Distant Gower from The Mawr

My Walk this Week 141 – Exploring Down from The Mawr

On my walk this week I went exploring a footpath I have passed on top of The Mawr on many occasions but never stopped for a closer look – until now.

Woodland ravine path

Looking across to the Gower Peninsula in the distance, I stood and enjoyed the wind as it gently swirled around me and brought the sound of skylarks to my ears. Setting off down an old moss covered farm track, it wasn’t longContinue reading

Uplands landscape

Punctuated By Ice at The Waterside

My walk this week has been around the lake at The Waterside – Felindre and seems to have been punctuated by ice. Indeed, the whole language and grammar of the posts has been dictated by the freezing icy conditions.

Icy Punctuation

Influenced as I am by the things I see and hear around me, I look at the light and shade, the patterns and textures, and I wonder what it would feel like to touch, to run my fingers along some of the surfaces of frozen water, hard ground lightly dusted with snow or old reeds and rushes from last year as they poke through the semi opaque sometimes mushy lookingContinue reading

Lichen

Lichen and a Dry Stone Wall

Sheltering unsuccessfully from the bitter winter wind by a dry stone wall on the Swansea uplands I took a moment to admire the lichen and thought about how it looks as though someone has illustrated it in pen and ink.

lichen on dry stone wall

I had been persuaded by a herd of cows to cut across the top of Mynydd Gelli instead of circumnavigating it at a lower contour.Continue reading

Mynydd Gelli winter view

My Walk this Week – A Sprinkling of Winter

We rarely get any snow in the small town where I live and so when I awoke to find a thin Winter sprinkling in the garden, I assumed that there would be more of it all around us on higher ground and I prepared to take a walk later in the morning.

Mynydd Gelli tree

So I was surprised to find naked trees and moorland when I set off up one of the hills in the lower reaches of the Mawr, the upland area just north of Swansea. No white blankets to be seen,Continue reading

My Walk this Week – Weather on The Mawr

Mist on The Mawr

My walk this week is on the Swansea Uplands again. The weather on The Mawr (pronounced the same as “power”) can be unpredictable, but at least you can be sure that it is unpredictable! Crossing the area on my way home from an unproductive production day, I stopped in a small lay-by and took a walk up the hill to my left. It wasn’t raining or snowing at the time – in fact it had cleared quite nicely and I could see a vague track going straight upwards towards a half hidden way marker.

Continue reading

Closing Weather

My optimism for a bright day at the start of this hill walk up Graig Fawr meant I was taken by surprise when, as I arrived on the upper reaches of the hill, snow started falling behind me from the west.

I turned to see the clouds fast approaching and the whole atmosphere of the landscape changed. Fortunately it didn’t last long, but even so, I was reminded that this is what you have to watch out for in a landscape like this.

The Mawr uplands may not be very high or large in scale in comparison to many other places, but that does not mean you can’t get disorientated. However well I think I know the place, I would always treat it with respect. It was on a bright sunny day in Summer when I misread the landmarks up here. This didn’t cause a problem but it did mean that we took a different route to that intended.

My nearest landmark, in the form of the triangulation point, was in view through the snow and as it turned out, I only had to wait ten minutes for the sun to came out again and allow me to view the falling rain on the far side of Cwm Dulais.

snow cloud

Icons of the Hill and some Pronunciation

Graig Fawr (pronounced Grige (with both “g”s hard) and Vower (as in power) and translates from the Welsh, more or less, as “big rock”)) . . . and before I forget, Happy St David’s Day from Wales 🙂

My walk up Graig Fawr soon brought me to a few things that seem to me to typify this particular area of my local uplands, the western edge of The Mawr (remember the “Fawr” pronunciation), the upland area north of Swansea.

One is the solitary tree and another is the bracken. There are large areas of bracken on the side of Graig Fawr and its companion hill, Cefn Drum (pronounced with a hard “C” and the “f” as a “v” and Drum is pronounced Drim). The colours and textures of the bracken are always there and now and then you will spot a single small tree growing out of its midst.

I have taken a number of photographs of these “icons” in different conditions and certainly the light is always different, but today the bracken had a particularly strong red tinge to its brown in some areas where it lay with the morning frost gradually thawing.

bare Graig Fawr tree

bracken

And then there was this water system manhole! I am not sure what the underground workings of this system are, but this access point with the slab of concrete and a glass jar laying on top of it and the concrete signage made me think of a grave with its headstone and the last flowers that were left in a jar, now disappeared.

Graig Fawr manhole