sunrise

My Walk this Week 143 – Up Hill and Down Valley

My walk this week is another early morning one – the moon was setting as I left the house and as I climbed up hill, the sun was just beginning to show its colours reflected on the clouds. I was on this hill, Cefn Drum, last week but on this occasion I was walking in the opposite direction and returned along its opposite side, looking down on Cwm Dulais.

early morning sky

The day promised to be brighter than last week but the clouds kept intervening and the light kept changing accordingly. It was still a beautiful walk and I had not covered part of the route before. Having always looked at the rocky ridge of Twyn Tyle from the far side of the valley,Continue reading

small herd of goats in forest

My Walk this Week 134 – Surprised By Goats

Click the play button and then the first image to listen and look through the features of my walk this week. It’s another local forest and while it may be true that all forests and woodland consist largely of trees, they are also all quite different. One thing was certainly unexpected on this walk and that was the goats! Looking at the sharpness of their horns I decided it would be best not to confront them but to negotiate a more diplomatic route through the trees.

Forest Walk Soundscape

Starting from the lower reaches of the woods on the edge of Continue reading

Autumn sumac

My Walk this Week 130 – Soundscape for an Autumn Valley

My walk this week in a damp, misty Welsh valley Autumn landscape provided me with a fantastic and varied soundscape. The walk took me up one side of the valley and back down the middle where the river was further engorged by rushing tributaries.

water gushing

Having enjoyed the Autumn colours of a Staghorn Sumac, I descended the twisting path towards the river and recorded its approaching sound as I went. I have kept most of this clip included in the soundscape below (making it longer than usual) because the changes in its timbre as I twist and turn are, to me, fascinating and beautiful. Also included Continue reading

spiky foreground

My Walk this Week 130 – It Must Be Mist

Mist or fog – whichever you think it is depends on where you are in relation to the cloud that creates it. Near the start of this walk I was able to look down on the mist/fog in the valley below, but as I climbed up the side of the valley, so it thickened to become more fog like.

mist and crow

But early morning fog is apt to clear or at least move and it is the latter that happened on this occasion – at least until later in the day when the sun finally raised the temperature and dispensed with the dampness. The gloom was very atmospheric and I didn’t mind in the least as I stopped to photograph and listen to my surroundings. The sounds included electricity pylons and cables fizzling in the moisture filled air and temporarily the sound of Continue reading

South Wales morning landscape

My Walk this Week 127 – Autumn Morning

My walk this week is on a beautiful Autumn morning in a place well known to me but always new as well. The fact that I have seen the scenes and details of this Welsh valley and woodland many times make them no less enjoyable.

woodland detail

There are changes of course since I was last here – strong winds have brought down more trees and branches but the ground underfoot, in spite of the return of notable rainfall, is still dry and firm.

I love to see the little heads of peristomes standing upContinue reading

dry grass

Low Flow and the Colour of Grass

The low flow of rivers and the colour of the grass has changed the landscape in the UK. Hosepipe bans are coming to the north and without sustained rainfall in the near future in the south, I can imagine that we will have them too.

low river

The river above is normally raging over the weir but with the reduced flow the soundscape is changed as well as the landscape. I haven’t produced a soundscape again this week butContinue reading

rosebay willow herb

From Pink to Pink – Wildflowers in the Valley

My walk this week follows on from one taken six weeks ago when the pink wildflowers in our local valley were rhododendrons – now the field of pink comes from rosebay willow herb.

rosebay willow herb

You could argue about the name of the colour either in the willow herbs, thistles or the rhododendrons and foxgloves, but they all sit within a narrow range of pinks/mauves/purples in Cwm Dulais. The rowan tree (also known as mountain ash) brings a touch of orangeContinue reading

new bracken

Rhododendrons Valley

Mauve and violet Rhododendrons used to almost fill one of our local valleys and although they were cut back significantly some years ago, my walk this week proves they are still there, and in much greater abundance than is shown in my photographs.

Rhododendron valley

The whole side of the valley used to be a mass of bright purple at this time of year and was a phenomenon to behold. I know rhododendrons are not native to Wales or the UK but, unlike Japanese Knotweed or Himalayan Balsam, I don’t generally have any issue with them, thoughContinue reading

Waterside Wander

My walk this week was more of a lazy wander. The warm sunshine and the relaxed atmosphere at the Welsh Valley Alpacas Open Day prompted a meander more than a walk and that is what we did (see the two previous posts for this week).

ribwort

Returning from the top of the valley at The Waterside – Felindre we first met some of the male alpacas with their new shorn hair-dos. Then, sitting on a perfectly placed bench, I soaked up the atmosphere and photographed (yet again) one of my favourite wildflowers,Continue reading

lake surface

Waterside and Woodland

Just realised I put the wrong date in on this post so it’s a little later in the day than usual – hope you all missed it!

Following the lakeside on my walk this week at The Waterside – Felindre, where we also enjoyed Welsh Valley Alpacas, we spotted some of the other fauna to be found there, namely a host of little tadpoles and fish.

woodland alley

From the waterside we climbed up into the woods where we enjoyed the bluebells still covering the sun-dappled glades and the alley-ways of trees. The carpet of needles was soft underfoot and, away from the crowd of people visiting the alpacas,Continue reading