Hidden in the Trees – Reviewing the Walk

The endpoint of my walk this week at Penllergare Valley Woods was the cafe at the northern end of the valley. The cafe was only developed in the last few years by The Penllergare Trust who are restoring the gardens to something t like their original state in Victorian times. Much of the work is done by volunteers and if you are interested in helping or becoming a friend, visit their website for details.

Penllergare Valley Woods cafe

Below I have selected some of the photos from my posts this week which you can view in sequence while listening to the soundscape of the walk. Click the play button and then the first thumbnail image to review the walk.

Penllergare Valley Woods Soundscape

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

Tawe River Mouth – Reviewing the Walk

It was a nice sunny day for my walk this week, though I still had my umbrella with me as an encumbrance. My final view of the walk was looking across Swansea Bay from the dunes to Mumbles and its lighthouse.

I have included a soundscape again this week to accompany my selection of images from the walk. Click the play button and then the first thumbnail to view the images in sequence.

Mumbles from Swansea

Tawe Walk Soundscape

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

Turn of the Lock

Having come full circle and arrived back at the blue footbridge and lock on my walk this week around part of the maritime quarter of Swansea, I focused my attention on the bridge and lock rather than the churning water of the river falling over the weir (see Monday’s post).

footbridge mesh

Patterns, sound and movement can be seen below in a mixture of photos and video taken on both my Canon and iPhone cameras.

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

No Fishing

This sign and its distorted reflection may say “No Fishing”, but the next photo below shows that there are fishing boats just round the corner from this entry point to the inner marina at Swansea.

no fishing

The other vessels in Swansea’s Maritime Quarter range from small to large sailing and motor boats of all types. The modern catamaran and the older style of sailing vessel below suggest something of this range – and all of the owners rely on the security the marina offers to keep them safe. However, I was a little taken aback when I saw the razor wire!

Lapping Water

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

Old and New

It’s quite common these days to transform the local docks into a fancy marina or other such housing and / or business development. In the case of Swansea people were not being moved out to make way for the new build and the docks are in diminished use in comparison to Swansea’s industrial heyday.

The SA1 area, as it is known, is situated across the river from the marina but the two developments are linked by the well designed millennium footbridge and a more functional footbridge at the lock from the marina to the river mouth.

old redbrick SA1 building

The old redbrick building above used to be one of the dock buildings of course and it along with the few other older dockside buildings in the area, sit well beside the wide range of modern architecture.

I have taken photographs of this architecture in the past but the images below function more as a contribution to my walk this week than a means of showing the architectural design of the area. If you do a search on the blog for SA1, you will be able to see some of those other images.

Swansea Millennium Footbridge

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

My Walk this Week – River Tawe

My walk this week is another urban walk – in fact it is downstream of last weeks walk along the banks of the River Tawe. This time I am at the mouth of the river and looking around part of Swansea Maritime Quarter and SA1 area.

My starting point is the weir at the entrance to the marina. To its left (looking inland) there is one of two busy locks used by a wide range of vessels, but I was more interested in the patterns of water falling over the weir at different points.

weir water

In some places the water is very churned up following its descent over a structure of steps while further across the river the water is at first perfectly smooth as it falls over the curved surface of the weir. Further over again, where there appear to be rocks embedded in the curve of the weir, the water patterns begin to ripple and the froth on the lower surface of water appears to start climbing the back up the weir.

Weir Water

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

Sensory Perception at the Lakeside

Nearing the end or turning point of my walk this week, I emerged from the riverside woodland footpath at the Enterprise Park near Llansamlet in Swansea. This zone has grown over the years and one of its main characteristics is that you are almost forced to take the car from place within the zone.

However, despite the sound of passing traffic (below), once I had crossed the road I was able to enjoy the lake that forms a central feature in the area. As in any urban area, there is always the background sound of city activity and traffic, but the lake here forms an essential and effective oasis from all that.

Lakeside

We need these oases in modern urban living, but it is not just a matter of them existing. We need to make sure we use them as they were intended and enjoy the natural benefits they can bring on a regular basis.

Walking around a lake or park, down a tree-lined street, along a river, we are offered the opportunity to not just exercise of our limbs, but also to exercise our sensory perception. Looking and/or listening is possible for almost everyone and in my experience is well worth it.

Passing Traffic

Lakeside Ambience

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

Riverside Wildflowers

On my walk this week along the riverside footpath by the Tawe from Morfa it was Spring going on Summer and the flowers were out to prove it – all but the buddleia.

Approaching one of the footbridges across the river there were plenty of the ribwort in the image below. It is a wildflower I particularly like, partly because of good memories playing with them as a child, but particularly at this time of year when they are in flower.

wildflower - Ribwort plantain

Of course, all of the wildflowers are special in their own right, even the dandelion – when it’s not all over your garden lawn! Below there is also, wood violet, herb robert, cowslip and primroses all lining the footpath of the River Tawe. There is one more, but I will post that tomorrow!

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

 

 

Under the Woodland Bridge

This was a first for me – viewing the railway into Swansea from underneath. For some reason it had not occurred to me that the Tawe riverside footpath would, at this location, inevitably pass under the railway.

There is something fascinating, even exciting, about the combination of natural and man made – wood, leaf, concrete and iron – the different (and similar) scales has as much to do with my fascination as the juxtaposed materials and textures.

Railway Bridge and trees

The reflection of the bridge in the waters of the river below provides a link between the hard functional materials of its construction and the more natural woodland lining the river.

Both the railway and the footpath were in use on this Sunday morning with plenty of walkers, joggers, children and dogs enjoying the woodland. However, I didn’t either see or hear a train during my walk.

Walking Conversations

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

My Walk this Week – Morfa and the Tawe

My walk this week is an urban one, although the footpath I followed from Morfa and the home of the Swans at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, to the lake in the enterprise zone at Llansamlet, could in some places be mistaken for a more natural setting, if not rural.

Liberty Stadium at Morfa

It was a Sunday morning and although the length of the walk was only about 2.2 miles, it took me about 2 hours just to reach the lake at my halfway turning point. That is more because of field recording than photography but both played their part in slowing me down.

I’ll post some sound clips through the week but to start with, it was the structural patterns of stadium architecture and fence design that interested me.

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