Promenading the Beach

My walk this week with the Swansea Health and Wellbeing Walk moved from the cycle path to the promenade before reaching the 360 Beach and Watersports Centre at St Helen’s. The old bridge in the image gallery below may seem out of place beside the other photos but this is the old Victorian St. Helen’s bridge that used to span Oystermouth Road a few yards from where the 360 cafe is situated. Not wanting to dispose of the bridge altogether (presumable with the intention of reinstating it when finances allow), the bridge has been sitting by the side of the road for some years now.

Swansea Bay

Wellbeing Weather

Swansea Bay is great in any weather but there can be no question that a dry sunshiny day is good for a sense of wellbeing. Certainly it encouraged people to come on the health and wellbeing walk along the cycle/walking path from Mumbles to Swansea.

Swansea cycle/walking track

My Walk this Week – Swansea Wellbeing Walk

My walk this week is from a couple of weeks ago when I went to join in the Swansea Health and Wellbeing Walk on the seafront. Starting at the Junction Cafe at Blackpill, it was originally planned to walk to mumbles and back but for whatever reason the route was changed and we walked in the opposite direction dn headed for the 360 Beach and Watersports Centre instead.

It was a short walk, less than four miles there and back but plenty of people came along, some from the Taste of Gower walks but many more besides.

Junction Cafe and walkers

walking feet

 

Swansea Bay

Swansea Bay

Full Circle and Reviewing the Walk

I started my walk this week with a post of 360 degree views of Swansea Bay at Crymlyn Burrows. Now after getting excited about so many of the patterns and forms in the sand on this expansive beach, I have come full circle. Back in front of the Bay Campus of Swansea University the view is as good as ever but after all the subtleties of sand I was surprised by the glare of contrasting colour in front of the Great Hall on the campus. The grass was new and the paint on the tables was new too!

Mumbles Across the Bay

Mumbles Across the Bay

Contrasting colour

Contrasting colour

Virtually all sound from the city and the motorway was being blown inland by a light breeze on this peaceful morning walk and the sound of distant birds and people along with my footsteps on the sand is most of what makes up this calm soundscape.

Crymlyn Burrows Beach Soundscape

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.

Sand and Grass at the Top of the Beach

Crymlyn Burrows are a very small example of a landscape feature made up of sand dunes and vegetation, yet they are burrows all the same. The beach here in Swansea Bay may be expansive but arriving at the topmost reaches of the tide line as I headed back to the car gave me a classic view of dune grasses against a changing sky. The photos may be obvious shots to take but that does not make the scene any less enjoyable when you are there. The soft dry sand feels great underfoot but of course is much more difficult to walk on.

Crymlyn Burrows

Crymlyn Burrows

Wet, Drying and Dry – Subtlety in Sand

While the patterns in sand I have been looking at on my walk this week have been details of the beach in Swansea Bay, there are also interesting patterns and textures to be seen from longer, wider viewpoints. In this first shot today I like the gradual fading of the reflected light on wet sand as it transitions to drying sand.

In the second photo the pattern was subtle, perhaps more-so in reality than it is in the image but still noticeably there and resembling a tiger’s stripes. While I enjoy nuance within imagery and my surroundings, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this pattern strengthened and converting to monochrome and increasing the contrast was one relatively quick way to do this.

Beach Perspective

Beach Perspective

Dry and Drying sand

Dry and Drying

monochrome sand

monochrome sand

There was subtlety in the sounds of the beach on this walk as well as in the patterns of sand. I got my recorder out again as soon as I heard my footsteps on top of one of the sand banks where the surface still retained water and the rhythm of my footsteps created a fizz of compressed sand and released moisture. The passing of a distant small aircraft only seemed to emphasise the peace of the beach at this stage of my walk.

Footsteps in Damp Sand

Perspectives Viewpoints and Angles

As I proceeded further along the beach towards Port Talbot on my walk this week, I became more and more excited by the patterns I was seeing. I kept walking backwards and forwards and around in circles to view the patterns of ridges and ripples in the sand from different angles, enjoying them from different viewpoints and finding new perspectives. As I said earlier in the week, I may be becoming obsessed with sand as a natural art form.

Sand Patterns

Sand Patterns

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.

Sculpted by the Flow

I was surprised to find such distinct sculpting of the sand by the flow of the ebb tide on my walk this week along the beach at Crymlyn Burrows in Swansea Bay. The sand banks were noticeable on the beach but even so, the flow of water that created these deep ridges must have been fast. Perhaps there was some other environmental influence of which I was not aware.

sand patterns

Sculpted by the Flow

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.

The first shot in the sequence below is a particularly interesting mix of flowing sand and flowing water patterns. I guess the sand on the upper edge of the sand bank started flowing with the water it held after the sea had subsided to a level to allow this – fascinating nature yet again!

Patterns in the Sand

I think this is a sand piper!? The name would be appropriate if only for the patterns and colouring of its feathers reflecting as they do, the patters on the beach.

You can see both these birds and the sand patterns on many beaches – I could say any beach but it wouldn’t be true. The patterns of ripple and flow on any part of any beach may have a similar structure but they are all quite unique and dependent on the local surroundings, weather conditions and so much more.

One of the things that appears to influence the patterns on the beach in front of Crymlyn Burrows in Swansea Bay are the sand banks that have built up and no doubt change continually.

Sand Piper

Sand Piper

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.

My Walk this Week – Swansea Bay 360

My walk this weak is in Swansea Bay on the beach in front of Crymlin Burrows and Swansea Uni Bay Campus will reveal what may be turning into an obsession with sand.

The tide was as far out as I have ever seen it and as I stood in the middle of its seemingly vast expanse and turned around the full 360 degrees I could see that the sand in this part of the bay is much more sculpted by the tide than it is in front of the city itself. This is not revealed much in these panoramic shots but I will post some of the patterns created in the sand through the week.

Swansea Bay

The soundscape of the beach is quite different to the wild blast of wind blowing on Colwyn Bay in my walk last week. Listen below to the ambience with the occasional distant sound of birds or voices from a small group of people and the faint backdrop of traffic.

Swansea Bay Ambience

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.