One Man and His Dog

On my walk this week with the Taste of Gower walkers there were quite a sizeable group of people. This made one man and his dog out walking on the marshes all the more noticable.

I have commented before on my interest in texture (it comes from my original training in tapestry weaving – see my other website here) and it is perhaps this interest that makes me notice and photograph the patterns of grass or wood as I have in the images below.

One man and his dog

One man and his dog

I also enjoy the aural textures and patterns that surround us in any environment but I was amused by the rhythm of walking that can be heard in the sound clip below.

Squeaky Shoes

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Content of the Cliff

Nearing the end of my walk this week from Nash Point to Monknash on the South Wales cliff-lined coast I have arrived at the mouth of Nash Brook and a place where the cliff tops come down to beach level. Looking at the content of the cliff it is easy to see why they are no longer the towering structures I have been enjoying along the rest of the walk. Although the durability (or lack of) in the layers and blocks of the cliffs can be seen in the structures and curves in photos below, the geology seen in this first image is much softer and in part explains the small valley from which Nash Brook flows.

cliff texture

Stones in Circles and the Textures of Grass

These stones arranged in circles at Three Cliffs Bay on South Gower have been there as long as I can remember (which is not necessarily all that long!), but I don’t think they go back to neolithic times. People’s footsteps have worn the ground down over time as they walk around the pattern and if it is a construction of modern times, then it is perhaps remarkable that it has remained without damage or rearrangement for so long. Is this a sign of our respect for our ancient past, even though it may be an installation of modern times, or do we just like and respond to the pattern and texture of the arrangement.

And thinking of textures and patterns, I was taken with the grasses growing alongside Pennard Pill as it twists down the valley to the bay. The subtly changing flow of the grasses in the wind, their hues of blues, yellows and greens and the dots of white and buff grass seeds and flowers remind me of the circles of stones, at least when viewed in monochrome.

stone circles

Stones in Circles

Those changing textures and patterns can also be perceived in sound. The clip below presents the susurrus (there’s that word again) of my footsteps, firstly in soft sand and then through flickering, tickering grasses as my feet brush through them on my way to catch up with the other walkers.

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Sand Drift and Textures on the Beach

The sand in Colwyn Bay was filling more than the gaps between rocks and it wasn’t long before my shoes were filled as well. Where the surface sand had dried it was easily blown by the wind, creating a strange sense of movement on solid ground. The sand drift smoothed out textures as it caught on rocks and other beach features and appeared as a haze higher up the beach as it flowed across a concrete groyne.

sand drift

Sand Drift

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Natural Patterns

Almost back at Nicholaston Farm on the Taste of Gower walk from June, the footpath moves away from the cliffs and runs through this natural tunnel. Looking around me in this more enclosed environment I naturally discovered more details rather than the open vistas of clifftop views. The shots I have chosen below demonstrate natural structure in the tunnel, natural texture in the crinkled petals of the wildflower and natural pattern on the underside of some path side plants.

natural tunnel

natural tunnel

wildflower pattern

Natural Pattern

Natural Pattern

 

Ignoring the Signs – Walls, Flowers and Brickwork

Not so much ignoring the signs as cropping them out – all these photos required me to either choose an angle or make a crop that avoided the inevitable street signs for restricted parking, no entry, and restricted access. I couldn’t avoid the cars and I didn’t want to avoid the peeling paint of the gable end brick wall to this building of formal design that is typical of this part of Hereford City centre.

I like the patterns, colours and textures of the wall at least as much as I do the flower displays.

Hereford City Walk-17

Hereford Houses

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City Street – Reviewing the Walk

One thing (several in fact) that was often in the background of my walk this week along a city centre street were the gulls. As previously mentioned, it was a bin collection day and the sea gulls were pretty active. Much of the time their calls were largely hidden by the other sounds of the street, but they are there.

gull

Street Walk Soundscape

Play the sound clip and look through the sequence of images at the same time. If you would like to hear more of the subtleties of any of my soundscapes, listen through headphone. Having said that, I always edit the soundscapes with the expectation that most people will listen without.

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Choosing the View

They say about TV or radio, if you don’t like it, you can always switch it off or change the channel. Similarly, wherever we may be, we can choose what to take notice of, we can choose our view. That can be a challenge sometimes, especially if what is in front of you is a blank wall, but when out and about we tend to miss so much of what is around us and I am as guilty of this as the next person.

That’s OK! It means that when I do take notice of my surroundings, a simple walk down the street can become an adventure of discovery. I don’t mean that there are suddenly different or new things happening around me to what’s normal, I simply find I have more interest in the normal things. The shapes and patterns, the textures and colours . . . of the sounds as well as the sights.

monochrome railings

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My Walk this Week – Street Recce

My walk this week is along a short street near the centre of town. It could be any street with mostly businesses lining each side in what were once houses. There is plenty of traffic but as I have claimed with StillWalks, there is as much to listen to and hear in an urban setting as there is in a rural one.

The sounds may be different, and it could be argued less attractive, but focusing my attention on different aspects of the soundscape allowed me to hear and see things that I would often pass over unnoticed – colours, patterns, textures to be both seen and heard.

So my walk this week is an exploration of an everyday urban location with the intention of familiarising my self to some of the visual and aural details in preparation for a full StillWalks production walk in the future.

Street Walk-1

The sound clip below is a bit longer than those I normally post through the week but on this occasion it seemed appropriate. There are many layers of of activities, starting  with the sound of me closing the car boot and progressing from the car park onto the street. The sound of a drill as I round a corner is also associated with a smell for me – as I returned to the carpark later on, passing this same spot the pungent smell of sealant was powerful and made me pass by quickly.

Street Walk – Clip 1

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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

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