Llyn Llech Owain

My Walk this Week 239 – Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my StillWalks® followers and visitors. My walk this week is a hopeful one that takes you out of the woods and into the open.

The sound track for this short video was not going to be as it is. When recording the short clip in the woods at Llyn Llech Owain a helicopter flew overhead (as you can hear) – this prompted me to record a separate sound clip after it had passed.

However, it occurred to me that the helicopter might be considered symbolic of the past year in that it was likely to be an emergency flight taking someone to hospital. I doubt very much that we are out of the woods yet with the coronavirus. Even with the vaccine it will take time to immunise the population and we need to keep our fingers crossed that the vaccine will do the trick.

So out of the woods and into the open . . . Llyn Llech Owain is a local country park on one of those currently rare bright cold days, we and other families carefully kept socially distanced as we enjoyed the sounds of the geese on the lake, the peace of no traffic in the background, and the moon rising as the sun set (at the end of the video in the top left corner). 

Burry Inlet

My Walk this Week 236 – Coastal Path

My walk this week shows a small section of the coastal path along the Loughor Estuary and Burry Inlet in South Wales.

The soundscape for the still image video above was recorded separately and apart from trimming, I have done very little work on it. My walk started in a semi-industrial area where you can here the sounds of machinery as well as traffic. The traffic never disappears but does fade a little as the path approaches the edges of the estuary.

It was a bitterly cold morning as can be seen in the images below and my hands felt like they were going to drop off as I recorded and photographed the scene.

The quality of light excited me. Where there is a wide expanse of still water and a relatively even light in the sky, the two reflect and bounce off each other, creating subtle changes of colour and luminance that you do not see when the surface of the water is more broken or choppy. Or indeed, when the sky is more broken in its textures and with higher contrast in its areas of light and shade.

trees in sunlight

My Walk this Week 234 – The Park Through My Viewfinder

My walk this week looks through my viewfinder at our local park and its pond – Coedbach Park. Coed = wood and Bach = little, so Little Wood Park.

The video above of the pond and the images below were all taken on my DSLR, my “proper” camera, rather than my iPhone which I have used so often lately for my posts. I may have expressed some frustration with the iPhone images but I wouldn’t complain about the quality of the video it takes. The audio was recorded separately on my Zoom H5N recorder.

It was a walk taken at an opportune moment during a busy week when the sun was a rare sight. One advantage of working from home (for many more of us now) is that you can often be flexible with the hours you put in. I would argue that it is important both for yourself and your employer (if you have one) that the health benefits of taking a break for a short walk round your local park, or even just around your garden (again, if you have one), are such that it is invaluable to all – yourself, the people you work for, the people around you. everyone in fact.

I wonder if there is any chance in the future, in the “new normal” as it is being called, that a recognition of the benefits to be gained from activities such as this will become a strategic part of business models and company operations. We can always hope!

Gate to the mountain

My Walk this Week 232 – Wandering the Hillside

My walk this week is more of a wander on Cefn Drum, one of our local hills. Being a sunny Sunday afternoon, the hillside was busy with 4 or 5 other people gently strolling along the labyrinth of footpaths, so I didn’t hang around long and beat a retreat back down the hollow way seen in my last post.

The video includes flowing water again, but this is a sound it can be hard not to hear in Wales, especially at this time of year. And once again the video is also my soundscape for this week and indeed it includes separately recorded sound as well as that recorded as video.

My walk started well before the gate to the mountain (we say mountain but really it is a hill rising to about 750 feet), but a gate is a good starting point, a threshold, whatever rusty state it may be in.

My walk on the hillside ended with another battered aged gate, one with a different perspective, at least from the angle I photographed it.

 

My Walk this Week 225 – Wave Watching

My walk this week brings a change of weather on my holiday in Scotland and with that change I have been doing some wave watching.

To be fair, this wild and windy day was one of only a couple of days like this in the whole fortnight. Also, where we are in south west Scotland, weather like this is just another form of entertainment.

My iPhone does not take kindly to the amount of wind blowing on this day so I am sorry for the abysmal sound quality, but this is a wild and wonderful place!

 

You may consider these videos similar but the waves and their rhythms I find mesmerising.

All posted from my phone again!

thistle and path

My Walk this Week 216 – Returning To What Was

My walk this week takes a look and a listen to what was at one time a railway track. Listening to the soundscape for the walk also means returning to the sounds we were used to pre-pandemic.

The old railway track could still be seen in places when we first moved here many years ago. Things have changed significantly over that time and this part of that old rail route has become a wonderful slice of wild woodland. Unfortunately I suspect its days are numbered as the ever encroaching local housing and road developments continue apace and I was sorry to find my way blocked by a building site.

The soundscape below could have been edited down further. Although there are few birds singing at this time of day, I still enjoyed the sound of the wind in the trees and even the nuances of the distant motorway traffic. Returning to what was, pre-pandemic, means inevitably more traffic on the roads, jet aeroplanes in the sky (listen carefully) and of course the sirens of police cars. This last one I decided not to include and is the point at which I stopped recording.

Old Railway Woodland Soundscape

 

trees and marsh grass

My Walk this Week 194 – The Marsh and Ciara

My walk this week is another to my local salt marsh, this time during the tail end of Storm Ciara and the wind that was probably worse in other parts of the UK. All the same, we weren’t tempted to venture out in the wild weather.

entering the salt marsh

When crossing the River Loughor on the motorway, I could see that the the tide was high and the marshes were getting there regular dose of salt. But by the time I got down there the sea had retreated and I was able to get to the river bank.

I loitered a bit amongst the trees at the edge of the marsh as the wind was strong and pretty cold and so the photographs I took focus mainly on that view point and some of the lichee details and tree textures around me.

Windy Marsh Soundscape

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The soundscape is a bit shorter than usual and perhaps the main feature of it is the sound of motorway traffic being blown strongly from the southwest. However, if you listen carefully, you will also hear the hissing rustles of the marsh grass which is a sound I love, though less because of the sound itself and more because of the marsh environment it conjures in my mind.

So click the play button to listen while viewing the images below – click the first one and then again to move forward through the carousel.