My walk this week is a celebration of the different weather conditions we enjoyed under Scottish skies recently. I won’t say much more than that. As you will be able to see below, we relaxed to beautiful sunsets, cold winds, and water not just ebbing and flowing with the tide but also falling from the sky. On one occasion this produced a thunderous roar as the drops hit the tin roof above us in the middle of the night.
My walk this week was my first walk of 2021, at the start of the New Year. My daughter and I walked up Graig Fawr, a local hill, and watched the sun set over the landscape – it was beautiful and peaceful.
It is a walk I have done many times before but not for a couple of years – it was good to see the meandering Loughor Estuary reflecting the colours of the sky once more.
Being the first day of the year and in the current pandemic lockdown, the landscape was quiet, no background traffic and just the hint of a breeze up on top. It was, however, relatively busy! We must have passed 10 or 12 people in all as they descended the mountain – all couples with the same idea of taking in the view and hoping for a good start to what is likely to be another difficult year.
So to everyone out there, remember to appreciate what we have, take care, stay safe and keep calm.
Happy New Year to all my StillWalks® followers and visitors. My walk this week is a hopeful one that takes you out of the woods and into the open.
The sound track for this short video was not going to be as it is. When recording the short clip in the woods at Llyn Llech Owain a helicopter flew overhead (as you can hear) – this prompted me to record a separate sound clip after it had passed.
However, it occurred to me that the helicopter might be considered symbolic of the past year in that it was likely to be an emergency flight taking someone to hospital. I doubt very much that we are out of the woods yet with the coronavirus. Even with the vaccine it will take time to immunise the population and we need to keep our fingers crossed that the vaccine will do the trick.
So out of the woods and into the open . . . Llyn Llech Owain is a local country park on one of those currently rare bright cold days, we and other families carefully kept socially distanced as we enjoyed the sounds of the geese on the lake, the peace of no traffic in the background, and the moon rising as the sun set (at the end of the video in the top left corner).
My walk this week is necessarily another local one and is going with the flow in more ways than one.
The literal flow is in the Afon Camffrwd, a small local river swollen somewhat by the recent rains. A more existential flow is about me taking the walk in the first place.
Near the end of another day of regular showers the need to get out and calm my mind, exercise my body and enjoy my surroundings was obvious to me. We have to accept and deal with the current pandemic situation as best we can. While I am able to continue my work in tapestry weaving and sound as a result of a stabilisation grant from the Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Good Causes fund, I am still affected, along with everyone else, by the Covid-19 lockdown and the restrictions that go with it. It is a strange and unsettling experience for us all.
Again the soundscape for this walk is in the form of a short video, but there are some more details from my walk in the images below.
On my walk this week I want to share some of my favourite photos of spectacular sunsets from the two weeks I spent in Scotland. The videos I posted while there could not follow the ever changing light for more than a few moments and the atmosphere created by the setting sun on successive evenings was literally awesome.
From the pastel tints and shades looking in one direction to the drama of a fiery sky in another, the reflections on clouds above and water below never ceases to amaze me.
However, I couldn’t photograph one of the most impressive evening skies I have ever seen. I was driving home at the time and as we crossed the border into Wales the sunset was unbelievable, unrealistic even! Yet it was real and will be one that lives on in my memory – it was a good way to arrive back from a much needed and, in spite of Covid-19, much enjoyed holiday. And we were back just in time for another lockdown!
Evening Soundscape – Curlews Calling
A couple of the curlews calling in the soundscape above are from one of the videos I posted previously – the others were separately recorded and are a natural (and phenomenal, to my mind) part of the evening landscapes/seascapes in the photos.
Click the play button for the soundscape and then click the first image below to see the full images larger.
My walk this week comes from Scotland and it is not so much a walk as a simple record of the stillness, peace and quiet we have been experiencing in this first week away.
Three short iPhone videos tell the story – listen out for the cries of curlews in the evening – there is nothing else like them.
Post and all videos/images created on my phone.
My walk this week is back on my local salt marshes where the evening was still and the midges were out in their millions.
I went down there for the sunset and then had my back turned, recording sound, when it actually dipped below the horizon.
It was a still evening and there were not many birds singing but as always in this environment, there are gates – specifically four, but there were more people using them than just myself. I have included four in the soundscape but had I included all the instances of use on this short walk there would have been the sound of at least ten!
I understand and accept that by now you may think me obsessed with gates, and you wouldn’t be far wrong. Aside from the individual audio characteristics they have which I enjoy, they are symbolic of so much. They are way markers, milestones, entrances and exits simultaneously, thresholds, limitations, invitations – and they come in so many designs!
There is a bird that appears in the recording at about 01:10 – it was in the woods at the edge of the marsh but I do not know what it is. If anyone can tell me, I would be pleased to know. The Covid-eased traffic is ever present on the motorway but I have focused more on the other sounds in the trees and on the marshes.
Marshes Evening Soundscape
The images below seem not to show on the WordPress Reader any more, though the audio player does, so if using the reader, please visit the website by clicking on the three vertical dots on the right of the blog name to bring up a menu allowing you to visit the post on the website.
My walk this week is a re-post of one I made two years ago in the place we should have been now – SW Scotland. But due to the Covid-19 lock down, all holidays were cancelled and so we can only visit virtually.
The evening light in my selected shots of sunsets in SW Scotland show the changing scene from day to day from different viewpoints. Almost all the photos were taken on different evenings but it is easy to take many, many photographs throughout just one evening as the sun sinks down and the light and shade and colours change above in the sky and below in the bay.
Fewer clouds this year might have meant less drama, but I don’t think that is ever the case in this place. The skyscape / landscape / seascape is always mesmerising and holds my attention,
in awe again and again at the yellows and reds, greens and blues, and on one occasion pink and grey. The peacefulness is unparalleled at times like these.
This soundscape is not from the same post but is certainly from the same place.
NB The place we stay with these wonderful views is called High Tide. It has been in my family since my grandfather built it in 1937 and although it is currently closed due to Covid-19, we do accept bookings from people other than family and friends. Watch the website for updates on the situation with regards to booking.