Clearing Cloud – Revealing the Landscape

Clearing cloud – yes! Just as I started to head back down the mountain, having decided that the mist was not going to lift and my walk this week would not have the potential views of Wales’ mountains and valleys that I had hoped for, the sun broke through and the scene below me was revealed. I was so pleased ūüôā and in awe at the views.

The walk / climb to this point had been . . . mmm . . . atmospheric. However, despite the mist it had still been very enjoyable. But to be able to look at the other mountains around me and the valleys below is always a wonder that cannot be experienced on a screen. Having said that I will of course endeavour to produce a StillWalks video from this walk that goes some way to presenting the experience and hopefully draws people in to join me in my memories of it.

Clearing Cloud

Clearing Cloud

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Bleached Beach

When walking with a group and trying to do some photography and field recording at the same time, it is easy to end up rushing a bit and, as in this instance, forget to adjust the camera setting for the scene I’m wanting to capture. More often than not this results in useless images, but sometimes you get a happy accident.

When I first looked at this photo I thought “Whoops but wow! That’s just what it felt like at the time!”

The over exposure produced a bleached, white hot effect and when the sun was out this broad exposed hazy seascape felt just like this. I have included  a more correct exposure of the scene in the gallery below so you can compare.

Bleached Beach

Bleached Beach

As can be seen from the “Pergyl – Danger” notice, the area used to be a firing range and people are advised¬† not to touch anything they find as it may explode. One of the walkie talkies for the group was dropped on the beach during the walk and could not be found – I hope it doesn’t cause a scare for the person who finds it.

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Broom Bloom

Moving to higher ground from the woodland river on my walk this week in Penllergare Valley Woods, we came upon a familiar meadow where, a year or two ago, we picnicked in similar sunshine. A broom was in full bloom and my favourite ribwort provided a foreground to this peaceful scene on a beautiful day

broom bloom

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Looking South from the Beacons

As I approached the first, (or smaller) source of the River Taff, Blaen Taf Fechan (correction РTaf Fechan, see comments on previous post), on my walk this week with the Living Taff group, I took yet another of my frequent stops to look at the view. Looking south from the slopes of Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons, I could see all the way to the Bristol Channel, Flat Holm island and beyond to Somerset in England.

Brecon Beacons

England can’t be seen in the shot above which concentrates on the patterns and textures on the slopes of Craig Gwaun Taf which leads up to Corn Du, but the first of the shots¬†below¬†gives a pretty good wider view of the scene, even though the distant¬†atmosphere¬†was quite hazy. In the closer surroundings of the mountains the colours and patterns of light and shade kept changing with the passing clouds.

The¬†Blaen Taf Fechan (below) joins the Blaen Taf Fawr (correction – Taf Fawr, see comments on previous post) at Merthyr Tydfil to become the Afon Taf or River Taff which then flows on down to Wales’ capital city, Cardiff.

These photos are devoid of humans but they were there and there was the constant¬†murmur¬†of voices all around us. It wasn’t disturbing or even annoying really, just present.

Pen y Fan Voices

Rhosilli Down and Reviewing the Week 59

My walk this week along the ridge of Rhosilli Down at the end of the Gower Peninsula started with a beautiful February day. In spite of the falling rain to be seen in the image below, the weather mostly held bright for me and the walk, aside from a painful descent at the end, was very enjoyable. I would recommend it to anyone visiting the area.

If your knees, like mine, warn you against it, then I suggest a flatter walk out to the end of the peninsula for a closer look at the Worm’s Head and a more distant look at the Down. You may be able to watch the hang gliders and birds soaring above the hill slope and beach.

In the meantime, listen to the soundscape below and click the first thumbnail image below to view a selection of this weeks walk photos in sequence.

Rain clouds

The soundscape below is, I feel, a little condensed but illustrates the changes in wind, the activities in the sky and the ground underfoot. I expect the StillWalks video to be about twice the length and therefore I will have a bit more flexibility with soundscape for it.

Rhosilli Down Soundscape

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Winter Colours

Changeable weather can make it difficult to predict the conditions and therefore what to wear on a walk Рrain and sunshine can be expected as well as rapidly changing temperatures. It can also mean that the colours to be seen in the landscape change dramatically and so winter colours can include the deep shadows of cloud and simultaneously the bright colours of nature reflected in sunlight.

These images just begin to show this effect with the colour in the bare branches and twigs of the tree or the reflective feathers of the ducks set against the slate grey of the water

Hemlington Lakeside

Mallard

Ducks

Trees and Valley

The trees are next to the old ruins and the mobile phone mast on Goppa Hill (see previous posts this week) and the valley is Cwm Dulais down which the river Dulais flows. The sun is high enough on this morning walk to leach the colour from the background landscape and create the beginnings of silhouettes in the foreground trees.

Considering what August was like here, it was good to get some better weather during September and even now in October.

trees and valley

trees and valley

Standing in the Sun

The moss on this woodland branch seems to be enjoying a glimpse of sun as much as I enjoyed seeing it. I know that this is a pretty common view of moss but that does not make any less pleasing to the eye ūüôā

Moss