I get from it, it is not necessary to name everything. Indeed, considering that StillWalks videos have no voiceovers (or music), it is not necessary to name anything! It is only in my blog posts that you will “hear my voice” so to speak.
If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.
Having first visited Nash Point Lighthouse on my walk this week, we actually started our circular walk at site of the StillWalks production “Breakers Walk”. From there we walked along the cliff tops back towards the Nash Point. The tide was out and the view over the wave platforms of this stretch of the South Wales coast were incredible. The patterns of those waves of stone were so clear – it was as though time had frozen still and allowed the structures to form in an instant.
At the foot of the hill on my walk this week, I parted ways with the other walkers on our geology walk up Cefn Drum. They had arrived for the walk by car whereas I had walked. The route by car is beautiful but the walking route is better still if only for the simple peace on a quiet day.
I only had the sheep and the river, the Afon Dulais, for company and looking at these images and listening to the sound clip takes me back to that peace.
I sometimes use my StillWalks videos as a means of relaxation at the end of the day but if I find myself unable to sleep through the night the most effective means of calming my mind is to relive one of my walks in my imagination. Photos such as those below describe a simple everyday aspect of the landscape but they still work as an effective trigger for my memory and when accompanied by the field recording, the sense of being there (at least in mind) is greatly strengthened.